How to Prep Your Skin for Makeup – Skin Rocks

How to Prep Your Skin for Makeup

The key to flawless makeup application isn’t really about the time taken to perfect your makeup skills, it’s all about skin prep. When you do the work to ensure that the skin is smooth and hydrated, you will end up with a seamless makeup look that is flawless and stands the test of time.


It is so important to ensure that you are cleansing your skin thoroughly to remove all the dirt, oil and impurities from the surface of your skin. There are so many formulas of cleansers to choose from but the most important factor is opting for a cleanser that will help to protect the skin barrier without stripping it of its essential oils. Choose the right cleanser for your skin type to keep the skin happy. 

  • For a quick, first cleanse: Garnier Micellar Rose Water Cleanse and Glow
  • For sensitive, dry skin: Kate Somerville Goat Milk Cleanser
  • For normal to dry skin: Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm
  • For oily/combination skin: Caudalie Vinopure Purifying Gel Cleanser



Exfoliation is essential when it comes to prepping the skin for makeup as it will help to remove any build-up of dead skin cells and reveal smooth, healthier-looking skin. One other benefit of exfoliation is that it will allow your serums and moisturisers to work more effectively, so you’ll be well on your way to glowing skin. Aim to exfoliate at least one to two times a week. 

  • For gentle exfoliation: Exuviance SkinRise Morning Glow Pads 
  • For an at-home facial peel: Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel (Found in The Acid Box)
  • For an overnight treatment: Kate Somerville Liquid ExfoliKate Triple Acid Resurfacing Treatment



The next step is to follow with a hydrating serum and it is best to always apply your hydrating serum to damp skin as it’s more permeable. Serums are an important factor in any skincare routine because they are full of active ingredients that penetrate deep down into your skin — everyone can benefit from a hydrating serum. Look for ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and glycerin, as these are humectants that work to boost hydration and leave your skin looking plump and radiant.

  • Vichy's Minéral 89 Hyaluronic Acid Hydration Booster
  • Medik8 Hydr8 B5 Intense Serum
  • Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum 



Once you have applied your serum you can then follow with a moisturiser. Many people believe that they need a separate primer on top of their moisturiser, but this step can be classed as your priming stage because you are getting the skin ready for makeup and creating a barrier between your skin and the makeup. This stage will help your foundation and concealer apply more seamlessly, helping with the longevity of your makeup. 

  • For normal to dry skin: Sunday Riley Ice Ceramide Moisturising Cream 
  • For dry skin: Skinceuticals Triple Lipid Restore Cream
  • For normal to combination skin: Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base
  • For oily skin: Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream


Don’t forget your lips

Your lips need a little TLC too, so hydrate them the same way you would prep the skin on your face. It is important not to go for a solely occlusive based lip balm but one that has a mixture of humectants and occlusives like the Paula’s Choice Hyaluronic acid + Peptide Lip Booster which contains hyaluronic acid and squalane to hydrate and protect the lips at the same time. Make sure to apply your lip balm whilst applying the rest of your skincare, as this will give it time to work and get your lips ready for any lip products.

  • Paula’s Choice Hyaluronic Acid + Peptide Lip Booster
  • Summer Fridays Lip Butter Balm (Found in The Sensitive Face Box)
  • Omorovicza Perfecting Lip Balm