Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Beauty Reflection: Is There a Right Order to Your Beauty Routine?

Is it just common knowledge, or is there an unspoken secret code on how to apply makeup and other beauty items in the right order? With all of the products available today, it can be so overwhelming. Do I put on my sunscreen before or after my moisturizer? Should you always start with foundation before doing your eyes? And the list of probing sequence questions continues...

This year I attended a Nordstrom makeup event where the makeup artists started with eye makeup first and applied concealer last. That totally rocked my boat on makeup application. After the event, I went home and experimented with different product sequences to see if I could achieve better results. And sure enough...I made a couple of tweaks that are saving me time and delivering longer lasting results. While this order may not work for everyone, you might want to give it a whirl:
  1. Liquid foundation. I like to apply my foundation first so that I can let it sink into my skin and adjust to my skincare products (moisturizer, eye cream, sunscreen, etc.). If I'm using a different formula (powder or cream), I'll start with step #2 and then apply my foundation after mascara.

  2. Eye primer and shadows. If you have oily lids or eye shadows creasing in the middle of the day, you may want to consider using a primer. I can't live without a primer!

  3. Mascara. After mascara, I'll do a quick clean-up on any eye makeup fallout. I keep several Q-tips and no-rinse makeup remover close by so I don't waste any time.

  4. Bronzer (optional). I'll skip this step if I'm in a hurry.

  5. Blush. For extra-staying power, I'll start with a cream-based formula and follow up with a light swirl of powder blush.

  6. Luminizer (optional). If my under-eye area is extremely dark, I'll use a bit of luminizer to help brighten the area before applying concealer. I find I use less concealer and achieve a more natural look.

  7. Concealer. I use concealer primarily for masking under-eye darkness. If I need to cover up any blemishes, I prefer using foundation instead of concealer. I'll use a fine pointed brush and dot foundation on and around the problem area.

  8. Lip gloss or lipstick. I don't use lip liner, but I may apply a lip balm underneath my other lip products.

  9. Powder (optional). I'll do a light dusting of setting powder if my skin is oily or if I'm in a humid environment. Otherwise, I'll skip this step as it can be too drying for my skin.
For other tips on the sequence of makeup, skin, and hair products, pick up the current issue of Real Simple magazine or view online. They have some practical guidelines that you may want to consider.

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