Think the moisturizer you use doesn’t affect how your makeup looks? Think again. A good base layer is crucial for flawless makeup. In addition to helping your foundation, CC cream, or concealer go on smooth, the formula you choose can tone down redness, help balance your complexion, and more.
According to Joshua Zeichner, MD, head of dermatology at Mount Sinai, your face moisturizer is the true MVP of your skincare routine. “A moisturizer can improve radiance by enhancing light reflection off your skin, diminish fine lines by plumping, increase hydration by pulling in water, and protect from the environment by forming a breathable seal over the skin,” he says.
Choosing a targeted formula for your skin’s needs also means it’s easier to achieve any makeup look. “Always prep skin with a moisturizer that’s right for your skin type,” says makeup artist Tracy Alfajora. “If you don’t, you’ll just put more makeup on top, when you could solve the problem by having a good skincare routine.”
Need more proof that this is the one step you really shouldn’t skip? Keep reading to see how choosing the right Olay Regenerist formula can effortlessly get you the skin—and makeup—payoff you want.
If you’re dry…a rich cream gets you dewy skin
You can layer all the tinted moisturizer or creamy highlighter you want, but if your skin is dry, flakes and fine lines are going to steal the show.
That’s why it’s so important to prep your skin with a stellar face cream that contains ingredients like super-hydrating glycerin, collagen-boosting peptides, and skin-strengthening vitamin B3.
Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream contains all three, and was the base of the glass skin look seen here.
An important step: Alfajora says taking the time to fully massage in a moisturizer is non-negotiable. “Without prepping the skin properly, the makeup wouldn’t lay right,” she says. “The areas that are dry and flaky will just get encrusted into the makeup and you’ll see all of that sitting on the surface.”
If you’re oily…a light-as-air texture creates a matte finish
If your skin is oily in some areas (like your cheeks, nose, and chin), you may skip a daily face cream out of fear that it will make you crazy greasy. However, a light moisturizer that hydrates by keeping water in your skin is exactly what you need every single day.
“Moisturizers that contain high levels of humectant ingredients like hyaluronic acid or glycerin bind to—and pull in—water to hydrate skin,” says Dr. Zeichner. And if your skin is hydrated, it won’t create excess oil to compensate for its lack of water. The result: Your skin is naturally less greasy in oily zones.
To create this matte-skin look, Alfajora used Olay Regenerist Whip Face Moisturizer SPF 25, a super lightweight airy texture that quickly penetrates skin and acts as a primer before applying any foundation.
But don’t let its lightness fool you. This moisturizer is packed with glycerin to keep your combination skin more hydrated where it’s dry, but won’t make oily zones more greasy. The unique gel-cream hybrid also has broad spectrum UV protection to ward off sun damage and spots over time.
If you’re sensitive…a fragrance-free formula gives you an even complexion
Are you always seeing red when it comes to your skin? One major, often-overlooked culprit is fragrance in your products. “While a fragrance adds to the sensorial experience of using a product, these compounds can give way to irritation or true allergies,” says Zeichner.
But that definitely doesn’t mean you should avoid all skincare products. Instead, make sure you’re using a hydrating moisturizer with no added fragrances—that’s essential to keeping your skin calm. “The outer skin layer serves as a barrier between your skin and the outside world,” explains Zeichner. “When the outer skin layer is disrupted, which is often the case with sensitized skin, it loses hydration, leading to dryness, inflammation, and redness.”
The Olay formula that created this vibrant look: Olay Regenerist Whip Face Moisturizer Fragrance-Free. Along with having zero scent-related chemicals, it’s packed with glycerin and vitamin B3 to give your complexion all the TLC it needs by bolstering the external layer, so that water stays in and irritants stay out.
Need some new makeup inspo? Take a cue from this electric look and draw attention to your eyes by creating a gorgeous lime green lid, like the one seen here.
Stylist: Kathy Lee.
Pictured: Panconesi earrings, Jil Sander earrings, Cushnie dress.