September 16, 2020 Oliver Finley

How proper skin care will completely change your makeup game

April Saenz: Makeup Artist/Makeup Dept coordinator for Oliver Finley Academy

How proper skincare will completely change your makeup game

(April Saenz: Makeup Artist/Makeup Dept coordinator for Oliver Finley Academy)


I have been working in the Beauty industry now for six years, specifically in skincare and makeup. During the last six years, I have come to discover that these two exciting professions go hand in hand. Initially, when I decided to venture into this industry, I was only interested in makeup. I wanted to live and breathe makeup but more importantly, I wanted to be taken seriously as a Makeup artist. At the time, my professional makeup knowledge was limited. None of my friends and family at the time had anything to do with the Beauty industry. My mom only wore makeup for special occasions and even then, it was minimal. I knew how to apply my own makeup and I thought I knew how to apply makeup to others.

Six years later, here I am with the realization that I knew very little. Today, the more I learn, the less I feel like I know. The Makeup Industry is enormous and there is much to discover. It is forever growing and changing. Current popular trends can become irrelevant in as little as a week. While that may be a slight exaggeration, fashion trends in general, tend to come and go quickly.

I began exploring Makeup artistry with the professional goal of becoming a legit artist. At that time in Idaho, we did not have official classes for Makeup Artistry. It was not recognized as a certified or licensed practice at the State level, (there is now a 100-hour makeup Certification available for Idaho). In my research at the time, I found that Esthetics, a 600-hour course, provided proper licensure in Idaho and covered what the State required to legally charge clients for Makeup services.

I made the decision to become an Esthetician and took the plunge!

I quit my full-time job and started a part-time job that allowed for my new school schedule. I quickly discovered a passion for all things “skincare”.

When I attended school six years ago, the Esthetics curriculum did not include much makeup instruction. I took what was offered at the time and ran with it. Much of what I have learned over these past six years involved a lot of trial and error. I used a ton of different products to help me figure out how to achieve my artistic goals. I tried endless techniques and tools. Over the past few years, I had the privilege of receiving additional professional training via a respected worldwide makeup company that helped me advance my own professional growth. I am so grateful for the people involved that helped me through that process.  I look back now and realize how much I have grown. My ultimate goal is to continue to learn, grow, and become a better artist than I was yesterday.

One of the biggest things I’ve learned as a Makeup artist is how much I love the “skincare” side of makeup. As a professionally licensed Esthetician and Makeup artist, I strive to create as much of a flawless canvas as I can. I love healthy-looking skin. The condition of one’s skin can make or break a look. Not just in how healthy a person’s skin appears, but in how the makeup applies and the overall “look” of the makeup application.

Is the foundation the right color?

Is it blended properly? Are the highlights and shadows in the right place?

How sheer or opaque are the colors on the eyes, cheeks, and lips?

Overall, how balanced is everything?

How well have you prepared the skin to help it look like an amazing piece of art, whether it be natural or a glamorous piece of abstract work?

Many times, I see Makeup artists/influencers skip any kind of skincare and jump right into using a primer, talking about how you must use this product for your makeup to apply correctly, (to prime or not to prime; that is the question.) I also see some Makeup artists/influencers use so much skincare product prior to makeup application, that I wonder how everything isn’t sliding right off their face afterward.

That’s where I come in now as a professional Makeup Instructor. To help things feel a bit easier for you as an artist; understanding and developing techniques that will maximize your makeup applications.

Yes, skincare is important. In my professional and personal opinion, it is the most important step in every makeup application. How you approach “skincare” definitely matters. The products you use are important.

When beginning a makeup application, whether it be on yourself or on someone else, it is important to know the skin type: Dry, oily, combination, etc. There are moisturizers specifically for each of these skin types, (although there are many water-based moisturizers that may work for everyone).  The most important thing to remember is that using the proper moisturizer really impacts everything that happens afterward. For example, if you are doing bridal makeup that needs to last all day, you need to correctly identify and utilize a moisturizer that is specifically for the Bride’s skin type for best results.

Here’s why: Using a moisturizer prior to a makeup application provides many positive results.

* It helps to even out varying textures from dry or dehydrated skin.

* It gives the skin a “plumping” effect which in turn can smooth out fine lines and wrinkles.

By adding hydration or moisture to the skin, you’ll notice a healthier and often, more youthful look.

Even oily skin needs to be prepped with moisture. Use a moisturizer developed for use with oily skin conditions and it will help to neutralize oil production.

Primer, for skin prep, is a personal preference. Some artists swear by utilizing a face primer. Some swear by “not” using a primer. I say use your best judgment and if you have achieved adequate moisture for the skin, then you’re ready for the next steps!

To sum this all up: Take the time to properly prep the skin and you will find that everything “makeup” becomes much easier and much more effective.


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