Ditch the Makeup Primer & Do THIS instead! {Video}


If I told you that skin prep was the answer to all your makeup problems, would you listen?

Sonia! What is skin prep!? And why should I care!?

As the Skin Prep QUEEN, I can tell you skin prep is the ultimate complexion problem solver.

What Skin Prep Does

  • Helps plump up fine lines, wrinkles, and minimizes pores
  • Helps your foundation glide on the skin so you can do your makeup in less time and with less hassle
  • Keeps your foundation from looking patchy and uneven
  • Helps your foundation wear longer
  • Gives you skin of an angel's wing

This is the year we all go back to beauty basics. After the 2020 shit show, we need simplicity, the fundamentals, and to master the essentials to build on a good beauty ritual. We’re all about keeping your beauty routine simple, but celebrate the magic of getting ready. Who has time for 300 steps of baking, cut crease, and contouring and highlighting? You’re busy running your empire! Who has time for all of that!?!

So let me tell you a story… As a makeup artist and esthetician, when my clients or models would come to my Chicago studio for makeup for their big event, such as their wedding or photoshoot, I would do a facial on them before I applied their makeup.

What I loved about this process was how BEAUTIFUL the makeup went onto the skin and how long their makeup lasted without a lot of touch ups!  Not to mention how damn beautiful it looked on camera. It was a night and day difference, and the number one thing people said was how COMFORTABLE their skin felt all day—almost like they weren’t wearing makeup.

However, when I would travel to their location to do their makeup, doing a facial wasn’t always realistic with limited time, but I craved those results for all my clients. The reality is, you don’t always have time to do a facial every single day.  As the busy career folks we are, we can barely find our pants everyday, much less do facials every morning, so I created a little skin prep ritual to give yourself an express facial every day, so you can get the results of a facial without the time commitment. 

But Sonia, why can’t I just use my current skin care routine?

Well, there are times that you absolutely can use skin care products but the reality is, a lot of skin care products don’t always work that well under makeup. 

Here’s an example:

Have you ever done your makeup and you wonder why your makeup is pilling on the skin, or things are rolling off your face, or the skincare is either too light or too heavy? 

That is because not all skin care is suitable to wear under makeup. Finding the right textures can be tricky and you end up having to find products that play well together. Easier said than done.
But Sonia, what about just having clean skin and using primer?

Primer potentially does have its place in your beauty line up, but I have always treated primers differently than most. 

Not all primers are suitable because it can create a film on the skin and cause your foundation to slip and slide away, the complete opposite of what we traditionally think primers do!  The key is to prep the skin so that your foundation will meld with your skin and you get a buttery, beautiful complexion that you’ve always wanted. So who is skin prep good for? Since the dawn of time, hydrated skin is the secret weapon of a great makeup application. It always has been and always will be. 

The secret of a great complexion isn’t the foundation, it’s great skin. The better the skin the better the makeup. 

But where does skin prep kick ass? It’s fantastic for over 30 skin tones and for those of us over 40, it’s that “must have you can’t skip this step” part of your skin care ritual.

The Skin Prep Ritual

1. Exfoliation 

This is something you want to be doing 2-3x a week depending on your skin type. Most skin twice a week is good, but some skin types can go 3x a week just fine. 

Sexapeel is a gommage-type of exfoliator and it is designed to take off the surface dead skin but it doesn’t go that deep, making it a very gentle exfoliator for most all skin types.

You can use this in addition to an evening exfoliating routine. Use this 2x a week and before special events where you need to look your best

2. Hydration

The next step is a hydrating water or water serum. This is popular in Korean and Japanese skin care routines and it gets your skin ready to receive all the other skin prep you’re going to apply.  It's also great to use before a mask for those days you want to do a mask before a big event.

3. Serum

When it comes to serums be careful here. Some serums can build up and pile on the skin, especially those with Hyaluronic Acid. What you want to look for is Sodium Hyaluronate which works better in a skin prep situation. Water Elixir covers this but if you do have a serum you want to use, use it after Water Elixir. 

4. Facial Oil

Not all facial oils are great to use before makeup. And many times people tell you to put facial oil over your moisturizer instead of under it. But with skin prep, I have found in my 20 years of doing makeup, facial oil is better under your moisturizer than over it because over it could cause your foundation not to last as long. But we want the lubrication of a facial oil to give some bounce and suppleness to the skin.

Water Oil is a facial oil and serum in one. It’s super lightweight and has a nice dry down time so it will absorb into your skin without leaving behind a greasy feeling.

5. Water Balm

Oh the holy grail of moisturizers, known in our pro community of Unicorn Tears of the Gods, this is a water-based moisturizer and primer all in one.
Not only will it plump the skin and keep it supple, it will smooth out and blur your skin almost as if you’re wearing a real life photo filter!

Use a nickel size for every day and before bed, but one special day, apply a generous amount as if you’re wearing a mask and leave it on for 20 minutes. Once it has absorbed into the skin, massage the rest into your face and neck. This is like getting a hydrating mask and moisturizer all in one.

6. Eye Cream

There are a couple of ways that people get in trouble with eye cream. That is, they tend to use too rich of an eye cream before they do makeup. The key here is to find a light weight eye cream and use the heavier eye creams before bed. A good skin care ritual has a day and a night eye cream.

7. Lips

I love a good lip exfoliant, lip mask, and lip oil or lip balm. Do your lip exfoliant at night but in the morning, wear your lip mask or lip balm as you get ready then apply your favorite lip product. 

8. A Great Cleansing Routine
A great cleansing oil or cleansing balm is perfect to take off the sins of the day. Obviously I’m partial to JCO because it’s a great cleansing oil from Japan that doesn’t leave any residue and gets the skin clean in one pass. 

So, now that you know all about skin prep and how it’s key to getting a perfect complexion before makeup, Download the guide! 


  • Patricia

    I just ordered my 2nd order. I can honestly say my skin has never looked better. It’s lighter, brighter and plumper. So happy I found you and your products!

  • Lucy Serra

    Hi Sonia. I became a Pro member recently, but because of the Covid, I stopped doing hair and makeup for a little while and now I’m back to freelancing. A friend had spoken very highly of your products, and I decided to give them a go. I just saw your video on skin prep and ordered some things. Thank you for the video, it was very informative. 40+ years of hair and makeup.

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