9 Tips from Makeup Maven McKenzie Westmore

If you wanted to know the best way to prime your skin for makeup, you’d want to know not only the tricks of the trade from a top makeup artist who’s responsible for ensuring women look their best all day long, but also from the women wearing the makeup who can speak to how their skin looks and feels well after the lipstick’s worn off and the foundation’s been washed away. McKenzie Westmore knows both.

Born to the legendary Westmore family (they created the first makeup department in movie studios and invented fake eyelashes!) under whom she’s trained as a makeup artist, as well as an actress (you may recognize her from her 10-year run as “Sheridan Crane” on NBC’s Passions or as the current host of SyFy’s Face Off) McKenzie Westmore knows makeup as both a wand-wielding makeup artist and as a canvas to be painted on. So, how does she prep skin for perfect makeup application? We asked…

How To Prime Your Skin For Makeup

Start with your diet. “A good beauty regimen starts from the inside out,” says McKenzie. Load up on water and water-rich fruits and vegetables to ensure skin is healthy and hydrated from the inside out.

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Prep before bed. Before hitting the sheets, McKenzie tells The Beauty Bean that she steeps black tea bags and places them in the fridge. When you wake up, lay down for 15-20 minutes with your feet elevated and the tea bags on your eyes. The caffeine and tannins in the tea will reduce undereye puffiness and darkness.

Cleanse in the morning. As McKenzie says, “the face is like a canvas, if you don’t have a clean canvas, makeup won’t stick.” A lot of us think that if we go to bed with a clean complexion that it stays that way but your hair and pillow cases can carry oils that you want to wash away in the morning.

Tone. “After cleansing skin, apply a rose-water based toner to refresh,” McKenzie tells us, for the best possible base for your skincare.

Moisturize. Regardless of your skin type, hydrate your skin prior to applying makeup. McKenzie is loving EDAP cream ($8), which she discovered on FaceOff, but she emphasizes that you need to find the right product for your skin. If your moisturizer doesn’t have SPF, follow with sunscreen.

Eye Cream. You may think of eye cream as being exclusive to your evening routine, but McKenzie wants to change that. “My dad [Academy award-winning “Star Trek” makeup artist Michael Westmore!] always said the eyes are the window to the soul…and they require extra attention and special care” both morning and night.

Wait. Give your moisturizer and eye cream time to soak in and do their magic. We think this is a great time to drink some water and eat a healthy breakfast.

Try This Healthy Breakfast Idea: Baked Apple Oatmeal with Blueberries Recipe

Primer (optional). While McKenzie loves Make Up For Ever Primer ($34) when working on set, (“I love the whole line!” she tells us!) she tells us that pimer is “typically not needed when running to the grocery store,” for example.

Cleanse Again. “Don’t forget, remove makeup, especially before working out! Your skin is an organ and it needs to breathe,” says McKenzie. We couldn’t agree more!

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