How to Effectively Prep Your Skin for Flawless Makeup Application (Naturally!)

How to Prep Skin for Makeup Application

Have you ever started applying makeup, only to have it cling to dry patches on your skin? Or maybe it just looked lifeless and sat on top of your skin, instead of blending in naturally and looking vibrant. Before you blame the makeup and toss it, perhaps there are some ways you can better prep your skin instead. Because I truly believe that skincare comes first! I want to share with you some of the top ways you can take care of your skin so you have a healthy glow, and in turn, impeccable makeup application!

Skincare first. Makeup second.

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1. Start with Clean Skin

This might be a no-brainer, but a super important step! You don’t want to be applying makeup to dirty skin, do you? It’s critical to use a cleanser that won’t totally strip your skin of all its moisture and throw your pH off balance. I personally love and recommend oil cleansing.

One Love Organics Botanical B Enzyme Cleansing OilBut how do you know which cleanser to use? Lucky for you, I have a wholeeeeeee blog all about the best natural facial cleansers and how to find one that is suited for your specific skin type.


A cleansing routine might look different for everyone. For example, I just prefer to splash with cold water in the morning and cleanse with manuka honey instead of an oil cleanser. I personally don’t feel like my skin is that dirty after doing a deep cleanse the previous night. Or some mornings I’ll just use a toner on an organic cotton round to sweep away excess grit. But listen to your skin, because some people fare better with a deep cleanse in the morning, too!

2. Exfoliate, Exfoliate, Exfoliate.

…but don’t overdo it! 😆 Exfoliating is crucial for a smooth makeup application and ensures that you don’t have excess dead skin cells underneath makeup. If things look patchy, rough, or just don’t apply well, you likely need a good exfoliation. There are a couple of ways that you can do this, gently and naturally.

First, let’s note the difference between chemical and mechanical exfoliation. According to The Dermal Institute:

  • Mechanical (also known as physical or manual) exfoliants are any abrasive material or substance that physically removes cells from the skin (small grains, scrubs, brushes, washcloths, etc.)
  • Chemical exfoliants dissolve keratin protein or break apart the bonds (desmosomes) between the skin cells to aid in cell turnover (acids, peels, enzymes, etc.)

Now, before you go and take some sandpaper to your face, be sure to use something suitable for your skin! I like to rotate between chemical and mechanical exfoliates to mix it up, and depending on how much exfoliation I need.

Gentle Skin Exfoliators

The Best Natural Exfoliators:

Sometimes that might look like an enzyme peel, facial scrub, or even an electric facial scrubbing device. Check out my guide to the best gentle facial exfoliators to see my preferred picks.

P.S. If you plan on wearing lipstick, don’t forget to exfoliate those lips, too! I recommend the Alpyn Plumping Lip Mask. It gently exfoliates and leaves lips feeling supple and soft. Buh bye, cracked lips! Code ORGANICALLYBECCA15 for a discount.

3. Dermaplaning (Face Shaving)

Before you get scared or totally weirded out, listen up! Dermaplaning is special enough for its own category here and it’s an absolute MUST for optimal makeup application! It’s actually one of the main reasons that I do it because I can tell such a huge difference with how my skincare and makeup applies. It’s night and day!

But what the heck is it? Dermaplaning uses a small razor that gently and safely removes peach fuzz and small, fine hairs on your face 🪒 It provides an effective exfoliation, too. No, it won’t make your hair grow back thicker or darker.

Guide to Dermaplaning at Home

I recommend getting it done professionally first to see how you like it and to ensure it’s done correctly. Then, when you’re ready to save some money and do it yourself at home, you can follow my guide to dermaplaning safely at home. It covers so much from the skincare benefits, best razors to use (I use a Stacked razor), FAQ, and step-by-step instructions. I don’t know how I ever lived without dermaplaning!

4. Properly Moisturize Your Skin

This is huge! To get the most out of your skincare, you need to be applying products in the correct order. Our skin needs both hydration AND moisture, and yes, there is a difference!

Without water-based products, skin will become dehydrated. And without oil-based products, skin will lose moisture throughout the day.

To see what this looks like in practice, a typical skincare routine might look something like this:

  • Cleanse
  • Exfoliate
  • Tone
  • Water-based serum or lotion
  • Oil-based moisturizer
  • Spot Treatment
  • Sunscreen
  • Primer

To make it simple, your skin should feel plump, supple, and not thirsty 💦 If it feels tight or itchy, then it’s not properly taken care of.

Read more: “How to Effectively Layer Skincare & Maximize the Benefits of Your Products

My recommendations for natural moisturizing products:

The Top 7 Best Natural & Low Tox Moisturizers for Supple Skin

5. Stay Hydrated for Supple Skin

Good skincare also comes from within! Be sure to stay hydrated by consuming roughly half of your body weight in oz. of water per day. For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, aim to drink about 70 oz. of water a day. I can definitely tell when I am dehydrated because my skin just looks (and feels) lifeless and blah! Fine lines become more prominent and my skin seems unhappy. So drink up, my friends! 💧

Read more: “Common Tap Water Contaminants & What to Look For in a Water Filter

6. Wake Up with Eye Gels or Eye Cream

If you struggle with dark circles, puffy eyes, or crows feet, you might benefit from using an eye cream or eye gels to look bright-eyed and bushy-tailed!

100% Pure Caffeine Eye Gels
100% Pure Bright Eyes Caffeinated Eye Gels: These are awesome to use before a big event or if you just feel like your eye area needs some extra TLC. They are cooling, depuffing, soothing, and provide a caffeinated punch of hydration to your skin. You’ll look alive!

Osea Eye Lift Gel SerumOsea Eye Gel Serum: Or this is a wonderful serum to include in your skincare routine. It helps decrease the look of dark circles, fine lines, and puffiness.

7. Facial Massage with Gua Sha or Jade Rolling

Another way to promote vibrant skin is to do some form of facial massage. Yes, our facial muscles need some love too! If you’ve followed my blog, then you know I am obsessed with facial tools. Two, in particular, are amazing for promoting lymphatic drainage, soothing lines, and giving you an instant natural facelift:

Jade Rolling

Jade Rolling:

My favorite thing to do in the morning! There are so many benefits and it’s an easy practice. Pro tip: Stick your roller in the freezer for a cooling sensation. I use this jade roller.

Read more: “Get Glowing Skin in Minutes with a Jade Roller

Gua Sha:

Rose Quartz Gua Sha ShroomsAn ancient healing technique used to stimulate meridians and circulation in your face. It really helps with tension, especially between my eyebrows and around my jaw. I use both a standard jade gua sha tool and these cute rose quartz gua sha mushrooms.

No tools? No problem.

Here’s how to give yourself a facial massage at home with just your hands.

8. Apply a Clean Primer

Honestly, I rarely use a primer! If you’re taking good care of your skin and following the steps above, then you really shouldn’t need to in my opinion. But sometimes I’ll use one for special occasions or when I really want to ensure my makeup applies beautifully. Make sure you’re using one that has safe, natural ingredients and allows your skin to breathe. Some primers can contain a lot of silicones and comedogenic ingredients that clog pores. Here are two non-toxic primer options that your skin will love:

Alima Pure Smooth + Prime PrimerAlima Pure Smooth & Prime Primer: So silky! This one is especially ideal for those with oily or combination skin. It’s mattifying, keeps skin smooth, and helps reduce shine throughout the day. Made with olive oil-derived squalane and avocado oil. Love it!


Hynt Beauty Skin Prep Primer SerumHynt Beauty Sun Prep SPF25 Primer Serum: A primer with the added bonus of mineral sunscreen protection 🧴 This one feels moisturizing and has an ultra-sheer silky formula.


Like I said, proper skincare is definitely an essential foundation for making the most of your makeup and better application. Hopefully, these tips give you an idea for something new to try if you’re struggling with how your makeup goes on. What would you say makes the biggest difference in your own routine? I’d love to hear in the comments!

Becca Signature



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Written by: Becca

Becca is a blogger, wife, and dog mom living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Having seen firsthand the benefits of switching to a natural lifestyle herself, she's passionate about helping women make the switch to clean beauty products, organic skincare, and a holistic way of life (without the stress of being perfect about it!).

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