Discover the Correct Order of Makeup Steps

Wondering which makeup routine order you should be following? Charlotte’s guide to the correct order for makeup steps tells you everything you need to know.

For a FLAWLESS and RADIANT beauty look, it’s important to apply your makeup in the correct order, darling! Not only will it make makeup application easier and more cohesive, but your beauty products will successfully complement each other and you’ll reap more of the benefits of each product for a gorgeous makeup look that WOWS!

If you’re wondering how to apply makeup in the correct order and how to put on makeup step by step, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to discover how to apply your makeup in the correct order for SPELLBINDING BEAUTY that lasts!

Makeup Steps Order

How To Apply Makeup Step By Step

Darlings, for a MAGIC MAKEUP look, it’s essential to apply your makeup in the correct order. But first things first: skincare! For your makeup products to truly work their MAGIC, it’s crucial that your skin is HEALTHY and HYDRATED so that your makeup can sit better on your skin and last all day long!

Charlotte’s guide to the correct order of skincare products for your routine tells you everything you need to know about how to reap all the benefits from Charlotte’s research-powered skincare products and achieve MAGIC SKIN fast. Once your skin is nourished and prepped, it’s time to apply your makeup! Here’s a quick overview of the correct makeup routine order you should follow:

  1. SPF primer
  2. Colour corrector
  3. Foundation
  4. Concealer
  5. Powder
  6. Bronzer/Contour
  7. Highlighter
  8. Brow pencil and gel
  9. Eyeshadow
  10. Eyeliner
  11. Mascara
  12. Lip liner
  13. Lipstick
  14. Lip gloss
  15. Blush
  16. Setting spray

Ready to create your flawless beauty look? Here’s Charlotte’s step-by-step guide to applying each makeup product in the correct order for a MESMERISING beauty look for every occasion.

  1. Step 1 in your order of makeup steps: face primer


    The first step in your research-powered beauty ritual is primer! This MAGIC beauty product HYDRATES your skin, BRIGHTENS your complexion, REDUCES the LOOK of pores, fine lines and wrinkles and provides the PERFECT base for the rest of your makeup!

    Charlotte’s Wonderglow is a soft-focus glow primer that creates a dewy and radiant appearance while priming your face for everything that comes next. Or for a 2-in-1 sunscreen and pore-blurring effect primer in one, use Charlotte’s Invisible UV Flawless Poreless Primer with SPF 50 shield, hyaluronic acid and pollution defence.

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  2. Step 2 in your order of makeup steps: colour corrector


    Charlotte’s Magic Vanish! is a long-wear colour corrector for your face! Infused with skincare ingredients, it CONCEALS any dark circles and spots, CORRECTS uneven skin tone and SMOOTHS the look of your skin. Simply tap it on your face to neutralise the look of dark circles, then apply it on any areas on your face showing redness or pigmentation for a PERFECTLY NEUTRALISED, even-looking complexion that’s ready for the next step.

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  3. Step 3 in your order of makeup steps: foundation


    Charlotte’s collection of foundations gives your face a FLAWLESS base while creating an even canvas for the rest of your makeup to work its MAGIC! Before selecting your foundation, discover Charlotte’s guide to foundation finishes to find your favourite!

    If you’re looking for full coverage, Charlotte’s award-winning Airbrush Flawless Foundation creates poreless-looking skin that lasts all day, while Charlotte’s Unreal Skin Sheer Glow Tint hydrating foundation stick is a light-coverage foundation that looks super-natural and gives skin a radiant, ring light glow! Looking for something in between? Try Charlotte’s Beautiful Skin Foundation, a super-hydrating foundation that offers medium coverage for a healthy-looking GLOW!

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  4. Step 4 in your order of makeup steps: concealer


    The next step in your makeup routine is concealer. Charlotte’s Beautiful Skin Radiant Concealer is a super-hydrating concealer with medium coverage that CONCEALS, CORRECTS and BRIGHTENS any areas of your face showing blemishes and dark spots and circles. For a full-coverage finish, reach for Magic Away liquid concealer instead!

    Tilbury Tip: To visibly sculpt your face and add dimension, choose a concealer that’s one to two shades deeper than your foundation.

    Shop Charlotte's Beautiful Skin Radiant Concealer

  5. Step 5 in your order of makeup steps: powder


    Once you’ve created coverage and concealed any blemishes, it’s time to LOCK IN your base with Charlotte’s collection of MAGIC face powders! Charlotte’s Airbrush Flawless Finish is a smoothing-effect pressed powder that’ll give you FLAWLESS-LOOKING skin with a cashmere-like touch. Or for a more complexion-perfecting GLOW, choose Charlotte’s Airbrush Brightening Flawless Finish to brighten, blur and lift the entire look of your eyes and face!

    Tilbury Tip: If you plan to follow your powder with creamy-based cheek products, avoid using powder on your cheek areas at this stage to prevent pilling and patchiness!

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  6. Step 6 in your order of makeup steps: bronzer and contour


    Once you’ve created a FLAWLESS, SEAMLESS-LOOKING canvas with Charlotte’s complexion icons, it’s time to add some definition! Charlotte’s Hollywood Contour Wand is a MAGIC beauty tool with a lightweight, blendable and buildable formula that perfectly sculpts the appearance of your cheekbones and jawline for a more REFINED complexion. Prefer to contour with bronzer? Choose Charlotte’s award-winning Airbrush Bronzer with hydrating hyaluronic acid for a GLOWING GODDESS complexion!

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    Discover Charlotte guide to contouring

  7. Step 7 in your order of makeup steps: highlighter


    After you’ve applied and blended your contour, use Charlotte’s Beauty Light Wands to create further definition. This award-winning liquid highlighter complements your contour with an HD finish, leaving you with a NATURAL -LOOKING GLOW and LUMINOUS complexion. Or if you prefer to highlight with powder, Charlotte’s Hollywood Glow Glide Face Architect Highlighter will give you GLOWING, LIFTED and SCULPTED-LOOKING skin!

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    Shop Hollywood Glow Glide Face Architect Highlighters

  8. Step 8 in your order of makeup steps: eyebrow makeup


    Next, it’s time to UNLOCK your supermodel brows! Charlotte’s collection of eyebrow makeup creates beautiful brows in minutes, visibly sculpting your brows and making them look thicker while lifting the entire look of your face! Charlotte’s Brow Lift is a cream-wax eyebrow pencil that creates FULL and FLUFFY brows fast while Brow Cheat is a micro-precision brow pencil that PERFECTS your arches and helps to fill in those tiny gaps for a natural brow look!

    Once you’ve filled in your brows, Charlotte’s Legendary Brows tinted brow gel adds further tint and texture, while Charlotte’s Brow Fix clear brow gel visibly sculpts and sets your brows in place for supermodel brows that stay!

    Tilbury Tip: Before you get to work on your brows, comb your brows to reveal their natural shape and get a better idea of what you’re working with.

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    Discover the full tutorial on how to do eyebrow makeup

  9. Step 9 in your order of makeup steps: eyeshadow


    Once you’ve achieved your supermodel brows, it’s time to beautify your eyes with some eyeshadow! Charlotte’s collection of eyeshadow makeup includes eyeshadow palettes, cream eyeshadows and eyeshadow pencils, offering you different ways to create eyes that WOW fast! Don’t forget to check out Charlotte’s eyeshadow makeup tutorials to ensure the perfect eyeshadow application each time.

    Tilbury Tip: Before putting on your eyeshadow, apply some primer or concealer to your eyelids to create an even base and give your look some serious staying power!

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  10. Step 10 in your order of makeup steps: eyeliner


    After applying your eyeshadow, it’s time to DEFINE and ENHANCE the shape of your eyes with eyeliner! Charlotte’s Rock ‘n’ Kohl eyeliner is an intense eyeliner that creates a 1-slick line for FIERCE definition, while Charlotte’s ICONIC Pillow Talk eyeliner creates a DREAMY and defined eye look fast. Looking to create a SEXY winged eyeliner look in seconds? Choose Charlotte’s The Feline Flick liquid eyeliner for wider-looking eyes that WOW!

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  11. Step 11 in your order of makeup steps: mascara


    The next product in your magic makeup routine is mascara! Charlotte’s Pillow Talk Push Up! Lashes is a MIRACLE product that provides instant length, volume, stretch and lift, while the ICONIC Full Fat Lashes is a 5-in-1 mascara that creates buildable volume and length!

    If you apply mascara before your eyeshadow and eyeliner, it will be trickier to precisely apply them, as your newly lengthened, lifted lashes could get in the way!

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  12. Step 12 in your order of makeup steps: lip liner


    Next, it’s time to tackle your lips and create that PERFECT POUT! The first step to luscious lips is creating shape and drawing out the edges of your lips with lip liner. The ICONIC Lip Cheat helps to define the look of your pout, adding volume to your lips and providing a beautiful base for your lipstick for easy application!

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    Discover how to apply lip liner

  13. Step 13 in your order of makeup steps: lipstick


    Once you’ve outlined and defined your lips with lip liner, it’s time for some lipstick! Charlotte’s collection of luxurious and long-wearing lipsticks create a KISSABLE look fast with Matte Revolution helping you cheat your way to WIDER, FULLER LOOKING lips and the supermodel-inspired K.I.S.S.I.N.G giving you a luminous, full-bodied pout!

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    Discover how to apply lipstick

  14. Step 14 in your order of makeup steps: lip gloss


    If you’re a lip gloss lover, it should be applied after lipstick, to perfect your pout and give it a luscious, luminous shine! Charlotte’s iconic Lip Lustre gives your lips a SUMPTUOUS, silky finish in seconds, while Collagen Lip Bath is the ULTIMATE beauty cheat for achieving FULLER-LOOKING, mirror-shine lips fast!

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  15. Step 15 in your order of makeup steps: blush

    STEP 15: BLUSH

    You may be surprised to see blush this far down in the list but actually applying blush last is one of Charlotte’s ULTIMATE beauty tips! When the rest of your beauty look is complete, you’ll be able to better see how much colour you need to give your finished look a GLOWING KISS of blush. For a LUMINOUS glow, choose Charlotte’s Cheek to Chic two-tone pearlescent pink blusher. Or if you prefer to create blush using a more creamy formula, Charlotte’s Pillow Talk Lip & Cheek Glow is a warm rosebud-pink cream blush and lip tint in one!

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  16. Step 16 in your order of makeup steps: setting spray


    Now you’ve applied your makeup in the correct order, it’s time to lock in your look! Charlotte’s Airbrush Flawless Setting Spray is an oil-free, lightweight and ultra-hydrating setting spray that sets your makeup in place for up to 16 hours* so it lasts from day to night!

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Frequently Asked Questions: How To Apply Makeup Steps

With so many ways to create a BEAUTIFUL makeup look, it’s natural to have some questions. Here, Charlotte gives you the answers to some frequently asked questions about the correct order of makeup application.

Should I do my eyebrows before or after foundation?

Foundation should be one of the first steps in your makeup routine order to give your makeup look a beautiful-looking canvas! Once you’ve applied your colour corrector, apply your foundation, concealer, powder, bronzer and highlighter. Then, you’re ready to create your supermodel brows! If you apply your foundation after your brows, your foundation may be more difficult to blend as you will be trying to avoid your newly-perfected brows!

Should I apply concealer or foundation first?

If you’re wondering, ‘What goes first, concealer or foundation?’ then you’ve come to the right place. Foundation should be applied first to give overall coverage. Depending on the formula you use, you may be left with areas that need some extra coverage and this is where concealer comes in! Concealer will conceal, correct and brighten the look of any areas that are still showing dark circles, blemishes and dark spots for an overall flawless beauty look!

Do you need to use powder after foundation?

Powder is a great way to manage shine and help your makeup last for longer. For this reason, it’s best to apply it after your foundation. For makeup with serious staying power, Charlotte recommends her Airbrush Flawless Setting Spray to lock in your beauty look in seconds!

Should you apply setting spray after foundation?

Charlotte’s Airbrush Flawless Setting Spray is an oil-free and hydrating setting spray that primes your makeup and sets it in place for up to 16 hours*! It can be applied both before and after your foundation, due to the fact it PRIMES and SETS your makeup!

Tilbury Tip: Airbrush Flawless Setting Spray can also be spritzed on your face throughout the day to give your makeup a MAGICAL refresh with a fresh and weightless veil of hydration!

Do you contour before or after foundation?

You should apply your foundation before your contour to create a SEAMLESS canvas for your contour makeup! Charlotte’s guide on how to contour tells you everything you need to know about FLAWLESS contouring for the look of a perfectly sculpted complexion!

Now that you’ve UNLOCKED the secrets to a flawless beauty look with the correct order to apply your makeup, it’s time to create magic makeup looks for every occasion! For tips, tricks and step-by-step guides to creating endless beauty looks, check out Charlotte’s magical beauty tutorials for advice on everything from applying face masks to making your eyes look bigger and brighter.

*Tested on 100 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.

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