The Right Way to Prime Your Face for Makeup by

Lots of women think that the key to a flawless looking complexion lies in layering on the foundation, concealer, and other cosmetics. But any makeup artist will tell you that it truly starts with the right skincare regimen and a little thing called primer. Genetics are largely responsible for our skin type, which means you can’t always guard yourself against breakouts, dryness, and other common skincare woes. But what you can control is that your makeup goes on smoothly and therefore looks as natural as possible.

Skincare is truly the first step in applying makeup. It’s the way to ensure your skin looks even, smooth, and as clear as can be before applying any products. So, for this latest installment of our Beauty Beginners series, we partnered with Honest Beauty to try out a few items from their skincare collection (which is formulated using safe and effective ingredients) and show you the right way to prime your face. If you follow @laurenconrad_com on Instagram, you already know how much we love Honest Beauty’s makeup. But this was the first time we got to use their entire range of skincare products, and now we’re hooked! (After you read our tips below, scroll to the bottom to hear how you can try some of Honest Beauty’s skincare products for free! Plus $5.95 shipping). But first, without further ado, here is how to prime your face for makeup…

Why skincare is truly the first step in applying makeup

1. Cleanse

Learning how to properly wash your face is arguably the most important step of skincare. Before you apply any other products or makeup, you want to make sure that your pores are free from excess oil, dirt, and debris. While you can count on concealer to cover up a pesky blemish here and there, there’s no real substitution for a clear complexion. So consider cleansing the first step in your makeup routine.

Lately we’ve been loving Honest Beauty’s Refreshingly Clean Powder Cleanser. This is the first powder cleanser we’d ever tried, and we’re completely hooked. Especially for all our oily skinned gals out there, we can’t recommend this cleanser enough. The maize, oat, and rice powder in this cleanser help to absorb excess oil without stripping the skin, while chamomile, calendula, and aloe calm and soothe. If you have less oily skin or prefer the foamy feel of a gel cleanser, Honest Beauty’s Refreshingly Clean Gel Cleanser does a great job at removing dirt and makeup without any harsh ingredients.

2. Exfoliate

Any aesthetician will tell you that exfoliating is just as important to your skin’s overall health and appearance as cleansing is. It’s a good idea to include a more powerful exfoliant in your weekly skincare regimen, and a gentle one on a daily basis. If your skin gets dry and flaky during the winter, exfoliating just before you apply makeup will ensure that your makeup goes on smoothly and doesn’t exacerbate the problem. And if you have oily skin, exfoliating will make sure that dead skin cells and excess oil don’t stay trapped in your pores under layers of makeup. For all skin types, exfoliating will also allow your skin to better absorb whatever other products you are using. To save yourself an extra step, Honest Beauty’s Refreshingly Clean Powder Cleanser also gently exfoliates thanks to aspen bark, which is a botanically-derived extract which acts as a preservative (meaning it helps inhibit bacteria growth), that also helps smooth skin and refine the appearance of pores.

How to properly prime your face for makeup

3. Apply Facial Mist

Facial mists are one of those products that we can’t live without. In the summer months they feel cool and refreshing, and in the winter they help hydrate dry skin. For a long time we were only using facial mist post-makeup application as a way to set powder or refresh makeup throughout the day. But Honest Beauty’s Elevated Hydration Mist (which contains chamomile, calendula, and aloe vera extracts) is actually ideal to use pre-makeup as well. To help prime your face for foundation, spritz on some facial mist to lock in moisture and leave your skin feeling soft.

4. Moisturize

Even if you use a tinted moisturizer or liquid foundation, you will first want to hydrate your face with moisturizer. This will ensure that your face is dewy and nourished—which makes it much easier to evenly blend makeup into your skin. Depending on your skin type, you may want to try Honest Beauty’s Even Brighter Everyday Moisturizer, Younger Face Deep Hydration Cream, or Dependably Clear Oil Free Moisturizer. All three of these products have additional benefits such as improving the appearance of dark spots, replenishing nutrients, and balancing oily skin. If your foundation or tinted moisturizer doesn’t already contain SPF, you can also mix in a little sunscreen during this step.

5. Primer

If we’re being honest here, primer is one of those products we used to skip. But, when you’re applying makeup yourself (and wearing it all day long), you will definitely notice the difference between using primer and going without it. Primers sit on the surface of the skin and create a barrier between skin and makeup. Honest Beauty’s Everything Primer helps keep skin looking smooth, pores looking smaller, and delivers a subtle golden glow. It’s a must during the summer months especially, as it will keep you from sweating off your makeup.

How to prime your face like a makeup artist by

There you have it! You just primed your face like a makeup artist would, and can now move on to your favorite foundation. It might seem like a lot of steps, but keep in mind that all five should take no more than two minutes total.

If you want to try the Honest Beauty products we reviewed in this post, you can actually try some of them for free (plus $5.95 shipping) through their trial program. Just click on your skin type (dry, balanced, or oily) and you’ll receive a chic makeup pouch filled with three deluxe trial sized products suited for your skin. Pretty sweet!

Are you going to try Honest Beauty’s skincare line?

Let us know how you like it in the comments below.

XO Team LC

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Photos: Jessi Burrone Photography for