Deep clean your pores
Courtesy Nikki PhillippiIt doesn't matter how expensive your foundation is or how much you cake on, if your pores are clogged, those spots are bound to stick out. That's why Youtuber and beauty guru Nikki Phillippi takes the extra step of deep-cleaning her pores. "I take a nice hot bath or shower and exfoliate my skin with a gentle exfoliant," she says. Phillippi rotates the products she uses, between masks and a chemical exfoliator (like a glycolic acid wash), for the best results. Even if you don't have fancy products on hand, the steam from the warm water alone can help improve the appearance of your pores. Find out the bad habits that could be clogging your pores.
Always wash your face first
Courtesy Nikki PhillippiJust like your body needs an a.m. pick-me-up, so does your skin. "I always wash my face with a gentle cleanser each morning so I have a clean slate before applying any cosmetics." Pick a calming, rejuvenating face wash that cleanses your skin without stripping away healthy oils. These are secret signs your skin products are damaging your face.
Courtesy Nikki PhillippiAs a general rule of thumb, the more hydrated your skin is before you apply any cosmetics, the better your makeup will look—and last. Moisturizer also helps prevent your complexion from flaking and looking dull and creates a smooth surface so your foundation won't crease in any fine lines or wrinkles. To get the maximum benefit, massage a small dollop of your favorite moisturizer into your face using small, circular motions, and allow it to absorb completely before moving on in your routine. The extra minute or two this takes is well worth your time.
Primer is key
Courtesy Nikki PhillippiPrimer may seem like an unnecessary step in your makeup routine—after all, it's a clear, colorless gel that might not seem like it's doing anything when you first put it on—but there's a reason why beauty enthusiasts sing its praises. "Primer is key! It helps keep my makeup from oxidizing and blurs uneven skin texture and tone," Phillippi says. Primer helps your makeup go on more smoothly and last longer, too. But remember, a little goes a long way. If you use too much, it can start to pill under your foundation. And like with your moisturizer, you need to give it a few minutes to set before applying other makeup. Follow these 13 genius tricks to help your makeup last all day.
Pick the best shade for your skin
Courtesy Nikki PhillippiA good trick for finding the perfect shade of foundation is to match it to your neck or inner wrist. When you're trying them on at the store, leave the foundation on for a few minutes to see how it changes as it mingles with your skin; some may oxidize and start to look orange over time. "Identifying the undertones of your skin can really help you pick the correct shade," says Phillippi. "Try out different brands and shades to find the right foundation for you." Bobbi Brown and Tarte Cosmetics are two lines that she likes that have a wide selection of shades. Here are more tricks for finding the best foundation for you.
Blend, blend, blend
Courtesy Nikki PhillippiFor the most natural-looking flawless finish, it's vital that you blend your foundation with a brush or sponge. And it's not enough to stop at your jawline, you should blend into your neck too, says Phillippi. "I sometimes bring the foundation down lightly onto my chest as well, if I'm wearing a low cut or strapless top, so it's seamless with my actual skin." Blending isn't only for foundation, you should also blend your blush and eyeshadow for the most flawless look.
Carry a makeup bag for touch-ups
Courtesy Nikki PhillippiNo amount of long-lasting sprays and setting powders can keep your makeup looking perfect through sips of coffee, long commutes, and dinner dates. Trust us, women who always look fresh-faced are touching up on the go. A dusting of blush, a coat of mascara, and a swipe of lipstick and you're back to new.
Don't be afraid to try something new (or a little different)
Courtesy Nikki PhillippiWhile it's all too easy to get stuck in a rut once you know what works for you, Phillippi encourages women to have fun with makeup and play around with trends. Not sure how or where to start? "Watch beauty tutorials online and practice different looks. I didn't think I would love contouring my face until I practiced it, and now it's a go-to look for me." You may not even have to invest in new products, for example a standard kohl eyeliner can create a sexy smokey eye and a pink lipstick could do double-duty as a gorgeous cream blush. Read on for 10 makeup mistakes the pros wish you would stop making.