How To | Skin Prep 101

We are born with skin that generally stays the same (until hormonal changes erupt), and recently there have been trends in having a flawless, fault-less face which, I hate to say, is not always the case. Especially in photos - a lot of them are retouched and don't really translate to what it looks like in real life.

I find that people are focused on layering heavy primers and concealers in order to hide their imperfections. What I really feel is important is the skin care side of makeup, whether it is on yourself or on others.

Once the skin is thoroughly hydrated, the foundation tends to last longer and actually looks like what the packaging is claiming it to be (i.e. satin, matte, dewy finish). We came to the idea of hydrating primers - I'm sorry, these just don't cut it. Thicker moisturisers too - big nope.

I believe a proper skin prep should be thin layers of products that target major concerns. Whether it is enlarged pores, oily t-zone, flaky skin, these can be helped with the right skin care products. I'm not saying, ditch your foundation primer, I merely want to emphasise how we can nourish our skin whilst wearing makeup. After all, we probably wear makeup for the majority of the day.


Pore minimising, tightening, moisturising. Toners have come a long way since their inception in the beauty world. Previously used as a pH balancing product after cleansing, they now perform a magnitude of functions. A great use for them is evening out the skin's surface, adding that extra radiance, and even reducing that stubborn redness. A quick swipe of toner/lotion can pre-hydrate your skin before serums and moisturisers. 


Hydrating, radiance, acne targeting you name it. Serums are especially important when we are dehydrated. A loss of moisture in the deepest layers of the skin (usually a feeling of tightness all the time) can really change how your foundation sits. Almost always, patches will form due to the skin wanting to drink in anything and the only thing it has access to is your foundation. Dehydration can easily be fixed with serums because theycan travel deep into your layers of skin and plump it out. Keep to serums that are brightening, hydrating, radiance boosting etc. for the day and keep using your actives at night.


When you have this many products on your face, you can stick to a lightweight moisturiser. It's literally the top coat to all your great skincare products, so make sure you seal everything in. I tend to stick to gel-like textures for oily/combo skin or whipped cream textures for dryer skin types.

It may look like a skin routine but I'm telling you, if you incorporate these steps in your makeup application, watch how the foundation you used to hate changes. I firmly believe you can wear any foundation as long as the skin is thoroughly prepared. I find this method ensures each application has a healthy foundation of skincare. Through the day, all the skin drinks is the yummy skincare you provided it with.


Some examples of skin preps I have found worked wonders:

Oily: lots of texture and redness

  • Mario Badescu Seaweed Cleansing Lotion (amazing for redness)
  • Sunday Riley Martian Lotion
  • Bare Minerals True Oasis

Combination: dehydrated cheeks, shiny in the T-zone

  • Ren Clarimatte Toner
  • Bare Minerals Skinlongevity Essence
  • Origins Make a Difference Treatment

Dry: very fine skin, dehydration lines, flaky

Note: If they are flaky and in need of a scrub or Clarisonic, do it. Don't be afraid to go the extra mile in order to have a blank canvas to work with.)

  • Eve Lom White Lotion
  • Josie Maran Milk Treatment
  • Bobbi Brown Hydrating Moisturiser/Face Base as well
  • OR Drunk Elephant La La Retro Cream