Before you sweep on that gorgeous cat eye and blot the statement color onto your lips, you have to prep your face. While it鈥檚 not the most exciting part of your pampering routine, applying your base makeup is the best way to smooth out blemishes and even out your overall appearance so that your face is fully primed for the fun stuff 鈥 in other words, it鈥檚聽necessary. Below we鈥檙e breaking down the process to four essential steps that will help you create聽a flawless foundation. Use it as your go-to guide for getting ready, whether you鈥檙e getting polished聽for any old day (heck, sweep on a little mascara at the end and you鈥檙e set with a no-makeup makeup look!) or building your party face.

  1. Step 1:聽Hydrate + Foundation

    1BaseFaceTutorialMoisturize

    Hydrate Your Skin: We can鈥檛 stress the importance of taking care of your skin, because the聽better skin you have, the less makeup you鈥檒l actually need.聽Besides drinking lots of H20 (because what you eat/drink affects your skin), invest in skin care products like serums and SPF-rich moisturizers that work with聽your skin type聽鈥 applying them after cleansing will always be your聽first step with base makeup. Be sure to apply in sweeping, upward motions to promote tight + taught skin.

  2. 2BaseFaceTutorialFoundation

    Apply Foundation: There are so many types of foundation out there: mousse, powder, matte, tinted moisturizers, gel, liquid鈥 not to mention the myriad neutral-toned shades. I鈥檝e known some women to compare finding the perfect foundation to the search for the perfect boyfriend, so here鈥檚 a tip on finding The One: Match your foundation to your neck and聽d茅collet茅 so that it will blend better on your face. Once you have one that fits the bill,聽apply across your face with your fingers, a foundation brush, makeup sponge or any way that makes it easier to blend while preserving product. I always like to pull a little of the foundation down onto my neck to make sure that funny makeup line (you know the one I am talking about!) does not exist.

  3. Step 2: Apply Concealer

    3BaseFaceTutorialConcealer

    Apply your concealer completely under the eye and down toward the center of your face in an upside-down pyramid shape and blend it by tapping your ring finger over the product and pressing into your skin. The heat from your fingers will help melt the product and blend more naturally with your foundation. Your concealer should always be聽a shade or two lighter than your foundation. The lightness is going to smooth and brighten the appearance of your skin and lift your entire face.

  4. Step聽3: Contour + Highlight

    Contour:聽When you apply foundation, you take away all of the natural shadows and tones in your skin, making your face appear flat and unnatural. This聽is how you put聽them back. You can do this in a聽Kardashian-like聽fashion to completely reshape your face 鈥 a killer technique for major events like weddings or any event where you鈥檙e snapped in the spotlight 鈥 or you can go for a more natural contour that will fit right in with your everyday look.聽The best way to achieve a basic contour is to apply your bronzer聽in two shapes on your face; an 鈥淓鈥 (or number 鈥3鈥 depending on what side of your face you are working on) and a 鈥淲.鈥澛燚o the following on both sides of your face:

    Contour

    鈥淓鈥 or 鈥3鈥
    鈥 Start in the center of your forehead at your hairline.
    鈥 Sweep your bronzer in a crescent half circle along your hairline down to your temple and聽into the hollows of your cheeks (First timers: Make a fish face 鈥斅爐he hollows of your cheeks are the part that鈥檚 sucked in).
    鈥 Pull the brush back to your hairline and down onto your jawline and blend聽the brush down onto your neck.

    鈥淲鈥
    鈥 Start at the hinge of your jaw.
    鈥 Brush down onto your lower cheekbone and up onto the side bridge of your nose.
    鈥 Without touching the center of your nose, bring your brush to the opposite side of your nose, brush down onto your lower cheekbone and up onto the opposite hinge of your jaw.

  5. 5BaseFaceTutorialHighlight

    Highlight: Apply highlighter (or聽concealer if you want a more matte finish)聽to the center of your brows, along the bridge of your nose, on your upper and lower lip and on an angle along the top of your cheekbones. Gently聽tap the brush over the highlighter to blend聽gently over your contour 鈥 sweeping the brush will smudge it. Remember, not all highlighters are created equal. If you have lighter skin, look for one that鈥檚 opalescent, if you have darker skin, look for a golden highlighter, or if you want to up the drama 鈥 no matter what your skin tone 鈥 go for a shimmering or pearlescent highlighter.

  6. 6BaseFaceTutorialPowder

    Set It:Using powder over any form of liquid makeup is going to keep your makeup in place. Work this step into your routine if you want a long-lasting look, but skip it if you鈥檙e going for a dewy finish.

  7. Step 4: Blush

    7BaseFaceTutorialBlush

    Blush:Finish your base makeup by adding a flush of color to your cheeks with blush. Find the right place to sweep it on for your face shape in our Blush 101 tutorial and be sure to blend!

  8. 8BaseFaceTutorialFinal

    This entire process could be done in around five to 10聽minutes after聽you practice a few times. Then open up that 鈥淒IY Makeup鈥 bookmark tab and let the fun begin!

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What is your simple beauty regimen? Do you have any good tips or tricks to get your base face on for the day? Tell us in the comments below.