How To Prep Your Skin For Make-Up That Lasts
How To Prep Your Skin For Make-Up That Lasts

How To Prep Your Skin For Make-Up That Lasts

Adeola Gboyega knows exactly how to create natural, glow-y make-up that lasts – even in the height of winter. So who better to share their tips? In this instalment of her monthly column, she reveals ten key steps to properly prep your skin and ensure your make-up looks its best for as long as possible.

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Start The Night Before

“Your ‘night before’ skincare routine can be just as important as what you use before applying make-up in the morning. Before you go to bed, focus on products that exfoliate, hydrate and brighten your skin. If you have any heavier products in your routine, use them in the evening and save your lighter formulas for the next morning. A great oil can work wonders in your evening routine, and it means you can avoid using one just before make-up, while still reaping all the benefits the night before.”


Always Cleanse In The Morning

“Always cleanse your skin before applying make-up. You want a smooth, blank canvas to work with; otherwise it’s like a kitchen surface that’s not been cleaned. If you don’t cleanse, you’re applying make-up on top of existing dirt and oil, which is what leads to breakouts. Cleansing will also allow your products to absorb better, giving you more even, flawless results. Find the right cleanser for your skin type and ensure it never leaves you feeling dry or tight – my favourites are M·A·C’s Hyper Real Cleansing Oil, Sable Labs’ Qasil Cleanser, Shani Darden’s Cleansing Serum and Dermalogica’s Oil-To-Foam Cleanser. All four suit most skin types and are designed to seal in hydration for the long term.”


Don’t Underestimate Exfoliation

“Once you’ve cleansed, exfoliation will help remove any dead skin cells that can cause texture and uneven bumps. You only need to exfoliate once or twice a week, but you’ll find your make-up sits better on your skin afterwards and is less likely to streak or flake off. Another benefit of exfoliation is the glow – this will breathe through any make-up you apply on top. Once you’ve exfoliated, flood your skin with moisture. I love using hydrating serums like Eve Lom’s and Garnier’s Active Repair – they both plump the skin and give it a healthy, supple texture. It goes without saying that a sheer but nourishing moisturiser should come next. Find one that suits your individual skin type – be it dry, sensitive or breakout-prone – for the best results and maximum absorption.”


Keep Your Complexion Quenched

“Reach for a hydrating moisturiser before you apply any make-up. This will add a plumpness to your skin and prep it for a flawless application that will extend your make-up’s staying power. For specific skin concerns like shine or texture irregularities, integrating a primer into your routine works wonders. It can help to even out skin texture and ensures a uniform base, while minimising excess shine throughout the day. Moreover, your choice of make-up formulas matters immensely. Opt for long-wearing formulas, especially for foundation and eye make-up. These formulations provide longevity of your makeup, ensuring it remains intact for hours on end.”


Try A Sheet Mask

“If you’re looking for an instant radiant glow, try a hydrating or brightening sheet mask. Allow it to sit your skin for at least 10 minutes. Sheet masks are powerhouses infused with potent serums that plump and invigorate the skin, or you can go for a face mask packed with hydrating or brightening ingredients to instantly illuminate your complexion. And here's a little secret weapon: the magic of facial massage. Using gentle yet firm motions with your hands and a touch of facial oil for slip, upward strokes should provide an instant lift. This technique boosts circulation, giving your skin immediate revitalisation that's perfect for a night out.”


Minimise Oiliness & Shine

“If you suffer with oily skin or are prone to shine, always use an oil-free moisturiser. It will give you the hydration you need, but prevent anything else on top from sliding around or creasing. This may be enough without using a primer but, if you feel you need to, I recommend MILK’s Pore Eclipse Mattifying Primer to create a smooth base and further control shine. If you’re the opposite and suffer with severe dryness, focus on layering up on hydration, before sealing everything in with an emollient-rich moisturiser.”


Remember Your Lips

“Lips are an area that are so often neglected, but your lip products will sit so much better if you pay them proper attention. Apply a thick balm as part of your skincare routine to keep them feeling nourished and protected. Do this well in advance of any lipstick application so the formula has time to sink in and smooth out any texture. You want the formula to have fully absorbed before you apply any colour, so the two don’t intermingle and break down.”


Choose A Primer Wisely

“Primers are mainly designed to create a smooth canvas and soak up oiliness, but not all are created equal. You need to choose one that works for you – for instance, if you’re concerned about your pores, find formulas that target this, or if redness is your bugbear, look for those that cancel out discolouration. There are so many on the market these days, but it’s worth taking the time to shop around. It’s also worth noting that a primer isn’t essential for skin prep. Just taking the time to cleanse and exfoliate can be enough, without the need for excess layers.”


Keep Your Glow Going

“We’ve discussed primers, but to really maintain your glow, I recommend mixing a liquid illuminator in with your foundation to infuse a natural radiance into your make-up while preserving its coverage. Opt for foundations with a dewy finish or ones labelled ‘radiant’ or ‘luminous’ as they offer a glow-y effect without sacrificing coverage. Also look for a base that is a skincare hybrid, i.e. skincare-infused makeup to help give you a glow. Finally, you can finish with a finely milled, luminous setting powder applied strategically on the high points of your face to set the make-up while allowing that inner glow to beam through effortlessly.”


Avoid Pilling

“A lot of people worry about pilling – something that happens when different skincare formulas are layered on top of one another and they don’t agree with each other, creating little lumps that come away from the skin. The main culprit is silicone. If you’re using multiple skincare products with a high silicone content, they will ball together when met with any sort of movement – like a foundation brush. If you want to work out how much silicone is in your chosen product, check the ingredients list and see how close to the top silicone appears. Look out for ingredients that end in ‘-cone’ or ‘-siloxane’. Or simply stick to products that are labelled silicone-free.”


Layer Up Lightly

“When you do come to applying your foundation, build it up in thin, light layers. This way you’ll get gradual coverage that’s never too thick or heavy on the skin. Taking this approach will also reduce the likelihood of your make-up looking cakey or creasing, allowing your skin to breathe and every layer to last a bit longer.”


Use The Right Tools

“To ensure your make-up looks fresh and lasts for longer, it’s important to use the right tools. I find clean buffing brushes are best – your hands end up disturbing things you’ve already applied and can add oiliness back into your skin. Brushes are best for achieving a smooth and long-lasting finish. Always use them in a dabbing motion – never sweep, as this can cause pilling. I recommend using cold, cryo tools too. These can help to tighten your pores, reduce puffiness and boost your skin’s radiance. Additionally, microcurrent tools are high on my list. These devices use low-level electrical currents to stimulate facial muscles, aiding in toning and firming for a more lifted appearance. And then there's my personal favourite – LED masks! LED light stimulates collagen production. With consistent use, a mask can diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and uneven skin texture, promoting a glowing, uniform complexion. These at-home tools allow you to bring the benefits of professional treatments to your home, delivering remarkable results in the comfort of your own routine.”


Finally, Set Everything Properly

“You’ve worked hard on the prep and have applied your make-up carefully. Now I recommend a good setting spray. They aren’t always foolproof – you still need decent skin prep – but the right formula can prevent make-up from fading. The best way to use one is in combination with a lightweight powder. You don’t have to use heaps of the latter, just dust a little on the areas prone to shine – your nose and forehead, perhaps your chin too. There are plenty to choose from, but I love Charlotte Tilbury’s and, for a powder, you can’t beat the NARS Matte Advanced formula or SAIE’s Radiant Loose Setting Powder – you can barely feel them on the skin and neither interfere with any look you’ve created.”

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