Happy Sunday! It’s been a relaxing weekend for me, and today I took some time to really moisturize my skin, and give it some much-needed TLC. Winter is a harsh season, especially for people like me who have dry skin. I struggled a long time trying to find a foundation that would make my skin look flawless, and it took me way too long to figure out that what I actually needed was to find a better skincare routine and focus more on skin prep before applying any makeup at all. Here are my best tips for making your makeup look flawless even your skin is as dry as the desert.
Moisturize. This one is obvious, but it’s the most important and fundamental. Find suitable moisturizers for your skin for both daytime and nighttime. I use separate moisturizers because I find I have different skincare needs in the day and at night. My favorite daytime moisturizer is Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+ ($26 for 4.2 fl oz). It’s moisturizing, but it sinks into the skin quickly and does not leave you looking oily or greasy. For night, I prefer something that feels thicker and more rich. My favorite is the CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream ($16.99 for 1.7 oz). This lotion contains niacinamide and hyaluronic acid, superstar moisturizing ingredients that attract and hold onto moisture. Make sure you are moisturizing every single day.
Hydrating primers. I have large pores, and so pore-filling primers are an essential step for my T-zone. However, I first use a hydrating primer on my entire face. I find that this step has been critical in extending the wear time of my foundation, but also in ensuring that it does not cling to any dry spots or emphasize texture or flakiness. My favorite is the Becca Backlight Priming Filter ($38 for 1 fl oz).
Oils. I use oils in so many different ways. If I know I will not be leaving the house, I will slather my face in oil and just let it sink in for a while. I also regularly mix at least one drop of oil into my foundation before applying it to my face. It sheers out my foundation very slightly, but it also adds a gorgeous luminosity to the face. The foundation feels tackier for longer, however, and so I sometimes dust a very light layer of powder on my whole face. Oils can be expensive, but they don’t need to be. My favorite is the Physician’s Formula Argan Wear Glow Oil ($14.99 for 1 oz). This can also be used on the hands, cuticles, body, hair, etc. Really useful multipurpose product.
Chemical Exfoliation. I could write a whole post on the benefits of chemical exfoliation (and maybe I should). But long story short, go out and buy yourself some AHAs and BHAs if you are struggling with skin texture, dry patches, flaky skin, large pores, wrinkles, acne, ANYTHING. These usually come in the form of gels, but can also be found on pads soaked with product. I use this once at night daily, but for people with more sensitive skin or those just starting out, it is best to use them every few days or even only once a week. An AHA is an alpha hydroxy acid and a BHA is a beta hydroxy acid. Don’t run screaming in the opposite direction thinking that these are chemical peels or that they will burn your face. They aren’t and they won’t. What they will do is increase the turnover of skin cells on the surface of your skin and slough off dead skin cells WAY more effectively and more gently than a physical exfoliation would. Physical exfoliation refers to anything that feels scrubby on your face. These can often do more harm than good, and possibly even exacerbate dry skin and redness. AHAs and BHAs don’t have to be expensive. For my BHA, I like the Stridex pads in the red box (these are about $4 for 55 pads usually, but I have found them even cheaper; check your local drugstores). For my AHA, I recommend either Alpha Skincare products or Paula’s Choice. The best thing you can do for flawless makeup application is to first work out a flawless skincare routine.
Hydrating cleaners and makeup removers. In addition to adding things to your routine, you should consider taking some things out or replacing them. For dry skin, toners are often not necessary and can be drying your skin out unnecessarily. In addition, check that your skin does not feel tight after cleansing. If it does, you should consider replacing your cleanser with something more gentle. I recommend either the Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser ($18 for 6 fl oz) or the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser ($12.99 for 12 oz, but can be found for even cheaper). I also make sure to use a gentle micellar makeup remover or oil makeup remover, so that it does not dry out my skin and I do not have to tug on my skin too hard to get the makeup off.