Timing: Beauty Quick Fix

It’s hard enough finding the right products, without the added frustration of not knowing when to use them, and in which order. Luckily we’ve got answers from makeup artist Nam Vo for a few of the most vexing questions. Feel free to make yourself a cheat sheet for your bathroom— we won’t tell anyone.

Snafu: Which should I apply first, foundation or concealer?
Solution: After primer, apply foundation to even out skin tone, which will likely take care of many imperfections. Then apply concealer wherever necessary and, if you want a matte look, set it with a translucent powder.

Snafu: Do I need both bronzer and highlighter?
Solution: It’s fine to use bronzer and highlighter together but as with most things in life, moderation is key! If you know you’re going to use a highlighter, which tends to be shimmery, stick with a matte bronzer like Cargo’s version. Use a large, fluffy brush to build color gradually across your forehead, cheekbones, nose and chin. Then, use your fingers to apply highlighter to the high points of your face, focusing on cheekbones and brow bones.

Snafu: Should I put on blush before or after powder?
Solution: This depends on the type of blush you’re using. If you’re using a cream blush, which will stain your skin, apply it right after your foundation. You can set with a powder blush for a less glossy look. If you’re using a powder blush, apply it on top of your translucent powder.

Snafu: Where does my eye primer fit in?
Solution: The purpose of eye primer is to provide a base for your shadow to go on easier and stay on longer. Once you’ve applied foundation (and powder if you’re using it), use your fingers to blend eye primer onto your eyelids.

Snafu: When should you apply acne spot treatment?
Solution: Spot treatment should be the very last thing you apply in the evening to make sure it stays put. After your cleansing and moisturizing routine, dot treatment on problem areas.

Snafu: I have my eye cream and my concealing products — which order do they go in?
Solution: Start with an eye cream to hydrate and depuff your under-eye area. Next use a highlighter to brighten the area and counteract any bluish tones. Finally, finish with a concealer to blend and conceal any other discoloration.

Snafu: It’s the end of the day and my makeup has all but faded. Can I just reapply it on top of the old stuff?
Solution: The number one rule is to stay away from layering anything that you’ve already applied powder to. You don’t want to add more liquid foundation or tinted moisturizer on top of a dry powder. However, you can always touch-up with a bit of light translucent powder, concealer, and under eye brightener. A touch of blush and eye liner can also go a long way at the end of the day. If you’re wearing a creamy mascara you can feel free to add another coat, but adding more of a waterproof formula will just give you clumpy, spidery lashes.

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