Before any event it is always helpful to prepare your skin for makeup. Your makeup will lay down smoother and last much longer. I always recommend seeing an esthetician for a facial a few month prior to your event. Depending on your skin type and what you are looking for they will recommend what your skin needs to look its best. If you are on a budget and would like to do it yourself, start a daily routine like the one below.
So after you wash your face and pat it dry, what's next?
Exfoliate: Once the face is washed with a cleanser appropriate for your skin, it is time to exfoliate. I can not stress enough how important is is to exfoliate your skin.
Exfoliation is essential for healthy and younger-looking skin. On an everyday basis, dead skin cells build up on the surface of our faces. This build up can cause blockage of the pores and your makeup to rest uneven. If we neglect to clean our skin, old makeup, dirt, and oil can also join the mix, causing the condition of the skin to worsen over time. The best way to get rid of this build-up is to exfoliate. Not only does it remove the dead dull skin but it encourages new skin to push to the surface. This is something our body does naturally but tends to slow down over time.
For those of you who are new to exfoliation, you may not realize that there are two different types of exfoliates—chemical and physical.
While the word “chemical” may set off alarms in your head, don’t panic just yet! (This is actually my favorite way to exfoliate, and I have extremely sensitive skin.) While it is true you can use certain chemical compounds to exfoliate your skin, these chemicals are usually used in low doses to minimize any irritation.
Chemical exfoliation makes use of several types of chemicals in order to remove dead skin cells and other impurities. Some examples of chemicals that can be used as exfoliates include: several types of enzymes, including fruit enzymes, alpha and beta hydroxy acids, and vitiman A, known in the skin care world as retinoids or retinol.
All chemical exfoliates work to break the bonds between the skin cells, loosening up the dead skin to be easily whisked away. The easiest way to exfoliate your face with a chemical exfoliator is with exfoliating pads. I prefer a chemical exfoliant pad with an alpha-beta hydroxy acid. There are multiple companies that offer this in a daily use wipe that actually gives you both benefits of chemical and physical. While you are swiping your skin with the pad you are not only exfoliating chemically but physically as well. this helps eliminate dead skin cells and create an even surface for the makeup. Bonus? Your skin will look brighter because of it because you are removing all of the dull dead skin . Tip: multitask and use an exfoliating cleanser
A physical exfoliant would be considered something you are physically (grainy scrub) or chemical (glycolic/lactic acid) exfoliator that's gentle enough for daily use.
The second type of exfoliation is physical, or manual exfoliation. This type of exfoliation is fairly self-explanatory. Physical exfoliates are products that contain some type of rough material (such as beads or grains). By rubbing the particles against your skin, you will buff away the layer of dead skin cells. Newer, younger skin will be revealed when you wash away the product.
Physical exfoliates can vary in ability to exfoliate—it all depends on what kind of product you buy. Even those of us with sensitive skin can tolerate most physical exfoliates well, especially those with micro-beads. Experiment with different products and different grain textures to see what works best for you.
TIP: Don't neglect your lips when it comes to exfoliating. I use a scrub to buff away the dry/dead skin. Your toothbrush can also be a great tool. Just brush gently across your lips while brushing your teeth. This will also stimulate them, causing them to plump slightly.
Toner (optional): If you have really oily or acne-prone skin, or if you feel like you still have remaining traces of makeup or residue, a toner can help. It's not a necessary step but can provide extra "cleansing" as needed. It's also important to note that today's toners, unlike their ultra-astringent counterparts of the past, are often also formulated with soothing, calming, and hydrating benefits.
Serum (optional): Whether it's for firming, brightening, or minimizing hyperpigmentation, serums work to treat and correct. Think of them as if they were like vitamins for your face.
Facial moisturizer: Choose a moisturizer according to your skin type. You'll know it's too heavy for you (or that you've overapplied) if your face still feels greasy after about five minutes or if you have a heavy shine at the end of the day.
Eye cream: Using your ring finger, pat a small amount of your eye cream gently around the orbital bone area. By gently dabbing the product in, you'll increase circulation to the area to help move the cream deeper into your skin.
Sunscreen: Always protect your skin with an SPF. It is important to do this especially if you are doing any exfoliatiion, to protect the new skin that you just brought to the surface. Apply sunscreen right before makeup. If you are planning on being photographed DO NOT apply SPF. The flash will reflect the SPF and cause your skin to looked washed out.
Prime: To ensure your makeup doesn't slip and slide all day long, use a primer before foundation and concealer for flawless results. Have you ever primed before you painted? Similar idea, a primer creates a base for all of you makeup. It acts as a barrier between your skincare and your makeup. There are so many active ingredients in skincare to keep us looking young that it can tend affect, or as i call it "eat" at your makeup. While it might seem like a lot of steps, you'll find that getting your skin in good shape first will give you the perfect palette for which to apply your makeup.