Makeup Artists Agree: Never Do This One Thing Before Applying Foundation

Updated 04/28/19
Beauty Is Boring

By this point, we have our pre-makeup routines down pat: Start by washing the face and then follow up with toner, serum, SPF, and moisturizer. It's become second nature. But in our unwavering quest to continue bettering ourselves and our beauty looks, we wondered if our down-pat method is actually a bit flawed.

After polling a handful of top makeup artists, we learned that, as it turns out, there are several steps we should nix before reaching for the foundation bottle, but #1 below was an absolutely unanimous no-no. Are you guilty of doing it? Keep scrolling to find out.

The File

#1: Getting a Facial

Perhaps you have a big event coming up and scheduled a facial right before getting your makeup done. After all, it'll make your skin look super smooth and glowy underneath your foundation, right? Wrong.

"Ideally, do not get a facial right before applying your makeup," warns Honey makeup artist Suzy Gerstein.

Adds Honey artist Robert Greene, "Even the most gentle treatment can make your pores vulnerable immediately after, so you definitely don't want to cover them with makeup."

Instead, let your skin relax after your facial. You've just cleared the gunk out of your pores and removed dead skin, so your complexion is likely red and needs a bit of a breather before you add any foundation, powder, highlighter, or the like. However, a facial a few days prior is an excellent idea, says senior makeup artist for Antonio Prieto Salon, Kristine Cruz, explaining, "Soon you'll have an amazing canvas to put makeup on."

#2: Picking Your Face

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We'd be remiss if we didn't hammer down the fact that picking your face before applying makeup is completely off-limits. Gerstein and Greene urge you not to pick or extract prior to application. There are inflammation and skin breakdown to consider, not to mention the bacterial transfer you're causing.


#3: Overzealously Color-Correcting

If you're inexperienced at color-correcting, you might not want to try it on a whim before applying your Friday-night face. Says Greene, "I wouldn't attempt to color-correct your face using pastel color-correcting kits that have become trendy. This is a professional technique used sometimes in film and television and is a bit aggressive for the everyday woman. Today, product lines offer such a wide range of foundation shades and concealers that can address most discoloration or unevenness to the skin, making these kits unnecessary."

However, if you want to take a stab at using the purple, salmon, and green colors, peruse this color-correcting guide and practice in good lighting in your free time.

Beauty Is Boring

#4: Covering Up (Instead of Enhancing)

When applying makeup, remember this key phrase: Love thyself. Says Gerstein, "Don't focus on what you don't love about your face. Shift your focus to what you love about yourself."

Outdoor Voices

#5: Exercising

Don't rush to get in a quick sweat sesh before you've got to get ready. Honey makeup artist Azra Red warns, "Your pores will open up and absorb makeup and dirt, which can cause breakouts."


#6: Painting Your Nails

Lastly, Azra says, don't paint your nails before applying your makeup. Why? Simple: Aside from the obvious fact that the paint may still be tacky, making it easy to smudge, you could get the paint or leftover remover and chemicals in your eyes or on your lips.

Next up, learn how to master the no-makeup makeup look once and for all.

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