Makeup 101: Preparing Your Skin for Makeup

Earlier this year I had the opportunity to take a master class  with Harvey Tsao, International Makeup Artist for Chantecaille cosmetics at the Holt Renfrew store in Vancouver. It was my first time trying any products from the line, and besides the obvious fact that I was completely smitten with the rosewater, I loved the texture of the face creams. All the products smelled lovely, and were thick and creamy. 

Harvey Tsao Chantecaille{With Harvey Tsao, Chantecaille}

Harvey shared a lot of great information during the class, but the biggest takeaway for me was the importance of preparing your skin for makeup. During the session he took almost as long to prepare the model’s skin for makeup with cleaning and moisturizing as he did  to apply it.  At first I was a little unsure about the whole ‘prepping process’ – who has time for all that? But I tried it, and I’m a convert; no more skimping on moisturizer before foundation.

Taking some lessons from Harvey, and playing around with some ideas I found online for preparing your skin for makeup, I’ve come up with some tips of my own below. These work really well for me because I wear foundation almost everyday – sometimes it might be a light CC Cream, and other days a heavy coverage for events, but pretty much everyday there is something on my skin.

Preparing Your Skin for Makeup

Never put foundation on dry skin
I used to skimp a little on moisturizer before foundation on hot days thinking it would prevent my skin from looking oily – wrong! Always clean your face and apply a good moisturizer to your face and neck before makeup. If your skin leans to the dry side, the Chantecaille Rose de Mai Cream is spectacular as a night cream, and the Flower Harmonizing Cream is perfect for day. If you are looking for something a little more budget friendly, I also like the Olay Regenerist Line, but honestly my skin is so dry, I have to splurge on my moisturizer. 

Let your moisturizer sink into your skin before applying your foundation
This is such a good tip! I’ve started applying my serum, eye cream, and moisturizer 15 minutes before applying my foundation and the coverage is so much smoother and I need less product than before.

Exfoliate your skin 2-3 times a week
Exfoliating is something that I tend to get lazy about, but every time I get back on track with it, it shows on my skin. We collect so many impurities on our skin, and applying foundation over them just doesn’t give you the same results as applying it on a really clean canvas. I like to exfoliate at night, just in case my skin gets a little redness. My current faves for exfoliating are Dr. Brandt’s Microdermabrasion (available at London Drugs), or the Mary Kay Microdermabrasion system

Serum does not work without moisturizer!
I was completely stunned when Harvey told me this. As I mentioned in my last skincare update, I’ve been using the Kiels Midnight Recovery serum on it’s own at night, and apparently that was not enough. I added the Rose de Mai Cream to my night-time routine and my skin is really starting to look better, and even my scars are starting to minimize. Harvey explained to me that the moisturizer locks in the healing properties of the serum. I’m not exactly sure of the science, but together they are working wonders!

While I have another post planned with details on my foundation routine, I just have to tell you, I’m absolutely smitten with the Chantecaille Future Skin Foundation . It’s usually really hard for me to find a heavy coverage in a foundation in a colour that matches my skin without mixing two shades, but Chantecaille has a great range of colours for Indian skin (I’m Banana – which made me chuckle). If you have a hard time matching foundation colours they are definitely a good place to start.

*Some of the products mentioned in this post were provided to me for editorial consideration, and some were purchased by me. As always, I try every product I write about, and only share those that I would use on my own skin with you!


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