Afton Williams has been working as a makeup artist in her hometown of Los Angeles for 14 years. She got her start in the music industry and now focuses mainly on clients within the celebrity and fashion spheres. Actresses Sophia Bush and Arielle Vandenberg are among her regular clients, and her specialty—rather than over-the-top Euphoria-style looks—is enhancing her clients’ natural features and helping supercharge the appearance of their skin.
“I’m known for very clean and precise makeup,” says Williams. “I love really clean, glowy skin. It’s the most important part of makeup for me.”
Formerly an artist on Youth To The People shoots, Williams is well-acquainted with the brand’s range of products, noting that the Adaptogen Soothe + Hydrate Activated Mist, Superfood Air-Whip Moisture Cream, Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream, and Superfood Hydrate + Firm Eye Cream are staples in her professional kit. “I love that there’s something for everyone,” she says of YTTP’s offerings.
Ahead, Williams shares the makeup skin prep routine that she’s perfected over the course of more than a decade, explaining that “if you invest in skin prep, not only are you going to have better-lasting results but the look is going to be so much more elevated. Skin prep hydrates and visibly plumps the skin so that your makeup application is going on smoother and more evenly and last longer. It also reduces the chances that makeup will grab onto any texture in your skin differently.”
Step 1: Hydrating Spray
After arriving with freshly-cleansed skin, “I like to use some sort of hydrating spray to start my skin prep,” says Williams, noting that a favorite of hers is YTTP’s Adaptogen Soothe + Hydrate Activated Mist.
Step 2: Moisturizer
“With this step, you should be specific to the skin’s needs,” says Williams. “You might use a richer moisturizer if it’s dry or if you want a dewier look.”
For a lighter moisturizer, she suggests YTTP’s Superfood Air-Whip Moisture Cream.
“The consistency of it is lightweight, kind of like a moisturizer and primer in one, so you can just put that on, and it’ll work to hydrate the skin and prime it for makeup.”
She continues, “I always tell people that primer is really optional as long as your skin is prepped properly with skincare. It’s going to create a really nice smooth, even, youthful, plump-looking canvas which can help makeup go on well.”
If you’re needing an extra boost of hydration, try YTTP’s Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream. “I use this on a lot of men because they typically have lots of rough skin texture,” says Williams. “It’s also great for anyone that needs a little more plumping like those with aging or dry skin.”
Step 3: Under-Eye Cream
“We’ve been trained into thinking that under-eye cream is part of our nighttime routine, but it can also be used in the morning to help hydrate and visibly plump the under-eye area and [results in] a really smooth under-eye concealer application,” says Afton, recommending YTTP’s Superfood Hydrate + Firm Eye Cream. “A lot of times, people run into issues with their concealer becoming crease-y and crepe-y and it’s usually because they don’t hydrate that under eye area.”
To really help lock its hydrating powers in, Williams puts an eye patch over the cream after applying it, explaining that “the concealer will set a lot better.”
Step 4: One Last Spritz
After she’s applied makeup onto her prepped and plump canvas, Williams always finishes the look with a final spritz of the Adaptogen Soothe + Hydrate Activated mist.
“It helps take down the powdery look of any makeup by rehydrating the products,” she explains. “You get a natural finish rather than the makeup looking like a mask.”
Written by Ariana Marsh for Youth To The People