How to Apply Makeup to Dry Skin: 11 Tips, Tutorials and Products


How to Apply Makeup to Dry Skin | If you have dry and flakey skin and want to know how to apply foundation, how to apply concealer and more without making problem skin worse, this post is for you! We've including the best drugstore dry skin products, as well as makeup application tips and step-by-step tutorials for hydrated, moisturized, and glowing skin. Perfect for those in need of a winter skincare routine as well as those with mature skin, these tips and ideas work!

Dealing with dry skin is a winter woe that many of us know too well. Not only is winter air dry, the air that comes out of indoor furnaces is dry too, creating the perfect storm for dry, flaky skin. Working with skin-loving ingredients, layering on your products properly and prepping your face with skin care is key to getting a smooth, glowing complexion. Take a look at how to apply makeup to dry skin and love the skin you’re in!

How to Apply Makeup to Dry Skin

1. Do a Morning Face Scrub
You want to apply makeup to the smoothest skin possible so it doesn’t look dry and patchy. Dead skin cells build up on the surface of your skin, causing your makeup to go on less than smoothly. Remove them with a gentle face scrub like the Acure Brightening Facial Scrub, which exfoliates dead skin cells and makes your skin silky smooth before applying your makeup.

2. Apply a Hydrating Moisturizer
Using a super hydrating moisturizer will also help your makeup go on smoothly and soothe your dry skin. Look for a moisturizer with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic and glycerin, such as Neutrogena Hydro Boost. It’s super hydrating but also gentle and will quench your skin’s dryness almost immediately. Apply your moisturizer as soon as you get out of the shower while your skin is still moist, so it can penetrate the skin and seal in moisture.

3. Try a Serum with Ceramide
Ceramides are skin-loving ingredients that are a must if you’re battling dry skin. Ceramides are fatty acids in the skin that help maintain the skin barrier and retain moisture and hydration. Ceramide-formulated products lock in moisture and are key for maintaining long-term hydration and strengthening the skin’s surface against environmental stressors. Try a product like the Glow Recipe Recovery Serum formulated with avocado extract and butter, ceramides, and calming allantoin and rice milk.

4. Use an Eye Gel
Before applying concealer under your eyes, apply a light gel to hydrate the area. The CETAPHIL Eye Cream contains hyaluronic acid that brightens and smooths your under eye area and provides 24 hour hydration. It absorbs quickly and moisturizes deeply and since your under eye area can dry out easily, an eye cream is a must for your dry skin beauty arsenal.

5. Wear a Hydrating Primer
Wearing a hydrating primer under your foundation is key if you have dry skin. Not only does a good primer help your makeup stay in place, it also creates a smooth canvas for makeup application. Look for a primer with skin-quenching ingredients like the Jane Iredale Smooth Affair Primer formulated with grapefruit extract and green and white tea extract. It smooths and hydrates your skin for a long lasting, ideal makeup canvas.

6. Find a Hydrating Foundation
Since foundation is used all over your face, you want to make sure you find one that provides ultra hydration. It sets the base for the rest of your makeup so it needs to keep your complexion smooth and hydrated. Opt for a liquid foundation over a powder one, since powder can make patchiness more noticeable. Try the Maybelline Fit Me! Dewy and Smooth Foundation formulated with vitamin E for a hydrating formula that leaves your skin with a dewy finish.

7. Covering Dry, Flaky and Acne Prone Skin via Sonia Anastasia

This is one of the best tutorials on Youtube that actually teaches you how to cover dry, flaky skin with makeup. If you have dry, acne prone skin and have been looking for a makeup remedy, we’ve found the solution for you! She lists off the best skin care and makeup products to cover up dry skin and create a flawless finish. These include products like the Physician’s Formula Illuminating Primer, the CoverGirl + Olay Simply Ageless Liquid Foundation and the Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer. Watch as her skin transforms from dry and flaky to seamlessly covered.

8. Use a Makeup Sponge for Application
Dry skin tends to have an uneven texture, so applying foundation and concealer with your fingers can emphasize dry patches. Instead, after moisturizing, use a Beauty Blender to pat foundation into your face. Make sure to wet and wring out your sponge prior to applying your foundation or concealer for best finish.

9. Use a Cream Blush
When it comes to bronzer and blush, stick to cream formulas that won’t dry out your skin even more. Cream formulas are best suited for dry, dull complexions, giving your skin a dose of hydration and shine. A cream blush like the ILIA Multi-Stick for Lips + Cheeks offers a dewy, radiant flush to your cheeks, mimicking the texture and finish of healthy, glowing skin. Formulated with avocado oil and shea butter, it melts onto your skin with buttery perfection.

10. Use a Setting Spray (Not Setting Powder)
Rather than using a setting powder that can make dry skin look even drier, opt for a setting spray to keep your makeup in place. This coconut facial mist by Georgette Klinger sets your makeup for a healthy, fresh look. Formulated with coconut, aloe vera, grape extract and green tea, it refreshes tired skin and keeps your skin hydrated at all times.

11. Keep a Face Mist Handy
Keep a refreshing facial mist on hand so you can give your skin a spritz if it starts feeling dried out. The e.l.f Soothing Facial Mist will give your skin a midday pick-me-up, enriched with aloe vera and vitamin E to soothe and refresh your complexion. Keep it in your bag for times you need an extra boost of hydration to keep your skin from flaking.

If you’re dealing with dry skin, try these tips, products and tutorials to banish flakes and dryness for good! You’re on your way to smooth, fresh skin you’ll love to show off.

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