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Experts Say This Is the Correct Order You Should Be Applying Your Makeup

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There are days when you wake up and know exactly what you’re doing. And then there are others when you need a little bit of extra guidance.

This article is for those days. Because life can get quite confusing, particularly when it comes to which order you apply your eye makeup. So it might be useful to refer to a makeup artist’s perspective, so you know you’re getting your application order just right.

Of course, you could guess (and we reckon you’d probably surprise yourself with how accurate you are) but, let’s face it, we makeup addicts like to do everything by the book.

So, here are a few tips, including some from makeup artist and founder of Ruby Hammer Beauty, Ruby Hammer, to tell you which order to categorise your makeup in, just in case you’re feeling a little overwhelmed.


The order you should apply your makeup


Step 1: Eyes

Personally, I usually apply my base first, but Hammer recommends starting with your eye makeup instead. “If you have a strong eye then you should do this first,” she says. “This is in case you create a mess, smudge or fall out and then need to clean around the edge after going as smoky as you like.”


Step 2: Base

Now that your eye makeup is in place, you can lock in your primer and your base. However, try not to disturb your eye makeup when applying under-eye concealer or any foundation under the eyes. If you do though, don’t worry. You can always touch it up again later holding a tissue underneath your eye to avoid any drops of eye makeup falling onto your skin.


How To Pick The *Perfect* Concealer makeup

Image – MaksimDenisenko/Adobe


Step 3: Cheeks

Hammer says it’s bronzer, then blusher. “I prefer to do a bit of bronzer first as this will go on the high points where the sun hits the forehead or under the chin,” she explains. “Blush is to give radiance to the face so this should be applied after.” The same goes for your highlighter, applied along the tops of your cheekbones, in your cupid’s bow and sometimes down your nose.


Step 4: Brows

Now is a good time to do your brows as all of your face makeup – base, bronzer, blush and highlighter – is now on so cannot disturb the brow area.


Step 5: Lips

“If it’s a strong lip, you will do this last,” Hammer says. Your base will sometimes overlap your lips by accident as you apply it, so you want to be able to cover up any mistakes with your lip colour and make your lips pop as much as possible. It’s up to you whether you apply lip liner, but Hammer advises applying it last for a softer finish. 


The takeaway

The order you apply your makeup in is really up to you, but the above system ensures no time is wasted and that no areas of your precious handy work are disturbed.

Hammer says it’s eyes first, lips last, bronzer before blusher. And here’s a bonus tip. If you are undecided on which look you’re going for overall, she suggests starting with your cheeks! “When in doubt, if you start with the cheeks, it sets the tone from the offset on how strong you want the eyes or lips.” Clever huh?


Meet the expert

Ruby Hammer MBE is an award-winning makeup artist with over 30 years of experience. She is the founder of Ruby Hammer Beauty.


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Beauty Editor

The former Beauty Editor of Glamour UK, Philippa has been a beauty and lifestyle journalist for over 16 years, picking up countless tips and tricks from makeup artists, hair stylists, dermatologists and celebrities. In that time she’s written for names like Cosmopolitan, The Sunday Times Style, The Telegraph, Grazia, Refinery 29 and Byrdie. Philippa lives in the UK with her husband, two children and their hyperactive cockapoo, Paddy.

Expertise: Makeup, hair care
Education: Oxford Brookes University

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