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Before you apply any type of face makeup, you should start with a clean surface. Think of it like a blank canvas that you're going to paint on. You don't want your canvas full of dirt, do you? It doesn't make for a very good painting. Gently wash your face with a cleanser that will remove any bacteria or impurities from the surface of your skin, then pat dry with a clean towel. I recommend "Purity one step facial wash." This cleanser is very gentle, yet it does a great job.

After you've washed your face, it is time to moisturize. Just as you shouldn't go a day without drinking water, you shouldn't go a day without moisturizing your face. Your skin gets thirsty, too. Hydration allows your skin to perform at it's peak performance, and gives it a healthier look overall. In this study from the British Journal of Dermatology, those who regularly moisturize develop wrinkles at a fraction of the rate of those who do not. After using facial lotion you will notice your skin is softer, smoother, and fresher-looking. In turn, moisturizing will also ease the difficulty of applying makeup. My favorite facial lotion is the "Neutrogena Healthy Skin". When applying, start with a pea sized amount of product and add more if needed. Use your ring finger to apply the product on the entire surface of your face, focusing on the most dry areas. For best results, wait about 5 mins before applying another product to your face, so that it can sink in effectively.

Using a primer prepares your skin for the rest of your face makeup. Many people skip this step because they feel that is isn't necessary. Those people are missing out. While you can do your makeup without the use of a primer, you won't experience the wonderful benefits it gives you if you don't. Primer will enhance your makeup by acting as a base, giving your makeup something to hold on to so that it lasts throughout the whole day. Primers let your makeup melt into your skin rather than just sitting on top of it. When not using a primer, you may find that your makeup will start to become patchy and wear off. Most primers are silicone based, this is due to the face that silicone gives an ultra- smoothing effect to the skin. Primers help to smooth any fine lines, wrinkles, pores. They also blur out imperfections, even skin tone, and provide a matte finish that will last all day. If you struggle with acne or any sort of blemishes on your face, you may want to try a light green color correcting primer. The green hue will cancel out redness on your face while still doing everything a normal primer would. All primers should be applied the same way, though. Squeeze a pea sized amount of product on your fingertips and dab it on to each section of your T-Zone. Then, apply the primer to the parts of your cheeks that are closest to your nose. After that, use your fingertips again to work the product into your skin so that your entire face is covered. If you are looking for a very high quality primer, I recommend the "Smashbox Photo Ready Primer." This product  is one of the best on the market, but it is rather spendy. If you're looking for a more affordable option, try the Rimmel London Stay Matte Primer.

Now that your face is perfectly primed and prepared, it is finally time for the real deal: foundation. Foundation is face makeup that usually comes in a power or liquid, and is used all over the face to even out skin tone and cover blemishes. The most important part of using foundation is to choose the right color. This will help you avoid looking like a "cake face." Before buying a foundation, test it on your neck to get the closest match. If there is a beauty consultant in the store you're shopping at, don't be afraid to ask them! Foundation can be applied with a makeup sponge, brush, or even just your hands. I prefer to use a makeup sponge, such as a beauty blender. Make sure to keep your tools clean, they will grow bacteria that you won't want living on your face! If you're applying foundation with your hands, make sure they are clean. Then, put a quarter-sized amount of product of to the back of your hand, and then apply it the same way you applied your primer. Blend the product a little on to your neck to avoid any harsh lines. The foundation that I use if the Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation ,which is pretty high end. If you want a less expensive drugstore option, I recommend Revlon ColorStay. If you have applied foundation and still have blemishes showing that you wish to cover, go in with a concealer stick that is the same color as your foundation, and apply it to blemishes for extra coverage.

The next step is optional, but if you wish to add a contour, highlight, go for it! Doing this will not only provide some color to your face, but can create an illusion of a more defined, slimmer face.

Image from thepageantplanet.com

The image above shows where each product should go. While highlight should be shimmery, try to keep your contour matte. Remember, it should not be noticeable, - a subtle definition. It is very important to blend everything out! You could also to add some happy color to the apple of the cheek and a bit of sheen to the cheekbones to further enhance the complexion. Opt for a peachy-pink for a natural-looking flush (I like Tarte's long-wearing blush in Peaceful), then add highlighter just at the top of the cheekbones, down the bridge of the nose, and a hint on the chin for super-fresh looking skin

If you want the most flawless, poreless, "I'm naturally gorgeous and don't NEED any makeup" look, you want to be using a translucent powder to set your makeup. This will work for any skin tone and give a natural skin finish. It takes away shine, but it doesn't add texture. I recommend the NYX Setting Powder. For this, you will need a big fluffy brush. Dip your brush into the product and dab the powder gently all over your face, being careful not to remove any of your other makeup.

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