Photograph of Kat Battershill
Monday, the 19th of July, by Kat Battershill

How to Prep Your Skin for Makeup Application

Any makeup lover will know to cleanse, tone, moisturise their skin before application, but not everyone will have the same skin type.

Any makeup lover will know to cleanse, tone, moisturise their skin before application, but not everyone will have the same skin type. Here are some simple tips for preparing each of the 3 main types of skin; Dry, oily, and combination.


With dry skin, you want to clean off any dirt or residue without stripping the skin leaving it dry and tight. A cleansing balm is great for this. Apply a small amount to a cotton pad or clean hands – a good tip is to apply some to one cotton pad, using a second to halve the product before application. Then in small circular motions, cleanse the face going in an upwards direction.

Look out for any dry patches and pay particular attention to them, using the roughness of the pad to gently exfoliate the dry skin away.

Next is tone – a light moisturising toner that will soothe the skin is perfect. Apply to clean fingers and press into the skin, a light facial massage while applying is a lovely bit of luxury.

Dry skin will need more moisture than other skin types, but don’t use something that will sit heavily on the skin and takes a long time to sink in as it will ruin the makeup. Finish with a quality primer to minimise pores and further hydrate the skin while also prolonging the makeup.



The biggest misconception is that if you have oily skin, you need to get rid of all the oil. Often people’s skin can become oily due to it trying to make up for the lack of moisture. If your skin has become oilier over time, try using a thicker hydrating primer at night. It will take some time, but you may notice that your skin doesn’t produce as much oil through the day anymore.

Again, a good cleanse is essential, but don’t use one with added moisturiser or oil. Cleansing water is a gentle way to do this.

For toner there are a few that can help to control oil, I like using something that contains niacinamide, an oil-controlling agent. Niacinamide from the Ordinary is more concentrated than if it was mixed with toner, and this can really help foundation to stay on your nose!

With moisturiser, look for a light one that will hydrate and not sit on top of the skin. Oil controlling primers are great, however, some can leave the skin dry, and can cause the foundation to react. Try using a primer that minimises pores and smooths the skin.


With combination skin, it is important to treat the areas of the face differently. If your forehead is dry but your nose and chin oily, moisturise the forehead and control the oil on the nose. There’s no rule you must use the same skincare all over and it’s best to treat each area differently for combination skin. This will ultimately yield the best result and make your makeup go on better and stay for longer!

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