If you are anything beyond a beginner at makeup, you no doubt have developed your own makeup routine.  Even if you have a couple of makeup looks that are vastly different, chances are good that your actual makeup routine does not change, just the products change.


makeup routine

What is Your Makeup Routine


What is a Makeup Routine?

In a nutshell, a makeup routine consists of the beauty products you use, how you use them, and the order in which you use those products. 

I developed my routine over many years of trial and error.  I want to share it with you in the hope that maybe you’ll find a pearl of wisdom that helps you when applying makeup.  The fact that I do it ‘this way’ or ‘that way’, doesn’t mean it’s the right way.  I’ll explain my reasons for doing it that way and maybe it will help you.  

Where to Begin – Concealer, Foundation, and Your Cheeks

I’m not going to begin by talking about a skin-care routine.  I’ll assume you have prepped your face and are ready to begin with your makeup.

One of the first questions people ask is, ‘concealer or foundation first’?  I begin with concealer.  Concealer is used to cover-up any imperfections, blemishes, etc., and to mask uneven skin tones such as dark circles.  I apply concealer before foundation because I want to provide a nice, even canvass for my foundation.   Another reason is that makeup artists recommend that your concealer be a couple of shades lighter than your foundation – and the whole point of foundation is to create a uniform skin tone.   I don’t want that lighter shade on top.

Next is foundation.

Follow your foundation with contouring, highlighter and then blush.  Read my previous post, “Your Face: Let Your Facial Features Show You Where to Put on Makeup” for tips on where to apply the products.  I apply contour first, followed by highlighter, then blush.  I start with contour for two reasons.  It has the most pigment of any of the products and it provides the lower boundary for the products I use on my cheeks.  See the image below:


makeup routine

Contour, Highlighter and Blush


I apply highlighter after the contour and then I apply a soft pink blush.  The highlighter then becomes the upper boundary.  Your blush goes between the two.  I apply all three products and then use a blending sponge with translucent powder to marry the products.

From there I move on to my eye makeup.

Eye Makeup Application Order

I begin with a primer or with a neutral color all over my eyelids up to my eyebrows.  Again, it provides a nice even canvass.  Then I apply eye shadow.  I have hooded eyelids, so I apply a neutral shimmer to my mobile lid and then a light shimmer under my brows.  I finish my eye shadow with a matte darker color between my mobile lid and my brows.  The order of application is more of a convenience thing because I often use the same brush for my mobile lid and brow highlighter.        

When I finish my eye shadow, I move on to eyeliner.  My eyeliner goes on top of my shadow because I want the liner to be more visible.  I use liner to make my eyelashes look more lush, so on my upper eyelid I apply it along my lash line and under the lashes (tight lining).  I also use liner under my lower lashes but apply it lightly and smudge the liner.  If the liner is too dark or distinct, it tends to make the eye look smaller. 

I move on to my eyebrows after applying my eyeliner.  

After finishing most of my eye makeup, but before applying mascara, I like to use a small blending sponge to mute and meld the products together.

Last comes mascara.  I apply it last because I don’t want to get eye shadow on my lashes.  I’m picky about how my lashes look and I don’t want the look altered by shadow.  Of course, that creates its own problem because you don’t want mascara on your perfectly applied eye shadow or liner.  It is kind of a chicken and egg thing, but I choose to apply mascara last.  That is the reason I developed the Flutterby Mascara Shield; I’m a perfectionist about my lashes, but I don’t want mascara smudges on my eyelids! 

What is routine?  Have you developed great makeup tricks and tips over the years that you would like to share?  If so, please include them in the comments.    

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