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Ask The Makeup Diva
Welcome to Ask The Makeup Diva™! Our resident expert, The Makeup Diva, answers makeup and skin care questions sent in by readers just like you.

Q: Is there a logical way to apply makeup? What should I apply first and last?

A: Although there are variations to applying things like lipstick and eye shadow, putting on basic makeup like foundation and concealer are as easy as 1-2-3!

Always start with a clean, moisturized face. If you wear foundation, you'll apply this first, either all over your face or just in the spots you need it - whichever method you prefer. I like to apply foundation all over so my skin looks as even as it can. Note: if you use a powder-based, two-in-one style foundation like MAC Studio Fix, Stila Illuminating Powder, Aveda Dual Base minus Oil, or Cover Girl Simply Powder, you can skip right to your color cosmetics after applying your foundation. You don't need extra concealer or powder.

Your second step, if you have any areas that weren't covered by your foundation and need extra attention, like dark undereye circles, blemishes, red spots, or broken capillaries, is where concealer comes in. Apply it with your fingers, a clean sponge, or a makeup brush in gentle, dabbing strokes, then tap carefully with your fingertip around the edges to blend. You can also apply concealer to your eye lids for a really smooth look. It will even out any blotchy skintone and will help your eye shadow stay on longer.

The third step after foundation and concealer is powder. Even dry skin can benefit from the right powder because it sets your makeup for longer wear throughout the day. I like loose powder better than pressed because the finish is lighter. Apply it lightly with a large powder brush, making sure to dust a little under your eyes to set your concealer (helps prevent creasing).

With your basic makeup finished, the rest is really up to your own preference. Here are a few guidelines:

If you use eye makeup, I recommend you apply your shadows first, then liner, then mascara. The mascara will seal in any eye shadow that falls on your lashes and actually make them look thicker.

Apply your blush after foundation and eye makeup so you can adjust the intensity of the color to suit the rest of your face.

Lip liner can come either before or after lipstick depending on your needs. If you like having an outline to fill in, apply liner first and then lipstick - just make sure to blend the edges with a lipbrush or cotton swab so you don't have an obvious line. If you feel confident with applying lipstick, I recommend putting your lipstick on first, then liner. I find the colors last longer this way and it tends to look more polished.

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