How To Prep Your Skin: Pre-Party Skin Prep for Makeup

Prep your skin for the smoothest, most magical makeup application with my pre-party skin prep tips and tricks.

Darlings, before you apply a magical makeup look, it’s important to prep your skin with supercharged skincare products. Skin prep is the secret to creating a smoother-looking, glowing canvas for your makeup to glide onto. After applying your hydrating skincare routine using my MAGIC SKIN icons, your makeup will always look better! Whether you’re celebrating something special or are in the midst of party season, discover my tips and tricks for perfect skin prep for makeup to unlock gorgeous, party-ready skin!

Skin Prep for Makeup still life

What is Skin Prep for Makeup?

When makeup artists talk about skin prep for makeup, they are referring to the skincare steps they perform before applying makeup. Skin prep is similar to your day-to-day skincare routine, however it’s done with the intention of readying the skin for a flawless makeup application. Preparing the skin for makeup focuses on using skincare to help skin look smoother, plumper and more radiant – if you want your makeup to look seamless and glowing, skin prep is non-negotiable, darlings!

Why Should You Use Skincare Before Makeup?

Skincare and makeup work hand-in-hand when creating a magical makeup look. Think of your makeup like a gorgeous painting, darlings. When an artist is creating their next masterpiece, they reach for a smooth canvas that will help lines to look sharper, strokes to look smoother, and colours to pop! Your skin is your natural canvas, and the best way to help it look smoother, plumper and ready for makeup is to perform a supercharged skin prep routine. Serums, moisturisers and face masks can help to hydrate your skin, smooth out the appearance of skin texture and leave your face feeling silky and supple – once you’ve prepped your skin with skincare, makeup can apply and blend more seamlessly and look even more flawless.

What Should I Use for Skin Prep?

Prep your skin with hydrating skincare products, starting with a gentle face cleanser and finishing with a magical moisturiser like Charlotte’s Magic Cream. Reach for products that are infused with powerhouse ingredients like vitamin C, polyglutamic acid and hyaluronic acid that will help to add moisture to the skin and give it a lit-from-within glow that looks gorgeous underneath makeup. It’s important to consider your skin type and skin concerns when building your skincare routine; choose products that work with your skin and layer beautifully with one another without pilling or bunching up.

Skin Prep for Makeup: Step by Step

  1. multi-miracle glow cleansing balm packshot closed

    Step 1: Gentle Cleanser

    Your skin prep ritual starts with a gentle cleanser that will leave your skin feeling baby-soft and freshly cleansed. Use Multi-Miracle Glow – my versatile, supercharged gel-balm – to cleanse skin and unlock a gorgeous, glowing, fresh-from-the-facialist finish. Apply this moisturising miracle balm as a gentle cleanser, smoothing it across dry skin for a brighter-looking finish that feels fresh and looks radiant. Rich in moisturising oils including arctic cloudberry, rosehip and camellia oil and vitamins A, C and E, Multi-Miracle Glow is the moisture-rich cleanse your skin is calling for pre party.

    Shop Multi-Miracle Glow

  2. Charlotte's Magic Hydrator Mist radiant skin rescue essence with lid off

    Step 2: Refreshing Face Mist

    After cleansing, reach for a face mist to give your complexion an instant moisture boost. Spritzing Charlotte’s Magic Hydrator Mist onto the skin delivers an uplifting, refreshing sensation that oxygenates and hydrates skin to feel instantly refreshed and revived. Not only does this hyaluronic acid-powered formula bring vital hydration back to the skin; it also helps to supercharge the skincare steps that follow it! Skincare absorbs best into slightly damp skin, darlings, and this gentle face mist is my essential skin prep beauty booster.

    Shop Charlotte’s Magic Hydrator Mist

  3. A dry sheet mask in textured fabric along with its golden-coloured foil packaging behind it.

    Step 3: 15-Minute Sheet Mask

    Before you get in the party spirit, it’s essential that you feel perfectly pampered. A sheet mask is a quick and easy way to give your skin some rejuvenation ahead of a late night, and my Instant Magic Facial Dry Sheet Mask is a perfect pre-party pick-me-up. Place the mask pink-side down and massage to activate the supercharged ingredients, then line it up with your eyes and mouth and wear for 15 minutes. The mess-free dry sheet mask gives the skin a surge of moisture to produce hydrated, plumper-looking, red carpet-worthy results.

    Tilbury Tip: Instant Magic Facial Dry Sheet Mask can be used up to 3 times, so after use, place the magical mask back into its packaging to be used again.

    Shop Instant Magic Facial Dry Sheet Mask

  4. A glowy toner in a large, white-coloured bottle with a silver-coloured lid.

    Step 4: Radiance-Boosting Toner

    Onto freshly cleansed skin, apply an acid-free, radiance-boosting toner to enhance your natural glow. Glow Toner is my skincare secret for gentle exfoliation and daily radiance, helping skin to appear brighter and feel baby-soft. Using your palms or a cotton pad, lightly swipe this glow solution onto the skin to help brighten and balance the look of your complexion. After applying Glow Toner, skin feels gently resurfaced and pores appear reduced thanks to the refining properties of niacinamide.

    Shop Glow Toner

    Learn more about Niacinamide

  5. A luminous, ivory-coloured facial serum in a glass bottle with a white and gold-coloured dropper lid,

    Step 5: Hydrating Face Serum

    A supercharged serum has the power to help target skin concerns like dehydration, uneven tone, and fine lines. Reach for Charlotte’s Magic Serum Crystal Elixir for a superpowered helping of hydration courtesy of polyglutamic acid – a humectant that’s 4x more hydrating than hyaluronic acid. This supercharged face serum delivers magical moisture that leaves the skin feeling intensely hydrated, as well as youth-boosting effects of REPLEXIUM™ and the beautiful, brightening effects of Golden™ Vitamin C. It’s an essential step for unlocking Magic Skin ahead of a night of celebration!

    Shop Charlotte’s Magic Serum Crystal Elixir

    Learn more about REPLEXIUM™

  6. A lip oil in a white coloured tube with reflective geometric patterns on it in silver colour and a rose-gold-coloured lid.

    Step 6: Conditioning Lip Oil

    Ahead of greetings on the dancefloor and dancing under the mistletoe, condition your lips with a comforting lip oil. Lip oils are perfect for keeping your lips feeling magically moisturised, and Charlotte’s Magic Lip Oil Crystal Elixir is the secret to healthy-looking, high-shine lips! Combining the power of a serum, the glassy glow of a lip gloss and the comfort of an oil, this rollerball lip oil glides onto the lips to create the plushest, party-ready pout!

    Tilbury Tip: Download the Charlotte Tilbury App and unlock access to shop my tinted lip oils – there’s Rose Lust for a soft, rosy glow and Berry Bliss for a sweet, berry tint.

    Shop Charlotte’s Magic Lip Oil Crystal Elixir

    Download my App

  7. Champagne-coloured eye cream in a glass jar and its refill in a white-coloured pot with an easy-to-peel-off cover.

    Step 7: Nourishing Eye Cream

    Nobody wants puffy-looking under eyes while they’re partying, darlings, so be sure to apply a nourishing eye cream. Magic Eye Rescue is infused with Botanical Eye Contour Complex for a depuffing effect; Winter Daphne Stem Cell Extract for a firming effect; and Time-Released retinol molecules for a smoothing, plumping effect. Apply the rich formula using your fingers, gently smoothing it over the skin to reduce the look of fine lines, wrinkles and puffiness around the eyes. Just like that, the eye area appears smoother, brighter and more awake.

    Shop Magic Eye Rescue

    Learn more about Retinol

  8. Thick and luscious pearly-white moisturiser in an open glass jar with its gold-coloured lid placed behind it.

    Step 8: Immediate Skin Revival Moisturiser

    Charlotte’s Magic Cream is my number one skin prep secret – I never do makeup without it! This award-winning moisturiser gives the skin an instant-turnaround effect, creating a glowing canvas that’s smoother and plumper looking and ready for makeup. Enriched with my Magic 8 Matrix of supercharged skincare ingredients including hydrating hyaluronic acid, nourishing shea butter and a plump-effect peptide complex, this magical moisturiser is an essential pre-party ritual for hydrated, healthy-looking skin.

    Tilbury Tip: Darlings, if your skin is feeling extra dehydrated, try Charlotte’s Magic Water Cream – my NEW! gel moisturiser with a bouncy, cloud-like texture that drenches the skin with 100 hours of hydration!*

    Shop Charlotte’s Magic Cream

    Discover the difference between gel vs cream moisturiser

  9. Light-gold-coloured facial oil in an open glass bottle with a gold and white-coloured dropper lid.

    Step 9: Essential Oil Glow Facial

    Darlings, did you know that you can use face oil to give yourself an at-home glow facial? I created Collagen Superfusion Facial Oil as my spa-in-a-jar formula enriched with a potent collagen matrix that gives the skin a firming and plumping effect, as well as glow-boosting essential oils that make you feel fresh from a relaxing retreat. Massage this high-performance face oil into moisturised skin and unlock the most radiant version of yourself.

    Shop Collagen Superfusion Facial Oil

  10. Charlotte's Magic Body Cream hydrates, lifts, smooths, firms and tones the look and feel of skin

    Step 10: Hydrating Body Cream

    Now that your skin prep is complete, apply a hydrating body cream to give your arms, legs, shoulders and décolletage a nourished body glow from head to toe! Charlotte’s Magic Body Cream is inspired by the immediate skin revival properties of Charlotte’s Magic Cream; people had asked me for years for a body moisturiser with the same instant-turnaround effects of my award-winning face cream, and so I had to create this hydrating formula to make bodies everywhere glow! Designed to lift and firm the look of skin and define the appearance of body contours, Charlotte’s Magic Body Cream is a party-prep step not to be missed.

    Tilbury Tip: To give your body a runway-inspired, supermodel glow, apply Supermodel Body body shimmer.

    Shop Charlotte’s Magic Body Cream

    Discover the body makeup guide

  11. A primer in a white-coloured tube with a white-coloured lid with text on it that reads, 'invisible UV Flawless poreless primer SPF 50 PA++++'.

    Step 11: Smoothing Face Primer

    Darlings, before you apply your party makeup look, it's important to prime your face with a hydrating, smoothing and blurring effect face primer. Priming your face creates a beautifying barrier between your skin and your makeup; it acts as a flawless-looking canvas for your makeup and can help you to get a smoother makeup application with a more seamless blend. Discover Invisible UV Flawless Poreless Primer - my broad-spectrum SPF primer for flawless, poreless-looking skin! This skincare-charged formula helps to hydrate and perfect the look of skin and creates a gorgeous, party-ready canvas for makeup to glide onto!

    Shop Invisible UV Flawless Poreless Primer SPF50

Darlings, these skin prep secrets will help you LOOK and FEEL FLAWLESS as you’re getting ready to party the night away! With my supercharged skincare secrets, you can pamper to perfection before you head to the party and create makeup magic with a healthy, radiant glow!

Follow skin prep for makeup steps for a pre-party spa experience, or head into your local Charlotte Tilbury store to get a fabulous facial from one of my professional Glow Services experts.

REPLEXIUM™ is a trademark of BASF Beauty Care Solutions France SAS.

Golden™ is a trademark of Infinitec Activos SL

*Tested on 33 people

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Author Details

Charlotte Tilbury

Founder, President, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Charlotte Tilbury Beauty

With over 30 years experience, Charlotte Tilbury MBE is the world's number 1 makeup artist and British beauty entrepreneur. Charlotte established Charlotte Tilbury Beauty in 2013, which is now a record-breaking beauty brand that has won over 400 awards.