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The Exact Order to Apply Your Makeup In, According to a Makeup Artist

Should you apply your foundation first? Or your concealer? What about your eyebrows? Here's how the pros do it
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There are differing opinions on when what order you should apply your makeup in. We've seen videos of beauty bloggers who do concealer first and others who swear by doing their brows before everything else. But what exactly is the right order to doing your makeup? Is there a definitive order?

We reached out to expert makeup artist Lindsey Trop to find out. And it turns out that for her, there is — though she sometimes switches things up depending her clients. Keep on reading to see the order she recommends doing your makeup in — and why it makes sense to put your eyeshadow on before your foundation.

Image via Imaxtree

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Step 1: Skin prep
"Skin prep comes first! Make sure the skin is cleansed thoroughly with the proper product for your skin type," says Trop.

"For most of my clients, I use a cotton pad soaked in Bioderma before applying any products to ensure there is a clean surface to start with. Applying makeup to skin that has older makeup or debris on it will not only affect the longevity of the makeup, but may also create a different texture and final result than what you were hoping for," she continues. "From there, I apply moisturizer, serums, eye cream and lip balm, each of which I select depending on my client's skin type and texture. I let that all soak in while I move onto the eye makeup."

Image via Imaxtree

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Step 2: Eyes
Trop says she likes to start on the eyes first for two reasons: First, to let the skin prep products fully absorb, and also in case there's any eyeshadow fallout that can be cleaned up, without having to re-do foundation and concealer. "However, if my client is looking in the mirror throughout the appointment, I will apply makeup to the skin before applying the eye makeup as it can be uncomfortable for her to stare at what she perceives to be her dark under eye circles and other blemishes throughout her appointment, she adds. "After all, makeup is meant to uplift and empower those who wear it!"

"For the eyes, I start with an eye shadow primer on the lid, such as M.A.C. Paint Pot, to prevent the skin's natural oils from disrupting the wear of the makeup. Then I work with my client to select the right eye shadow color palette," says Trop.

Trop will switch up the application and placement depending on the client and their eye shape. "I may start with the crease color to act as a guide for how I want the eye shape to look, then I will move on to the color we selected for the outer corner, followed by the lid color," she says. "I then apply eyeliner, which I may or may not buff out with more shadow depending on how soft I want the look to be."

Image via Imaxtree

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Step 3: Now do I apply the foundation?
Yes, well, after you've used a primer or moisturizer, according to Trop. "I take a look at the skin to see if a primer is needed, and if so, where. I love Benefit The Porefessional Face Primer to conceal larger pores, particularly in the t-zone, and Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer for more oily skin, again, in the t-zone," says Trop. "However, I typically rely on moisturizers as opposed to hydrating primers if the skin feels dry or dehydrated."

She says she then applies foundation to the face and concealer where needed.

Image via Imaxtree

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Step 4: Cream or powder?
After applying foundation and concealer, Trop adds contour. Though she's careful to point out that order is key: If she used a cream or liquid foundation, she'll follow up with a cream contour followed by a cream blush, topped off by a translucent power. If she's using a powder formula, she'll go straight to a translucent powder followed by powder contour and blush.

"You don't want to layer creams or liquids on top of powders as it will create texture as opposed to a seamless surface, so I typically start with liquids and creams and end with powder," she explains.

Image via Imaxtree

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