How to prep skin for makeup – A step by step guide

How to prep your skin for makeup

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Hey Jewels! So I am learning how to do makeup at home similar to what I would request from an MUA before I shoot content, get dressed for date night, or when I just want to be cute for the day! My first question was how do I prep my skin for a flawless makeup application. I have oily skin so I want to make sure I am not super greasy by lunch.

My skills are super beginner so I teamed up with one of my favorite MUAs – Tasha Renee.  Tasha Renee is a seasoned makeup artist based right here in Dallas, Texas. With 17 years of experience under her belt, she is a firm believer that every woman should have the know-how to create her own stunning makeup looks.

Together, we’re going to make sure you radiate beauty from the inside out. Let’s dive into the essential steps for prepping your skin before applying makeup!

Step 1: Create a Clean Canvas for a Perfect Finish

Remember, the way you start your makeup routine sets the tone for the final look.

Begin by cleansing your skin using products like Sephora’s hydrating wipes. These wipes ensure that your skin is a clean canvas, ready to receive makeup. To personalize your skincare, it’s crucial to understand your skin type. Seek advice from local estheticians or dermatologists, and treat yourself to a skin analysis, like this quiz from Curology, for tailored recommendations.

Step 2: Hydration: Oily Skin or Dry Skin

For a smooth base, proper hydration is key. Choose the right moisturizer for your skin type. Opt for water-based moisturizers if you have oily skin, and if you’re oily only in the T-zone, target that area. I recommend products like Morphe Luminous Spray or Patrick Star’s Luminous Setting Spray for extra hydration. If you’re on the oilier side, consider using an oil-absorbing spray for added control.

Other options at multiple price points



© Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels


Hydrate your skin with a setting spray






Don’t forget to apply sunscreen

Step 3: Sun Protection and Serum

Don’t skip the SPF! Apply sunscreen, such as Murad’s Oil and Pore Control Mattifier with SPF 45. This shields your skin from the sun’s rays while providing a great base for makeup. Allow the product to absorb for a minute before moving on. Incorporating a serum and eye cream can make a notable difference in your skin’s appearance.

Step 4: The Perfect Primer

Primer is your makeup’s best friend, especially for longevity. When selecting a primer for oily skin, look for keywords like “Shine Control” or “Oil Control.” Brands like Makeup For Ever and Milk offer excellent options. Experiment by applying different primers to each side of your face and observing their effects throughout the day. Primer helps your makeup adhere seamlessly and enhances its lasting power.

Primer helps your makeup adhere seamlessly and enhances its lasting power. 

Applying Your Primer

Applying primer strategically is a game-changer. For oily skin, focus on areas prone to shine, like the T-zone. Be cautious not to overapply to non-oily areas, as this can disrupt the balance. Additionally, remember your brows—applying a bit of primer keeps them in place and oil-free.

For an exceptional makeup grip, consider using products like Milk’s Hydro Grip Primer. Allow it to dry down for a minute; it creates a tacky surface that helps makeup cling effectively. An affordable alternative is the ELF Powder Primer, which offers similar results.

Step 7: The Finishing Touch

If you find your skin getting shiny throughout the day, a touch of loose translucent powder can be a lifesaver. Apply it to oily areas, or use it if you’re missing some of the aforementioned products. This simple step absorbs excess oil and extends the longevity of your makeup.


With these expert tips, you’re equipped to master the art of prepping your skin for makeup like a pro. Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach—customize your routine based on your skin’s unique needs. Whether you’re a beginner or a makeup aficionado, starting with a clean, hydrated canvas ensures that your makeup application will be flawless and long-lasting. Stay tuned for more beauty insights and get ready to rock your makeup looks with confidence!



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A beginner-friendly guide to learning how to properly prep your skin for a makeup application. Starting with a clean, hydrated canvas.