how to apply makeup

How To Apply Makeup Step By Step For Beginners

If you’re wondering how to apply makeup step by step for beginners, you’re not alone. I get it. You just went and bought the best beginners makeup kit, and now you need to know at least what order to apply makeup in. This how to apply makeup step by step guide for beginners will make sure that you’re one step closer to becoming your own personal makeup artist. 

I do participate in affiliate programs, including Amazon Affiliates, and may earn a small commission if products are purchased through links on the site.

skin care

How To Apply Makeup Step By Step For Beginners

We’re going to go over the basics, but it’s also important to keep in mind that there aren’t a lot of rules when it comes to makeup. We’ll talk about the variations you can make to this routine, too. Remember, it’s all about what works for you. 

Always Start Makeup Application With Primer

facial primer

Primer is the step that you do before applying anything. This includes your eyes and lips. Face primer can guarantee that your makeup stays put longer, and it gives you an even canvas to work on. Our faces are naturally a bit bumpy. 

If you have fine lines or wrinkles and use a filler, you’ll want to apply that before starting on your makeup. The goal is to give yourself a nice canvas to begin with. 

Do not use a moisturizer as a primer. This doesn’t properly prime the face for makeup application. Instead, use a primer like Dr. Brandt Pores No More Primer or Hydra Veil Primer. (Hydra Veil Primer is very moisturizing if you have dry skin.)

After applying primer, you want to wait on it to dry. During this time some people do their eyes or eyebrows. If you want to simply wait to make sure it’s dry, that’s a great idea too. You can wave a piece of paper to fan your face for a quicker drying time. However, most primers dry in a minute. 

Next, Apply Foundation

After you’re done with primer, and it’s dry, apply foundation. This is a crucial step. 

Some people recommend applying concealer next. You can apply concealer, but it’s more likely to crease or give you a cake face later. 

Applying foundation first gives you an awesome base for the rest of your makeup. Foundation is buildable, blendable, and can give you the even skin tone that you need. 


Next, apply your concealer. It doesn’t matter if you use powder or a tube of concealer. The steps are still the same. You’ll want to apply concealer in a triangle underneath your eyes. If you have deep set or hooded eyes, make your triangle a bit wider so the edge of it reaches the outside of your eyes. Then, blend, blend, blend. 

Eyeshadow Primer

stuck on you eye primer

Next, you’ll want to apply your eyeshadow primer. I know it seems weird to apply this before you start your eye makeup, but it’s helpful to do all of your concealer, primer, and cover-up makeup first. You don’t want to accidentally apply it over your highlighter, bronzer, etc. That’s why you put it on after your concealer. 


If you’re going to contour your face, this is when you would do it in your makeup routine. Contouring makeup goes on before blush, etc. That’s because contouring helps shape your face whereas other makeup, like bronzer, is to add color. 

When you are contouring, you can apply setting powder before applying contouring powder. This makes it easier to blend contouring powder together. Most people also apply a setting powder or setting spray after contouring. 

Bronzers, Illuminators, Blushes, etc. 

After that, you want to finish off your complexion with blush, bronzer, and highlighter. If you’re not using all three, use whichever ones you are. This is also where you’ll use products like strobe cream in your makeup routine. If you use both creams and powders for this step, use creams first. 

Eye Makeup For Beginners

Typically, you would then apply your eyeshadow followed by eyeliner and mascara. However, if you have a different routine for your eye makeup, use that. For example, if you have hooded eyes and prefer to do your eyeliner first for a softer approach. 


Your lips are usually one of the last steps in your routine. You can go with a full lip routine, complete with lip primer, or simply swipe on some lip gloss and call it a day. Whichever works for you is fine. 

Setting Spray Or Translucent Powder

Whichever one you use to set your makeup is fine. Make sure that you let your setting spray dry before getting dressed, fixing your hair, or anything else that you need to do. 

Makeup Routine Variations

makeup application

This is a basic makeup routine that can teach you how to apply makeup step by step for beginners. However, there are quite a few things that you can do differently to make it work for you. 

Apply Eyeshadow Before Face Makeup

If you are new to applying eyeshadow or experience a lot of eyeshadow fallout, consider applying it before your face makeup. Then, you can clean up eyeshadow fallout without having to touch up your foundation and concealer. 

Eliminate Products You Don’t Use

This is a comprehensive list of steps to apply makeup. That doesn’t mean that you have to use every product listed. If you don’t want to start learning how to contour yet, skip that step. Don’t feel pressured to do it just because it’s on the list. 

Do Your Lip Makeup Whenever You Want Before Setting Spray

Your lip makeup is unlikely to interfere with your face makeup, and there’s no way that it’s going to affect your eye makeup. Because of that, you can do it whenever you would like in your makeup routine. 

In Conclusion

If you’re just now learning how to apply makeup step by step, it can be helpful to keep a list by your vanity. After a few days, you’ll have the steps to apply makeup memorized. To learn more about makeup for beginners, read this comprehensive article! 

Related Articles

How To Get Better At Makeup For Beginners

Highlighter For Beginners

Concealer Tips For Beginners (14 Things You Need To Know)

Foundation For Beginners: Everything You Need To Know

Leave a Reply