How to Prep Your Skin For Flawless Makeup

A celebrity makeup artist reveals the shortcut to glowing, flawless skin  

The way celebrities look, all glowing and flawless, is because they have good skin and also because they have skilled makeup artists to camouflage the odd acne or the puffy under-eye bags. So while you are waiting for your skincare routine to pay off, we got in touch with Bhavya Arora, celebrity makeup artist, who has worked for movies, ad films, print campaigns and web series and with celebrities such as Tapsee Pannu, Rasika Dugal, Chitrangada Singh, Shraddha Kapoor, Huma Qureshi, Radhika Apte and more, to tell us how to fake that glow and flawless skin.

And she revealed that one way you can do that is by investing in proper skin prep before putting your makeup on. “As a professional artist who works with all types of skin, I can vouch for the fact that your skin prep is as important as your makeup routine. Your foundation will not sit right if you haven’t prepped your skin as per your skin type and the weather you’re in. Result: you end up feeling uncomfortable in your skin and will pretty much feel like makeup is not for you,” says Bhavya.

However, there’s specific skin prep for every skin type, which not only makes sure your makeup stays longer but also ensures it looks right. Basis your skin type, here are a few things that Bhavya suggests you do to prep your skin and up your makeup game.

oily skin treatment

If your skin in oily, you need to find a cleanser with preferably salicylic acid and niacinamides. Use a foam-based formula and once your face is clean apply a water-based moisturiser. “I sometimes apply Aloe Vera or rose water to lock that oil in. Use a mattifying primer as the last step that can further add a layer so the oil in your skin won’t affect your makeup application,” advises Bhavya.

dry skin

For dry skin the most concerning part about applying makeup is that it starts peeling off or flaking. It means that your skin needs more hydration. So use a cleanser, which has ingredients like vitamin E, shea butter and oatmeal that are hydrating. Your cleanser will preferably have a rich, creamy finish. You need to ensure that your skin is adequately moisturised before you apply foundation. You can experiment with face oils because those have more concentrated hydration. “Don’t forget to use an under eye cream before you apply a hydrating primer that will give your skin that extra boost and ensure your makeup lasts longer,” adds Bhavya.


You need to be extremely careful with your skin prep if you have acne on your skin. Use a cleaner and a moisturiser that’s formulated for acne-prone skin. The reason is that you may be applying a thicker layer of base or concealer to cover your acne so your skin needs to be spotlessly clean and prepped well. “If your acne is giving you redness then you can apply a primer with a green tinge to balance the red before you apply your foundation. I sometimes like to apply ice before makeup application for acne. It reduces the bumpiness on the face and soothes the skin to a large extent,” says Bhavya.

If you have sensitive skin then the most important part of your makeup preparation is an extra layer of sunscreen over and above what your moisturiser has. Make sure you use dermatologist-recommended cleanser and moisturiser to prep your skin. In general stay away from products with fragrance and parabens as they can irritate your skin. Keep your skin prep simple and stay away from using too many products on your skin.

Irrespective of your skin type, it’s highly recommended that brands and products in your skin prep routine are recommended or approved by your dermatologist. In today’s world there are millions of products out there and it may seem exciting to try everything on the shelves, but you need to exercise caution and only choose products that are formulated for your specific skin type.

Another thing to note is that the same skin prep may not work for all kinds of weather. So, in case you’re travelling and notice that your skin gets oily/ dry/ sunburnt/ sensitive in a different climates than carry products accordingly.

“I always tell my clients that it’s always recommended to invest in a good dermatologist than in million products for your skin just because they are marketed well. If you sabotage your skin with wrong products, it could be a long road to recovery while it can be easily and safely avoided,” concludes Bhavya.