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How To Layer Skincare Before Makeup (Or In Your Case, Skin Prep!)

One of the biggest questions I get asked is 'Sonia, what order do I apply my skincare before makeup?' or 'Before foundation, what should we apply?' Doing the proper skin care routine steps can really make a difference!

Today, I am sharing a quick video on the face makeup routine, focusing on skin care layering with you. Join me as I walk you through the step-by-step process of how to layer skincare before applying makeup.

Step-by-step skincare before makeup for glowing skin:

  1. Exfoliate
  2. Exfoliate Lips
  3. Lip Mask/Serum
  4. Serums/Essences
  5. Facial Oils
  6. Eye Cream
  7. Moisturizer/Primer
  8. Water Balm Under Eyes
  9. Sunscreen
  10. Foundation
  11. Wash Face With Cleansing Oil At The End Of The Day

Let me share with you the correct order to apply skincare and some tips for a flawless makeup look and a glow that lasts for hours. Learn how to do a good makeup with these easy-to-follow skin prep steps.

1. Exfoliate

Your foundation wears nicely on freshly exfoliated skin. Exfoliation is the first step in your skin care regimen order. In prepping skin for makeup, it's not crucial you get a deep exfoliation, save that for your nighttime skincare routine. Sexapeel is great for removing excess oil and those surface crusties shedding dead skin cells off and boosting collagen production—the best exfoliator before makeup. 

2. Exfoliate Lips

Exfoliate your lips so that your lip balm can work its magic better. Exfoliate lips 2-3x a week. 

3. Lip Mask/Lip Balm

After your lips are nice and smooth, shower them with love with a lip mask, lip gloss or lip balm before you add the rest of your skin prep. 

4. Serums/Essences

Essences and serums live on the skin after exfoliation. They play a crucial role for helping the rest of your products penetrate the skin better. Water Elixir is a ceramide serum and moisturizer in one. It reduces redness for those with sensitive skin, plumps up the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and helps rebuild your skin barrier while you wear makeup. #winwin

Water Elixir soothes and calms redness caused by skin purging or when your skin reacts to new acne products, such as a new moisturizer causing breakouts or redness. This reaction might lead to a temporary skin purge due to certain ingredients designed for acne-prone skin.

5. Facial Oils

Facial oils have always been a staple in my makeup kit. Facial oils help give a beautiful softness and glow to the skin and keep skin radiant and smooth. Water Oil was made to be a facial oil under makeup because its light and has a quick dry down time. Add 1-3 pumps of Water Oil to the hands and press into your face to give your skin a natural glow. #likebutter

6. Eye Cream

After you’ve applied your facial oil before makeup, apply a lightweight eye cream. Tap into the skin and gently press in. Eye creams will help your concealer lay on the skin much nicer and help it last longer on the skin. Don’t use a heavy eye cream as it can cause your mascara to smudge.

7. Moisturizer & Primer 

Water Balm is the best pre-makeup moisturizer, serum, and makeup primer all in one. No need for tinted moisturizer or an extra primer! It's perfect for hydrating dry skin and protecting delicate skin. If you were on a desert island, Water Balm, with its hydrating ingredients, would be your holy grail for your dehydrated skin and maintaining your skin barrier. Here's how to apply makeup primer properly with Water Balm: tap a nickel-sized amount onto your slightly damp skin and pat it all over.

8. For Over 40 Skin Tones

Apply Water Balm on top of your concealer using your finger or concealer brush to plump up any under eye crepey-ness and fine lines. Use it on the top of the lips or anywhere you want to plump up fine lines. For added benefit, apply generously (like a facial mask) and wear for 20-30 minutes and then massage the leftover Water Balm into the skin. You're left with soft, supple, radiant skin – the best moisturizer for a makeup base!

9. Sunscreen

After you’ve applied all your skin prep, just make sure to follow the correct order of morning skincare. Now, it’s time for sunscreen. Sun protection is non-negotiable, just like moisturizing before makeup, in your A.M. skincare routine order to prevent skin damage, including the risk of skin cancer.

Get into the habit of wearing at least an SPF 30, or SPF 50 for those of you who are serious about sunscreen. Choose oil-free sunscreens because they are pore-friendly, non-comedogenic, and won't block your pores, especially if you have oily or combination skin. It’s the best anti-aging product you can buy and a must for every skin type. (You can skip this step if it’s dark out or you’re going out at night!)

10. Foundation

Now that you have your skin prep and sunscreen on, it's time to apply your foundation and concealer to cover those dark spots using a makeup brush. Remember to choose a shade that matches your skin tone—avoid using a lighter shade. To prevent your eyes from looking smaller, don't apply concealer up to your lash line. Follow your makeup steps in order as usual. For an added touch of glam, check out some useful tips on how to apply makeup properly to enhance your features.

11. Wash Your Face Before Bed

At the end of the day, wash your face with Japanese Cleansing Oil. A facial cleansing oil is a great way to get off makeup and sunscreen with ease without any residue left behind.  It works well for most skin types, including normal, dry, combination, and oily skin. Apply the Japanese Cleansing Oil to your dry face, spreading it to remove makeup, dirt, and sunscreen from all areas. You can also use a cotton pad to remove eye makeup. And for your bedtime routine, find out how to apply night cream properly, the right way!

For a quick daytime makeup look, you can switch to the seven-skin method, applying seven layers of skincare before your makeup application. Here is the order of the skincare routine to follow: exfoliate, apply serum or essences, use facial oils, apply eye cream, moisturize, apply sunscreen, and finally, cleanse before going to bed.

Remember, the order of makeup application always starts with good skin prep, especially using the best moisturizers to wear under makeup, to achieve flawless makeup with glowing skin.

Get the full Skin Prep System: Healthy Glow


Video Transcription

Are you curious about how to layer your skincare before putting makeup on? Well, today on the Glossible makeup blog, I am going to show you the step-by-step process of how to layer your skincare before applying makeup so that you can achieve professional complexion results each and every time. Let's dive in.

For the best no-BS beauty advice and skin care videos, subscribe to my channel and hit the bell to be notified when I post a new video every Tuesday.

I'm Sonia Roselli, I'm a licensed aesthetician and makeup artist veteran of the beauty industry for 30 years and I help you feel gorgeous and confident but still look like yourself. 

Okay, so when it comes to getting the most gorgeous complexion. The top secret of pro makeup artists is skin prep and I am the skin prep queen. So today I'm going to give you the step-by-step process of what we do when layering skin care. Learn how to put on makeup properly by always starting with good skin prep to achieve glowing skin.

Step one, exfoliation. 

So the first step in Skin Prep is exfoliation and we are going to start with Sexapeel. 

This is an instant exfoliating spray, we make this in Korea and this is a very gentle exfoliation great for all skin types. But the reason that we created Sexapeel was because we wanted something gentle. 

I'm going to use about five pumps in my hand, that we could use before makeup now Sexapeel doesn't go very deep, so it makes it the perfect Skin Prep product before makeup. 

So I pumped about five pumps in my hand and I'm working in the center of my face, working downward and out. Now once you're done with your exfoliation you can remove with a cleansing water and some pads, or you can use a washcloth. 

Another tip to exfoliation for Skin Prep is to do Sexapeel before you get into the shower. 

Step two, it's time to exfoliate your lips.

And I like to use a lip exfoliant, you can use anything there's a ton of great products on the market. And I just apply and exfoliate.

Step three, lip mask or a lip balm.

So, this time I'm going to add a lip mask to my lips, or if you have a lip balm, you can use that as well. I like to do this now because while I'm doing the rest of my skin prep my lips have a chance to get nice and hydrated plump and looking gorgeous. 

Step four, essence or a serum.

And for this, we're going to use Water Elixir. Water Elixir is an essence, this is made in Japan, and, you know, in Japan, they're all known for their essences. 

This is a serum and a moisturizer, all in one. The great thing about Water Elixir is it really does plump up the skin helps pump up those fine lines and wrinkles. It also helps get rid of any redness. 

So you add three or four or five pumps, whatever you feel like you need massage it into the skin and press. 

Step five, facial oil.

Now a lot of times people will say but, “Sonia, I thought a facial oil had to go on top of a moisturizer?” and a lot of times that might be the case, especially if it's something that you're wearing to bed. But for makeup, I prefer a facial oil live underneath a moisturizer, because its facial oils are going to cause makeup to not last as long. So this is why that I like a facial oil underneath a moisturizer. 

And for this, I'm going to use our Water Oil. This is a serum and an oil, all in one. And the beauty of this is it has a quick dry downtime. It doesn't leave anything on the skin, the serum and everything helps, push this oil back into the skin. 

I'm going to use three pumps because I'm a dry T. Rex, so I put three pumps in my hands but a lot of you may only need one pump. I massage it into my hands and then I press into the skin like buttah. 

Step six, eye cream.

Now I like to use a very lightweight eye cream and I like to do eye cream before I put on the moisturizer which I'm going to show you in a minute, so it's best to use a very lightweight eye cream. And so you just want to dab and tap around the eyes. And the other reason that you want to use a lightweight eye cream is you don't want anything too heavy because it's going to make your concealer run, or even worse your mascara run. I don't know about you, but I don't like panda eyes. I also like to apply eye cream on top of the lids.

Step seven, moisturizer. 

Now it's time for moisturizer. And when it comes to wearing skincare underneath makeup. I like something very light. How about you? Do you moisturize before primer? I don't like anything too heavy most of the time. So this is why that we like Water Balm. 

Now Water Balm is your moisturizer and a day cream and a night cream and a serum and a makeup primer all in one. It's your holy grail if you are stranded on a desert island, this is actually really fantastic. This is the best moisturiser for under makeup; it also gives your face a smoothing filter, almost like you have an Instagram filter in real life.

So, I like to take about a nickel size, and I like to apply it to my hands. Press it into my hands like so, and then tap open the water beads, and then just tap all over the skin. And then massage it in. 

I have a great tip for those of us over 50 here with Water Balm stick around. 

The other thing that I love about water balm is I like to apply it on top of my eye cream. This is why that I've done eye cream first, because I'm going to take a little bit of Water Balm and I'm going to tap it right here underneath my eye, where I get super crepey. 

Because Water Balm has that smoothing filter to it, it's really gonna soften and smooth out some of those fine lines and wrinkles that I have underneath my eyes. I'm super crepey under my eyes. So I just tap a little Water Balm right underneath here. And on days like today where it's super dry here in Austin, I like to add a little bit more almost like a mask and then I kind of let that sit in and kind of marinate. 

Next, I like to put water balm on the top of my eyelids, especially if you're wearing a cream shadow. This is a fantastic tip for those of us over 50. 

The other place that I like to add Water Balm is right on the top of my lips where we start to get fine lines and wrinkles. Water Balm does an exceptional job in kind of filling in those fine lines and wrinkles and plumping them up making them look really soft and smooth. 

Choose basic makeup for over 50; opt for products that enhance natural beauty and provide a subtle, age-appropriate glow.

Step eight, sunscreen.

Always make sure if you're going outside where there sun, make sure that you were at least an SPF of 30, and for those of us who hate sun damage SPF of 50.  Don't forget your ears. 

So now that you have your skin prep done and sunscreen applied, it's time to continue with the rest of your makeup. Apply your makeup as usual. By following these makeup tips for skin prep, you'll notice a significant difference in the vibrancy and longevity of your eyeshadow before and after application. Go about your day, and at the end of the day, wash your face before bed using Japanese Cleansing Oil. It's the best cleanser before makeup and a game-changer for a double cleanse to remove makeup.

I'm going to link a description here in the video where you can watch the tutorial on how to take your makeup off with ease. 

So, as you learn how to layer skincare before putting on makeup, you can find all your skin prep essentials at Shopping online here is easy, and you have different payment services to choose from when you check out. Also, you can change settings on the site, like allowing some optional cookies. This helps make your shopping more personal. The site will remember what you like, making your shopping experience more fun and easy next time!

If you found this video helpful, give it a thumbs up; we love that! And if you think this video would be helpful for someone you know, give it a share. We would truly appreciate it. Be sure to check out my other skincare and makeup blogs at for more tips and tutorials.

And if you would like to join our members-only community, visit our Glossible Facebook Group, where 20k of the best skin care bloggers, other beauty professionals and beauty lovers just like you cuss and discuss all things beauty. You can also find me on clubhouse at Sonia Roselli @glossible.

So I will see you next week, everybody. Have a great one.  

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