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The Makeup Artist’s Guide to Skin Prep

Cleanse, tone, exfoliate, moisturize, prime, and dermaplane like a pro.

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Photo: Ron Lach/Pexels

When it comes to achieving the perfect makeup look, the key to success is all in the prep work. Just like a chef can’t make a delicious meal without first prepping the ingredients, a makeup artist can’t create a flawless look without properly prepping the skin.

Think of your skin as a blank canvas that needs to be primed and ready for makeup application. Skipping the skin prep step is like trying to paint a masterpiece on a dirty and oily surface – the end result will be less than desirable.

So, what exactly does skin prep involve?

Cleanse & Tone

The first step is to cleanse your face thoroughly to remove any dirt, makeup, and excess oil. This will ensure that your makeup goes on smoothly and lasts longer. Next, use a toner to restore the natural pH balance of your skin.

Try: JOAH Beauty Crystal Glow Refreshing Luminizer Skin Mist ($11.99)

This refreshing skin mist can be used to prep, refresh, and set your skin and makeup. Formulated with hydrating hyaluronic acid, purifying hibiscus flower extract, and Crystalide peptide which is proven to transform skin in six weeks for clearer, smoother skin.


Exfoliating is also an important step in skin prep. It removes dead skin cells, which can make your complexion appear dull and uneven. One of the best ways to exfoliate your skin is by using a method called dermaplaning. Dermaplaning is a form of physical exfoliation that uses a surgical scalpel to gently remove the top layer of dead skin cells and peach fuzz. It makes it easier for your skin to absorb the nutrients in your moisturizer, which will help your makeup go on more smoothly.

Try: Flamingo Disposable Dermaplane Razors- set of 3 ($6.50)

This single-blade facial razor sweeps away peach fuzz and exfoliates skin, creating an even canvas for skincare and makeup application. (And nope, your hair will not grow back thicker!)


Moisturizing is also crucial in skin prep. It is important to moisturize your skin to prevent it from drying out and to keep it looking hydrated and plump.

Try: Salt & Stone Squalane Facial Cream ($48)

This ocean inspired cream is also made with squalane and hyaluronic acid to help condition, balance and restore skin from damage caused by environmental stressors such as dry climates, wind and pollution.


Finally, use a primer to create a smooth base for your makeup. Primers help to blur imperfections, reduce the appearance of pores, and create a barrier between your skin and makeup. This will help your makeup to stay in place all day and keep your skin looking flawless.

Try: JOAH Beauty Super Sidekick Hydroglow Primer ($11.99)

Rich in three types of hyaluronic acid, this silky primer triple boosts your skin’s hydration and gives your makeup real staying power.

Bottom Line

Proper skin prep is the foundation of a flawless makeup application. By taking the time to properly cleanse, tone, exfoliate, moisturize, and prime your skin, you’ll be setting yourself up for success!


author avatar
Chrissy Diaoune