If your daily makeup routine feels like it’s taking longer than it used to… it probably is. Over the last few years, there has been an explosion of new trends and products, and knowing when to apply what can be confusing. The good news is that when you mix up the order of application, you can save time, minimize mishaps and maximize results.
The widely accepted application order is foundation, eyes, cheeks and lips with the theory being that you create a blank canvas then add definition and color. This is a great sequence to follow for basic looks but if you plan on using many layers of product on one area, it may make sense to switch up the order.
Here are 3 popular trends and their time-saving, application order switcheroos:
Trend: Bold Eye or Impeccable Brows
The Switcheroo: Eyes Before Foundation
+ Prep and carry on. Smooth on moisturizer before applying your eye makeup. This will allow your skin to absorb the cream so foundation won’t thin out and limit the amount of coverage. But then, move swiftly along to do your eyes.
+ Frame first. If you plan to spend a bit of time on your brows, do them first after applying moisturizer. Many brow products work best on bare skin and applying first allows you to balance your eye makeup to suit your brow. Apply foundation around the brows with a small brush or sponge like the expert concealer brush to quickly sharpen the line without going back in with concealer.
+ Avoid re-dos. You may need to spend some time cleaning up fallout with intricate eye makeup, but there’s no need to waste time redoing your foundation or concealer. After you’ve applied your shadow, liner and mascara apply a dab of eye cream on a cotton swab or mini eraser sponge to remove any fallout and prep the under eye area for concealer. Work foundation over skin with a large side of your miracle diamond sponge then use a smaller side and point to blend concealer directly under the lash line (just below the eyeliner) and then extend the coverage to the outside edge of your brow to lift and perfect the skin.
Trend: Matte Lips
The Switcheroo: Lip Prep Before Foundation
+ Hydrate first. Matte lips only look good on smooth lips so prep your lips first: exfoliate and hydrate your lips with your lip smoothing brush and an emollient balm (like MAC Lip Conditioner). Work a dab of balm onto lips using the side or flat edge of the brush to gently remove rough skin and press on hydration—you’ll also see a natural plump from the gentle friction!
+ Save lips for-real for later. Let the lips absorb the balm while you apply your eye makeup and/or foundation. Remove any excess balm and apply a matte lip color (like Too Faced Lip Insurance Primer) onto the center of lips then blend out to the lip line with your lip brush. Use your lip fan brush to soften the outer edges or add a highlight over the cupid’s bow.
Trend: No-Makeup Makeup
The Switcheroo: Eye Makeup Last
+ Wait and see what you’re working with. When you want to a little coverage, color or definition without looking like you have on makeup, apply your eye makeup last. Once you even out your skin, groom your brows and add a little cheek dimension you may find that your eyes only need a sweep of powder and mascara. If you go straight to eyes after foundation, you’re more likely to have a heavy hand since your cheeks and lips aren’t finished.