A Complete Guide To Prepping Your Skin For Makeup

The way you prep your skin for makeup is so important – you want the best possible canvas for your art work! But seriously, the steps leading up to your foundation can make all the difference. I really notice the difference in the finish of my makeup when I take the extra few minutes to prep my skin.

A good example for me is MAC Studio Fix Fluid foundation. Applied straight onto my bare, dry skin, it clings to any drier patches and just doesn’t look good. But when I prep my skin by using a rich moisturiser and an illuminating primer then the Studio Fix Fluid, it gives the most flawless, hydrated base I could need!

So onto the steps. There are 4 main parts to my skincare before makeup – cleanse, exfoliate, apply serums/moisturisers and then a primer.


1. Cleanse Your Skin

Starting by cleansing the skin means you start with a fresh, clean base! My favourite way to cleanse my skin is using a cleansing balm – they seem to work with pretty much all skin types and the huge bonus is that you can remove with a face cloth, which helps to shed any dry skin that could cling to your foundation. I have a full, in depth review of this Clinique Cleanser – it is one of my all-time favourites.

2. Exfoliate.

This is a key step for everyone, but especially those with dry skin. Exfoliating your skin will remove dead or dry skin cells, meaning your will be applying makeup onto a smoother, fresh base. I always used to stick to classic bead-style exfoliants like this Body Shop Seaweed Pore Cleansing Exfoliator, which is an amazing one for oilier/combination skin types. Recently though, I have found a love for liquid exfoliants, like the Pixi Glow Tonic (review here). These are gentle, daily use products to get your skin in the best possible condition. I have a full guide to acid skincare up on my blog too.

3. Apply Serums & Moisturisers (with SPF)

This is my favourite part, I feel like it makes all the difference! A serum works deeper into the skin, so you can pick one suited to your skin type for the best results. For dehydrated skins, I am obsessed with the Hyaluronic Acid serum from The Ordinary (full review here) as it keeps my skin feeling hydrated all day long! For moisturiser, the Skin Defence from The Body Shop is amazing for all skin types whilst having a great sun protection factor. I also chatted about my love for the Pixi Glow Mist here as an added skincare extra.

4. Primers.

I guess this step counts as makeup really. I love using a primer – usually an illuminating one as this counteracts my dry skin! Primers can be smoothing, hydrating, pore-minimizing or simply to extend the longevity of your makeup. I have a blog post all about my favourite primers with full reviews. I also love the Nivea Post Shave Balm which I chatted about here as it seems to make my foundation last for sooo much longer!

Then simply go ahead with your makeup! I feel like taking the time to prepare your face according to your skin type can make all the difference with your foundation – it helps you get the most from the makeup you have!



  1. April 19, 2017 / 11:43 pm

    I just bought my first serum today, I can’t wait to use it and add it to my makeup routine! I feel like it’s going to make all the difference on my skin xxx

    Melina | http://www.ivefoundwaldo.com

    • marblebeauty
      April 21, 2017 / 5:40 pm

      Aw let me know how you get on!! I love any hyaluronic based serums! Xxx

  2. April 21, 2017 / 1:27 am

    I totally agree prepping your skin before applying make up makes ALL the difference! I just discovered how well primer works before applying any face make up…. I’m so new to it so now I’m on the prowl to try new ones! It still blows my mind that after shave is one that people LOVE….Im tempted to try it!

    xo, JJ

    • marblebeauty
      April 21, 2017 / 5:37 pm

      When I was about 15 I used to apply foundation onto bare, unmoisturised skin which makes me cringe now lol! Ooh have fun trying out some different ones – if you want long lasting makeup I’d defo try the Nivea aftershave balm! Xx

      • April 21, 2017 / 7:16 pm

        hahah I used to do the same exact thing….I wish I knew then what I know now 🙂

  3. April 21, 2017 / 9:05 am

    I’ve heard a lot about using the post-shave balm as a primer – one of my friends does it and swears by it…I may have to give it a go! xx

    • marblebeauty
      April 21, 2017 / 5:35 pm

      I use it daily really, it prolongs the wear of my makeup so much! I do know a couple of people who found it clogged their skin a bit but I’ve been using it such a long time and had no problems! 😊 xxx

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