How to Prep Your Skin for All Day Makeup


Picture this: You spend all morning perfecting your makeup routine. You flawlessly blend your foundation, swipe on just the right amount of blush and complete your look with a complementary lipstick shade. You head out the door for a busy day, but by noon, tragedy strikes. You look in the mirror and see that your once-perfect complexion looks blotchy, smudged or creased.

We've all been there—dedicating precious time and effort to blend our makeup to perfection, only to have our look slowly fade throughout the day. As avid beauty lovers, we all want our makeup to last (and look snatched) from morning to night. However, even if your vanity is full of professional-quality products, the truth is it’s what you do to your face before you apply your makeup that determines whether or not it will stay put all day.

This week on The Arch, we’re talking about all things skin prep. From perfecting your pre-makeup skin care routine to the dos-and-don'ts for achieving long-lasting makeup, here’s everything you need to know to ensure that your favorite makeup looks go the extra mile.

Why Is It Important to Prep Skin Before Makeup?

Think of it this way—you wouldn’t take your car on a lengthy road trip without making sure it has enough gas first, right? Well, the same concept applies to makeup. If you want to ensure that your look stays put throughout the day (while still looking as perfect as when you first left your house), you’ll need to properly prep your skin.

If you don’t take the necessary steps before reaching into your makeup bag, you may end up with dry patches, dullness or uneven coverage.


What Should You Put on Your Face Before Applying Makeup?

Step One: Cleanse

Before you start prepping your skin for makeup, be sure to start with clean, dry skin. Using circular motions, gently rub your favorite cleanser into your skin to remove any impurities, dirt and oil.

Step Two: Exfoliate

Think back to the last time you exfoliated your body: How amazing did your skin feel afterward? Just like the skin on the rest of your body, your face also needs to be exfoliated to remove any dead skin cells that may be clogging your pores. Dealing with dry skin? Exfoliating can also help alleviate dry patches that can lead to an uneven complexion or blotchiness.

Be warned: If you have sensitive skin, certain exfoliating formulas may be a bit harsh for you. Try doing a patch test on a small section of your skin to ensure you don’t have a reaction.

We recommend exfoliating your face right after cleansing. After rinsing your face, gently massage the exfoliator formula of your choice into your skin with your fingertips using gentle, circular motions. Then, rinse your face with lukewarm water.

Step Three: Tone

Toner is an often-overlooked step in our everyday skin care routine, but it’s officially time to add it to your product lineup. Toner helps to calm and protect the skin while helping to prepare it for the most crucial step in your routine—moisturizing.

Not sure how to properly use a toner? Apply a small amount onto a cotton round and gently swipe the product all over your face and neck.

Step Four: Moisturize

Next up on your pre-makeup to-do list is moisturizing. Apply a generous amount of hydrating serum to your entire face while your skin is still a little damp from the toner. This will help your skin to better absorb the product. Then, follow up with your favorite moisturizer.

Searching for the perfect moisturizing product? Try our Hydrating Oil. This nourishing face oil, formulated with a lightweight blend of Mediterranean botanical extracts, delivers hydration and antioxidants to the skin while leaving you with glowing skin and a radiant-looking complexion.

Step Five: Prime

Cleansing, exfoliating, toning and moisturizing are important parts of your skin care routine—but when it comes to all-day makeup, applying primer may be the most essential step. Primer helps to create a smooth, even canvas on your skin and helps extend the longevity of your foundation, blush, bronzer and other face products.

When it comes to primer, there is no one-size-fits-all formula for every single skin type. If you want makeup that lasts from AM to PM, finding a primer formulated specifically for your skin type and concerns (and using it consistently) is a must.

Whether you’re going for a dewy or matte finish, choose a primer that will help you achieve your desired final look (we recommend using non-silicone-based primers). If you have skin that tends to get oily within a few hours, consider a mattifying primer that will help prevent your complexion from becoming greasy or shiny throughout the day. For the gals with dry skin out there, opt for a hydrating primer that helps you achieve a long-lasting, radiant finish.

Step Six: Prep Your Lips

Your face prep isn’t over quite yet—be sure to also show some love to your pout. Having dry lips can make your lipstick appear flaky or uneven, particularly if you opt for a classic matte or Liquid Lipstick formula. Before you apply your chosen shade, coat your lips with our Lip Primer. This colorless, lightweight primer hydrates, smooths and preps lips, creating the perfect canvas for any lip look.


What Can I Use to Set My Makeup?

If you’ve made it this far, you’re ready to get started on your all-day makeup look. Congrats! Once you’ve finished perfecting your complexion with face makeup, it’s time to lock your look in place. There are two ways to set your look: with a setting spray or a setting powder. If it’s a dewy look you’re after, mist your entire face with a few spritzes of our Dewy Set Setting Spray. This coconut-vanilla-scented setting spray seamlessly blends products together as it sets makeup with a dewy (never oily), radiant finish.

If it’s a matte look you’re after, set your makeup with a setting powder. Once you’ve applied all of your cream-based makeup products, set your entire face with our Loose Setting Powder. This lightweight, superfine powder formula easily perfects, brightens and sets makeup in place as it absorbs oil, minimizes shine and mattifies. You can also apply both setting spray and setting powder for extra staying power.


How Do I Keep My Makeup Looking Fresh All Day?

The good news? If you follow our steps and prep your face properly, you won’t need to reach into your makeup bag every few hours to keep your makeup in tip-top shape.

Still noticing dryness throughout the day? Apply a few more spritzes of our Dewy Set Setting Spray to give your complexion a quick midday refresh. If you’re still experiencing a bit of shine by midday, we recommend keeping our Loose Setting Powder in your purse for small touch-ups throughout the day.

Now that you know all about prepping (and setting!) your skin and face for makeup, you’re ready to put your brand-new routine to the test!

Looking to perfect your face makeup routine? Check out our entire lineup of face makeup products.