If you’re putting on foundation first, you’re doing it wrong.


My morning makeup routine revolves around whatever product I see in the drawer first. Some days I lazily grab the eyeliner, other times it’s foundation first.

But if your mascara flecks onto your cheeks mid-day, you’re probably putting on your face the wrong way, just like me. Here’s a research-backed guide to ultimate layering and staying power.

Step 1: Eyes

Most experts agree eye makeup should come first, so you can easily clean up any mistakes without the risk of ruining your foundation. Start with shadow, then eyeliner and finally mascara.

If you do accidentally smudge, dab makeup remover or moisturizer on the tip of a Q-Tip to fix.

Step 2: Foundation (then concealer)

There’s some debate about whether or not concealer should come before foundation, but founder of Issada Cosmetics Fiona Neale tells Vogue you’ll be able to conceal blemishes properly if foundation is applied first.

Step 3: Bronzer

Sweep on the high points of your face—forehead, bridge of your nose and tops of cheekbones—using very light strokes. Then blend up and out on the side of the face and under the jaw line.

Step 4: Blush

This part’s easy: just smile and dot blush onto the apples of your cheeks. You can even press on with a makeup sponge if you want a deeper color.

Step 5: Highlighter

In step is essential in the age of the highlighter. Apply in a half-halo from brow to cheekbone, then the bridge of your nose and the point of your chin.

If you want to get really fancy, dab in the inner corners of your eyes and across your eyelids for a perfectly dewy sheen.

Step 6: Lips

Putting your lips toward the end of your routine ensures you’ll choose a shade that balances the rest of your look. If you’re going for bold, line your lips in a similar shade first to create definition.

Step 7: Brows

My favorite makeup artists always save brows for last. Put the final touches on your look with as much (or as little) brow definition you want.

The final step, of course, is spending 10 full minutes marveling at how glam you look. But we don’t need to show you how to do that.