Who doesn’t love getting dolled up? Whether you’re heading to a big game, the first day of practice or an exciting cheer competition, you’ll need to know how to prepare your skin for a makeup application to appear equally as outstanding as your cheering ability. When it comes to picking the right look for you, always remember to choose a style you love and customize it to your unique features. That way you will still look like yourself, just a bit more pulled together and beautiful. Ready? Okay!

Things You Will Need:

  • Facial Cleanser
  • Exfoliating Scrub or Chemical Exfoliant
  • Toner
  • Eye Cream (optional)
  • Moisturizer with Sunscreen
  • Foundation Primer
  • Eye Shadow Primer (optional)
  • Makeup and Tools

1. Prepare your makeup products in advance.

Getting glamorous is a fun and exciting part of being a cheerleader. When creating an unforgettable look that’s sure to wow the fans, players and judges, being prepared and organized are two of the top rules. There’s nothing worse than not being able to find the right eyeliner or lip gloss you need because your beauty products are unorganized. Before the big day, choose your color palette, sharpen your eye and lip pencils  and take inventory of your products so you know what you have and what you will still need to purchase. You can even line up your makeup products next to the mirror or place them in your makeup bag for easy access.

Before the day of application, it’s the perfect time to clean your makeup tools, like brow combs, blush and foundation brushes and eyelash curlers, to remove traces of oil, product residue and bacteria build-up. Ideally, you should wash your makeup brushes every day but, if you must, you can stretch it to once a week. If there’s time, find an online video tutorial of the makeup style you want and practice the steps in advance. This will ensure that you are well prepared and you will know what to expect. In addition, early preparations will allow you to make any necessary tweaks well in advance. Waiting until the last minute is never a good idea when makeup is concerned.

2. Cleanse, exfoliate and tone.

The importance of quality skincare can’t be stressed enough. The first three steps of any beneficial skincare regimen are especially crucial for preparing the skin for makeup application. To ensure that you’re using the right products, take a skin type analysis quiz and become familiar with your specific skin type and its unique challenges and needs.

  • Cleansing helps to remove dirt, oil and debris, which can clog the pores and lead to unnecessary breakouts. Apply a face wash, appropriate for your complexion type, to your face and neck with your fingertips. Work the product over the surface of your skin using small, circular motions. Rinse your face and neck well. When drying your skin, never rub with a towel; always blot dry.
  • Exfoliating assists in removing dead skin cells and anything left over after the cleansing process. Those with clear skin can choose a face scrub with natural granules like almond or strawberry. Using these tiny abrasive particles will help to slough off dry skin; however, if you’re experiencing acne, a better option is to use a chemical exfoliant, which does the trick equally well by dissolving away debris. Find a product with an ingredient such as Glycolic Acid to perform the same function without aggravating acne and causing the skin to become red and inflamed. Rinse the skin well and blot it with a dry towel.
  • Toning the skin is great for refreshing the complexion, keeping oil under control and aiding in the exfoliation process. Add a few drops of toner, appropriate to your complexion type, to a cotton pad; then swipe it over the skin in upward strokes until it comes up clean. Voila, the cleansing process is complete!

3. Apply an eye cream and moisturizer, with SPF.

Eye cream is essential for moisturizing the delicate skin of the under eye. While an under eye cream is most recommended for women in their twenties and older, it’s smart to get a head start by using an eye cream even earlier in life because the skin of the under eye area is very thin and tends to dry out and age quickly. If anti-aging is not one of your major concerns, remember that makeup goes on much smoother when all of your skin is well moisturized.

*Some surprising advice about moisturizing: Did you know that even if you have oily or acne-prone skin, you should still moisturize?

Today there are a variety of oil-free moisturizers that can keep your face and neck hydrated without contributing to acne. In addition, most people don’t realize the importance of using a daily moisturizer with an SPF of at least 15, year round; however, sunscreen is an essential component in protecting your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. These ultraviolet rays, which are present even on cloudy days, can lead to wrinkles and dark spots in years to come, and it’s no fun trying to brighten up once the damage is done.

4. Use an appropriate foundation primer for the face and neck.

Depending on the type of makeup you use, you will need a foundation primer. There are creamy gel primers, liquid-to-powder versions, shimmery primers and oil free varieties. Primer helps to smooth out the surface of the skin for an even makeup application. When shopping for primer, look for a product from a reputable brand with silicone as one of the main ingredients. Apply a dime-sized amount to the areas of the face with the most pores, namely your forehead, nose, cheeks and chin, which make up the T-zone. Use your fingertips to blend.

As far as foundation goes, there are a variety of mineral foundations that come in powder and cream versions that even skin tone and hide imperfections without a thick, cake-like consistency. Powder based foundation can help control oil, and it can be set with a natural facial spray to create a luminous appearance.

5. Prime the eyelids for eye shadow.

What would an exciting makeup application be without eye shadow? Cheerleaders are known for their incredible pep and colorful ensembles, so eye shadow is the perfect accessory to your bright and entertaining outfit. Eye shadow can enhance the color and shape of the eyes, while drawing attention upwards to the face. To prevent your eye shadow from creasing, add a small amount of eye shadow primer to the ball of the eyelid. This can be done with a brush, cotton swab or the fingertips, but a laydown brush is usually best. Blend the product in an upward motion to the brow bone, and extend it to the inner corner of the eye. Without touching the lashes, bring the product down to the lash line, as well. Primer will also allow your eye shadow to be as bright and bold as it looks in the packaging. Colors that go on dry skin typically don’t stick or retain their color as well.

6. Use quality makeup for your skin type.

By now, since you’ve already uncovered your skin type, you should know that there are a number of different skin types, including: dry, oily, normal and sensitive. Each of these types has certain needs. Additionally, if you have any skin conditions like acne, sun damage, or psoriasis, which should be diagnosed by a dermatologist, these can also play a factor in determining the right makeup for your skin.

Always choose products with safe and effective ingredients. The skin is one of the largest organs of the body, and it absorbs the products you put on it. If you have dry skin, look for creamy, moisturizing formulas that have hydrating oils in the formula. Oily skin requires nourishment without the oil, so opt for water-based formulas and powders, instead. Sensitive skin can be trickier to buy for. Find products that have less chemicals and more soothing ingredients. Normal skin responds well to a variety of products and it’s usually pretty versatile.

7. Find makeup resources online to learn the basic techniques.

YouTube is a great resource for finding easy-to-follow video tutorials for makeup looks. Beauty blogs and brand sites sometimes offer step-by-step posts or videos so fans can easily recreate fun makeup designs. If you have a certain style in mind, you can turn to Google Images to find relevant photos that can be a source of inspiration or that link to other helpful resources you may have never known otherwise.

8. Remember to have fun!

Shimmer, glitter, bold colors and false lashes are all parts of letting go and having fun while making a beauty statement. Remember, makeup isn’t permanent. You can experiment with colors, designs, styles and looks to find the right approach for what you’re going for. Have fun matching your makeup to your outfit and accessories. If you like to wear interesting hair clips and scrunchies, you can pull your whole look together by using colors that complement one another.

Now that you know how to prepare your skin for an artful makeup session, leave a comment to let me know what kind of look you’re going for and where you gain your inspiration!

Sara Kosmyna is a freelance writer and licensed cosmetologist with over five years of professional experience. She has written a number of essays and articles on love, beauty, career, happiness, family and self-improvement. Her work has been published in print and online. She works for Mario Badescu. You can find more about Mario Badescu on Facebook and Twitter

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Who doesn’t love getting dolled up? Whether you’re heading to a big game, the first day of practice or an exciting cheer competition, you’ll need to know how to prepare your skin for a makeup application to appear equally as outstanding as your cheering ability. When it comes to...