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How to Fake Dewy Skin When Yours Is Dry AF

A step-by-step guide to look totally fresh-faced, no matter how dry your complexion may be.
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Whether your skin suffers from seasonal dryness (oh hi, winter), or just seems to be perpetually parched, a dry complexion can be problematic when it comes to makeup application... especially if your goal is to create a fresh, dewy, oh-so glowy effect. So we asked celebrity makeup artist Andrew Sotomayor to walk us through a step-by-step tutorial on combatting that dryness to make your skin look healthy, radiant and anything but dry. Check out these top tips and makeup picks, perfect for any dry-skinned gal.

Image via Imaxtree

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Moisturize First
We're mildly tempted to insert an obligatory 'duh,' here, but we'll refrain. It goes without saying, but no matter how moisturizing the makeup is that you're using (more on that in a minute) starting with this important skin-care step will ensure that your canvas -- i.e. your complexion -- ends up looking as fresh as possible.

Sotomayor suggests using a moisturizer that contains heavy-hitting hydrators like jojoba oil, hyaluronic acid or glycerin. We like the new Cetaphil Daily Hydrating Lotion, $12.49, which contains hyaluronic acid, yet doesn't feel heavy or greasy. Slather it on, then reach for your makeup, stat. "Applying makeup immediately afterwards ensures that it will go on the smoothest," he says.

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Prep & Prime
Primers are a makeup must for their ability to boost the staying power and longevity of any products you apply on top, and they can also be yet another way to get an extra boost of moisture into your skin: "When your skin is dry, you need to up the ante by making sure that every product you use is hydrating and combatting that dryness," explains Sotomayor. Point being, seek out a primer that specifically says it's moisturizing.

Sotomayor uses La Mer The Perfecting Treatment, $240, which has the added benefit of a slightly pearlescent finish, a nice option when you're trying to create radiant skin, he adds. The one caveat: If you're trying to also conceal fine lines or wrinkles, opt for a hydrating formula without any added luminescence, since it may accentuate what you're trying to hide. In that case, a plain moisturizing formula, like e.l.f Hydrating Face Primer, $6, is perfect. Either way, avoid anything that's mattifying or shine-stopping (and a lot of primers are), as that's the last thing you want for your dry complexion.

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Ace Your Base...
"Most foundations are made for women with normal skin and are geared more towards being long-wearing than moisturizing," explains Sotomayor. First and foremost, stick with liquid or cream formulas and pass on powders. Then, look for ones labeled as moisturizing or hydrating (steer clear of those made for oily or combination skin, as they'll have the opposite effect, he cautions).

While the level of coverage doesn't necessarily make a difference, the finish does; since dry skin already looks matte, choose products that have a luminous, rather than matte, finish, advises Sotomayor. Two that fit the bill: The new Merle Norman Timeless Illuminating Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 30, $28 and Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation, $44.

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...And Apply It With a Brush
Picking the right foundation is sups important, but how you apply it can also make a difference if you're dealing with dry skin. The best tool for the job? A synthetic foundation brush, like the Makeup Revolution Ultra Metals Contour Foundation Brush, $14.99. "When you apply foundation with your fingertips, they end up absorbing some of the moisture. You want all of that moisture going into your face, not into your hand," explains Sotomayor.

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