Makeup is like art and can feel a daunting when you’re starting with a blank canvas. When you see all your makeup laid out and you think, Where do I even begin!? Do I apply my eyeshadow first and then concealer? Do I put on foundation and powder? Can I get away with putting eyeliner on after I use mascara? Let’s break down the basics designed to create a perfect face regimen.

Step One: Prime or Moisturize

Choose one, not both. No matter how light the consistency of your moisturizer, it will always interfere with the function of a primer. This was a major light bulb moment, more like a strobe light moment, in my brain whenever I learned this. I would apply both and then wonder why my makeup was feeling like it was just sitting on my skin and never absorbing. It is also necessary to wear sunscreen even if it is already built into your primer, moisturizer, or foundation. Apply sunscreen to clean skin first, and then your primer or moisturizer follows. Sunscreen is our defense against UV rays that are coming after the health and radiance of our skin. Our common goal to strive for healthy skin all the years of our lives is made simple with sunscreen that aids as a protectant for the skin.

Step Two: Foundation

Many people apply eyeshadow after primer because they want to avoid fallout from the shadow. This can actually make it harder to remove from your skin. When products fall onto bare skin, the pigment from the eyeshadow can be even harder to remove as it absorbs into the natural skin. It is better to create a canvas with your foundation and then correct any unwanted mistakes as a finishing touch.

Step Three: Concealer

This might surprise you, but concealer is best when applied after foundation. When it comes to concealer, we end up wanting to cover our whole face in it. I know I’m not alone here. Right, ladies? We fail to realize that by applying foundation first it does most of the correcting for us. Instead of looking at your face with a critical eye, add concealer to your blemishes and dark circles.

Step Four: Powder

After applying foundation and concealer, you should use a more translucent powder. Most go for a full coverage powder, but if we do full coverage everything, then we have created the definition of cake face. If you’re hugging your significant other with caked on powder, you’re going to need some super strong detergent or a Tide To Go stick.

Can I pause and tell you a funny story about my cake face? I love makeup and sometimes I can get a little carried away with the idea of wanting flawless skin and may have used a little too much powder one day. Long story short, I kissed my fiancé, and when he glanced at himself in the mirror, he hollered out, “I look like I have been eating powdered doughnuts.” I could not contain my laughter! Reason number one to use a loose, translucent powder dusted over your already prepped face. This will also make it easier for you to remove any fallout from your eye shadow, give your base makeup time to settle and absorb any excess oils while you apply the rest of your makeup.

Step Five: Brows

Use a brow comb to groom and define your brows before applying any other eye makeup. The brow shape will help you see exactly what you need to do with your eyes. Brushing your brow and shaping them will help you determine whether your brow needs to be filled in with a pomade or a simple eye shadow. Use the pomade for reshaping and eyeshadow for filling in sparse areas in the brow.

Step Six: Eyes and Lips

For eyes, apply eye shadow first. Pick your color palette and apply to your lid with shadow brushes for a smooth application. Next step, eye liner. Always add your liner after you have applied put on eyeshadow or your line will be muted. If eye shadow gets on your pre-mascaraed eyelashes, they will look powdery and less prominent. Applying eyeliner can be challenging if you have already applied your mascara because mascara will lengthen your lashes causing you to have to fight through them to apply your liner, and making it challenging to create a straight line. Mascara should be the final step in completing your eye regimen.

For Lips: Always, always, always apply a lip primer or a lip balm. Especially with the trending lip stains that are matte. A primer will keep your lips moisturized and will also help to keep the lip color on your lips instead of on bleeding onto your skin. Next, apply a lip liner. It is recommended that your lip liner is the same color as your lipstick. Unless you want to create a more defined lip, then use lipstick that is a shade darker. For longer wear, put the lip liner all over your lips so that you create a sticky base for your lipstick. Then apply your desired lip color on top to complete your look.

Step Seven: Cheeks

This may seem out of place, putting the cheeks last in the order of application, but it is last for two reasons. Cheek color pulls the eye color and lip color together for the final look. If you are using a powdered cheek color, you can sweep it across your face for an extra pop. Especially across your eyelid to add a pop of color. By doing this, you are also sweeping off the excess makeup that is sitting onto of your skin.

Of course, not everyone is going to follow these beauty tips step-by-step or even use all these steps. You might have your own makeup application regimen that works for you. But, for the beauty enthusiast that is always searching for tips and tricks, this one’s for you!