It might seem a bit strange, but even foundation needs...well, a great foundation. Skincare (and a little thing called primer) should be your first step in applying makeup. First, cleanse your skin with your preferred cleanser, then follow with light exfoliation to buff away any dry, rough patches. Next, depending on your skin type, choose a moisturizer—if you’re oily, pick something super lightweight, like a serum. Finally, it’s time for a primer.
An oft-overlooked step, primer smoothes everything out so your base glides on without settling into lines, pores, or rough areas. It also helps your foundation perform better and last longer while giving it an airbrushed look. The best part? If you have any specific skincare concerns, a primer can help—there are formulas for redness, wrinkles, dullness, acne, and just about every other skin issue you can think of.
Since a makeup brush will just drag primers around, it’s best to press them into skin with your fingers, or use a slightly damp beautyblender sponge.