When I first became interested in makeup and doing makeup courses, the very last thing on my mind was skin care. Sure who cared what your skin looked like? You were only going to trowel makeup on top of it anyway. I didn’t believe in primers and barely believed in removing my makeup in the evenings!
More recently I have discovered that a lot of my makeup routine focuses around preparing my skin for foundation to get the best possible results. This was not a conscious decision but steadily I have been introducing new products into my routine and I’m currently quite happy with it so I thought I would share. Several months back I was lucky enough to see celebrity makeup artist and creative director for the X Factor Julia Carter do a makeup demo and she also spent more time prepping the skin than applying foundation so if it’s good enough for her…
The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning, before getting dressed or having breakfast, is my makeup and so my eyes will still be opening as I take a seat at my vanity. The first step I take in preparing my skin is to apply an eye roll-on. I don’t know if I fully believe in these things but I was sent one from Gosh to try a few years back and while I don’t know if it actually had any benefits, I missed it in my routine once it was gone. I am currently using the Boots Botanics All Bright Refreshing Eye Roll-On which is said to target dark circles, decrease puffiness and contain hibiscus which is said to brighten. It is simply a clear gel and I haven’t noticed any extreme effects from using it but I love the sensation of the cold rollerball on my eye area to wake me up in the morning. Maybe I’m a sadist and maybe it’s a placebo effect but I certainly feel more awake once I’ve applied it.
You get 6ml of product for €12.99 (although it is regularly on offer) and it is available from the Boots website or in store.
The next step is a crucial one – sunscreen! Keeping my skin pale was something I was obsessed with in my teens as I was into the goth look but as I’ve gotten older, it’s the dangers of sun exposure that have me really concerned. I am a firm Factor 50 girl while on holiday or during the summer but I have felt guilty about forgoing a sunscreen for the rest of the year for quite a while now. That is until I was sent the Eucerin SPF30 Face Sun Creme. This feels like quite a heavy duty moisturiser as you apply it – it is aimed at dry skins – but there is no greasy or oily residue and it absorbs immediately. It is also suitable for those with sensitive skins and it has become such a part of my routine that I would feel naked without it. As I mentioned, I was sent this as a PR sample and despite living in Ireland, if I had the choice, I would have chosen a higher factor so once this runs out (I’m nearly there) I will definitely be purchasing the Factor 50 version.
An issue of mine is dilated pores on either side of my nose. I keep my skin clean and the pores are definitely unclogged but when I apply foundation, I find they can be quite noticeable. Step in the Bioderma Sebium Pore Refiner, the next step in my routine. French skin care brand Bioderma have several different ranges aimed at various skin types and the Sebium branch is aimed at those with oily and acne prone skin. While my skin is only slightly oily around the T-zone, this product is said to tighten dilated pores and improve skin texture which is exactly what I need. I use my fingers to really work this in either side of my nose, as if attempting to manually fill my pores in with it. Whatever is left over I rub into my nose although this isn’t really a problem area for me. The product has a light cucumber scent to it which I don’t particularly appreciate in skin care products as I find it unnecessary. I have mixed feelings about this product. My pores do seem less noticeable when I apply my foundation but throughout the day, they make an appearance again. This product isn’t labelled as a pore-filling makeup primer although that is exactly what I use it for and I have heard numerous representatives of the brand claiming it works as one too. This is actually just marketed as a pore-refining cream that you can apply morning and/or night as part of your skin care routine. I have been using it daily for several months now and have definitely not seen any long term benefits so I don’t think I will repurchase this product but I will use it up and I’m sure I will replace it with another pore-filling primer in future.
Now that my skin is – theoretically – smoothed and protected, I like to add some illumination and I do that with Mac Strobe Cream. Some people think this is a very over the top product and when you first apply it, your skin does shine like a disco ball, however, because I apply it under a good medium coverage foundation, it simply adds a subtle glow – in fact, I wish it were glowier! If you use a lighter coverage foundation or BB calm – or are simply terrified of sheen, you could just apply it to your cheekbones or anywhere you want to highlight but I rub it in all over like a moisturiser. It includes vitamins, antioxidants and green tea to refresh skin as well as making it look more alive so it is a great addition to your skin prep routine even if you aren’t a fan of highlighting. Again this is scented – I can’t quite identify what the fragrance is supposed to be but it catches at the back of my throat the way the stench of fake tan does and it really turns my stomach. I manage to overlook it for the supreme sheen though. If you are a strobing addict, this can also be used on top of foundation as a liquid highlight!
A 50ml tube costs €33.50 while the travel size 30ml is only €10 – making it work out a lot cheaper! I don’t understand that logic… It is available from Brown Thomas or the Mac store on Henry Street.
My final step is not a daily one but more for days when my skin feels like it needs moisture or a little extra something. Sometimes I add in this step simply if I have a little more time in the morning to pamper myself. It is using Mac Prep & Prime Fix+. When I first heard people rave about this, I thought it was just another thermal water spray but I did some research before picking up my first bottle and discovered it contains antioxidants such as caffeine, green tea and chamomile as well as adding moisture to the skin. This has a light fragrance to it too which is unnecessary but quite pleasant. Some mornings I use this to dampen my Beauty Blender, other mornings I mist it on my face before foundation and other times I’ll apply it after finishing my makeup. Sometimes I use it for all three steps! This is definitely a bonus and sort of ‘pamper’ step that isn’t completely necessary but it’s one I really enjoy and if you’re a fan of thermal water sprays, I recommend giving Fix+ a try instead.
A 100ml bottle retails for €21 while a travel size 30ml costs €10 meaning going big with this one is better value for money. Again it is available from Brown Thomas or the Mac store.
This sounds like quite an ordeal but I’ve got it down to a few minutes and preparing your skin really makes such a massive difference to the look and wear of your foundation throughout the day.
What is your skin preparation routine?
Disclaimer: The Eucerin Sun Creme and Bioderma Pore Refiner were sent to me as PR samples. I am under no obligation to mention them on my blog and it does not affect my opinion of the products in any way.
No affiliate links were used.