shipping icon

pickup icon

Skip to main content

What Is The Correct Order To Apply Makeup?

What Is The Correct Order To Apply Makeup?

Sadie Upwall Sadie Upwall
4 minute read

Listen to article
Audio is generated by DropInBlog's AI and may have slight pronunciation nuances. Learn more

There are many areas of life where "less is more"...and generally speaking, makeup isn't one of them. Every little facet of our routine requires a special technique to help achieve that flawless look we all seek. What does this add up to? A very full bag of makeup products with no indication of which order to use them in. So what is the ACTUAL correct order to apply makeup?

Most of the time, we come to our own conclusions about what products go on first, often failing to understand the impact it can have on our skin. That being said: is there an ACTUAL correct order to apply makeup? Yes! We asked the experts to break it down to a science for us so you don't have to wonder anymore. 



1. Moisturizer

Don’t even think about putting on any makeup without washing your face and applying moisturizer. No exceptions. The last thing you want is dry, flaky looking skin because your skin is lacking in hydration.



Dermalogica - Skin Smoothing Cream With Active HydraMesh Technology

Dermalogica - Skin Smoothing Cream With Active HydraMesh Technology

$47.00

This next-generation formulation of Dermalogica’s best-selling moisturizer features a state-of-the-art technology that works on a molecular level to help reduce Trans-Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL) and infuse skin with 48 hours of vital moisture while also helping shield skin’s natural microbiome from… read more

2. Sunscreen

If you want to keep your skin looking youthful as long as is humanly possible, always always always wear your sunscreen. If you feel like it’s too heavy for your skin, try to find a moisturizer or foundation with SPF in the formula to begin with.



Jack Black - Oil-Free Sun Guard SPF 45

Jack Black - Oil-Free Sun Guard SPF 45

$24.00

This oil-free, vitamin-enriched, water- and sweat-resistant lotion offers superior broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection and absorbs quickly without greasy or heavy residue. Formulated for extreme conditions, Sun Guard forms a barrier of protection and stays on during intense physical activity in and… read more

3. Primer

As you know, primer is intended to keep your makeup looking flawless for as long as possible. Not everyone needs to use it (especially not if you’re prone to bad breakouts - it can make it much worse), but putting this stuff on before your makeup is a no brainer.



Jane Iredale - Smooth Affair Brightening Face Primer

Jane Iredale - Smooth Affair Brightening Face Primer

$50.00

This skin-quenching primer prepares skin so makeup goes on easier and lasts longer. It also helps maintain skin’s youthful appearance and minimizes the look of pores and fine lines while bringing our your natural radiance. Features & Benefits:• Helps skin hold… read more

4. BB Cream/Tinted Moisturizer/Foundation

Next, apply your BB cream, tinted moisturizer, or foundation. If you’ve already applied your primer, your skin should be looking incredibly smooth.



5. Concealer

Oftentimes, people get steps 4 and 5 mixed up. Generally speaking, it’s best to apply foundation first and concealer second to cover up your spots as much as possible so it doesn’t look quite caked on. 



Jane Iredale - Active Light Under-Eye Concealer

Jane Iredale - Active Light Under-Eye Concealer

$32.00

Jane Iredale Active Light® Under-Eye Concealer and facial highlighter boasts a nourishing antioxidant formula that helps reduce under-eye puffiness as it conceals and brightens dark shadows for a soft-focus finish. Features & Benefits: • Provides sheer-to-medium coverage • Cucumber and White Tea Extracts… read more

6. Powder

You have two options here: a lot of MUA's prefer doing their eye makeup prior to adding powder in case there is any rogue eye shadow left around the lid that needs touching up. Both ways work here, depending on your preference and use of eye shadow.  



7. Bronzer

Bronzer acts as a guideline on where to apply blush and highlighter. If you feel like you've applied it too strongly, you can always use your powder brush to blend it out and minimize any areas that were hit too hard.



Palladio - 2-In-1 Mosaic Powder

Palladio - 2-In-1 Mosaic Powder

$9.00

Silky-smooth blush/bronzer mosaic powder comes in five travel-friendly shades ranging from shimmering iridescent pinks to deep golden browns for complementary pairings that deliver essential “summer glow” radiance any time of the year. Colors can be applied individually or blended to… read more

8. Blush

Next, add your blush in accordance with your outlined bronzer. Different face shapes are often complemented by different placements of your blush, so don't be afraid to mess around to see what works best for you.

POPS Cosmetics - Sweet Cheeks Powder Blush

POPS Cosmetics - Sweet Cheeks Powder Blush

$15.50

Our whisper-soft, richly pigmented powder blushes are ultra blendable for a fresh finish. Pops' glide-on, silky smooth formula provides a range of depth from a soft wash of color to a totally dramatic cheek. ♥ STAFF PICK ♥ I ♥ POPS SWEET CHEEKS BLUSH… read more


9. Highlighter

Add some brightness to balance out your contouring with good old fashioned highlighter. Again, make sure your powder has already been applied by the time you get to this step! 



Unicorn Snot - Lightning Drops Liquid Highlighter

Unicorn Snot - Lightning Drops Liquid Highlighter

$14.00

A liquid highlighter for cheekbones, brows, cupid’s bow, and (almost) anywhere you’d like to spotlight! Shimmery shades of smooth, blendable Lightning Drops make you sparkle like a disco ball and come conveniently packaged in pocket-sized push-and-ooze bottles. Cruelty-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free,… read more

10. Brows

Depending on your brow preferences, you can either outline your brows with a pencil and fill them in for a more refined look, or fluff them up a bit with a designated toothbrush if you like them looking more bushy and natural. 



11. Eyelid Primer

Ever heard of eyelid primer? It’s something you may want to invest in if your shadow is notorious for going AWOL on you on the regular. Well worth it, in our opinion.



Palladio - Eyeshadow Primer

Palladio - Eyeshadow Primer

$9.00

Meet the new industry standard in eyeshadow primers! At less than half the cost of department store brands, it eliminates creasing and ensures maximum shadow vibrancy all day long. Enhanced with Vitamins A, C, and E, this sheer, silicone-based formula… read more

12. Eye Shadow and Liner


Note: this does NOT include mascara. Do your darndest to keep your shadow where it needs to go! And depending on the look you're going for, you can either apply eyeliner before or after you're done with shadow. 



POPS Cosmetics - Ultra Pearl Eye Shadow

POPS Cosmetics - Ultra Pearl Eye Shadow

$12.75

Create eye-catching looks with our kicked-up neutrals and beautifully brilliant Pops Cosmetics Ultra Pearl Eye Shadows. Bold, iridescent shadows let you go from mild to wild with ultra-riche frosty color. Smooth, whisper-light textures blend easily and evenly without creasing and stay… read more

13. Setting Spray

Setting spray is used to further ensure that everything stays in place, as well as give your skin a little extra hydration. For an extra dewy look, apply once, wait until dry, and apply again.



Shea Brand - Organic Lavender Witch Hazel Spray

Shea Brand - Organic Lavender Witch Hazel Spray

$14.00

A mild toner perfect for minimizing pores and drawing dirt from skin, this blend makes for a calming and cleansing mist with the added benefit of relaxing aromatherapy. Lavender and witch hazel are both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, and are great… read more

14. Mascara

Make those peepers pop with a good mascara - and make sure to wait well after you've used your setting spray so there's no moisture on your lashes.



15. Lips


Last but not least - seal it with a kiss. The right order here, should you choose to use these tools, is: lip liner, then lipstick, THEN gloss. Pucker up!

Jane Iredale - Triple Luxe Long Lasting Naturally Moist Lipstick

Jane Iredale - Triple Luxe Long Lasting Naturally Moist Lipstick

$17.50 $35.00

Triple Luxe Long Lasting Naturally Moist Lipstick™ offers richly-pigmented color in a breakthrough “triple” formula that’s natural, moisturizing, and stands the test of time. Features & Benefits:• Chic shades glide on for a creamy, matte finish• Antioxidant-rich Moringa Oil soothes and nourishes• A… read more

« Back to Blog