While some women like to have heated debates over which Bachelorette contestants will make it to the final rose ceremony, others bring that same intensity to talking about makeup products. From which liquid liner creates the straightest line to the longest-lasting lipstick, there are endless topics beauty junkies everywhere simply agree to disagree on. One of the classic toss-ups? The correct order to apply your makeup. Hoping to get clarity on the subject, we chatted with Monika Deol, founder and CEO of Stellar, to get a step-by-step breakdown.
First, start with a clean face at the end of your skin-care routine. Deol likes to apply SPF right before her makeup, although some derms put it on first before their other skin-care products like moisturizer or serum. As long as it’s on your face before your makeup, you’re good. And if you like to use primer, now’s the time to apply it.
Before starting on any foundation, focus on your eyes. Start with eyeshadow, eyeliner (just on the top lids) and your first coat of mascara. “That way, if any falls, you can clean it up with a fan brush before continuing,” says Deol.
Next up is your complexion. Apply your favorite foundation first, then concealer (so you don’t over-do it) and a quick buff of setting powder. The key to smooth application? “Make sure you allow each product to dry before moving to the next step,” explains Deol. She also recommends using complexion products from the same brand. They’ll work in synergy, leading to the best result.
Once your foundation is in place, sculpt your face with a contouring palette or bronzer and add highlighter anywhere you want a little extra glow, such as the tops of the cheekbones and around your eyes.
On cheeks, blush should always come last—that way you can judge how much to apply. It also helps blend the whole cheek look together, says Deol. She advises to be careful about mixing product textures, especially when it comes to foundation and blush pairings. “Putting powder on top of cream may lead to a blotchy appearance,” she says. So if you’re using a creamy foundation, use a cream blush, too. (That’s why we love this smooth cream blush from the Women’s Health boutique!)
Once your face and cheeks are set, go back to your eyes and apply eyeliner in the waterlines or under eyes if you’re using it, followed by a second coat mascara. Then, define your arches with your favorite brow product to add definition.
Sweep a small amount of finishing powder or setting spray all over to set everything in place and lock in your look. Voila! You’re ready to conquer the day.