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How Jamie Greenberg Preps Skin for Makeup

By Elsa de Berker, she/her 

No matter the amount of makeup you choose to wear, one thing is for certain: the best way to apply it is after prepping your skin. But what does that mean in real terms, and how do you do it? 

“I like to compare prepping your skin to preparing a canvas for a paintingyou’re literally preparing your skin for the makeup you’re about to put on it,” explains Jamie Greenberg, a makeup industry veteran and artist to a plethora of shiny red carpet stars, including Tracee Ellis Ross, Rashida Jones, and Kristen Stewart. 

Prioritizing prepping the skin “doesn’t just ensure a smoother application, it also helps you get the maximum amount of mileage out of your products, and helps your finished look stay in place from morning to night,” she continues, adding that before big A-list appearances she expands her scope below the jawline to the neck, décolleté, hands, and body as well.

“I’d describe my makeup aesthetic as super natural. Most of my clients don’t want anything crazy, they just want to look like the best versions of themselvesand to achieve that, the most important step in makeup is skincare.”

Here, in five easy steps, Greenberg breaks down how to perfectly prep the skin for makeup. Read it nowand bookmark it forever.

Step 1: Survey the land

“Part of my job is to relax my clients and set the mood, so I always start with a quick check in on how they’re feeling, and also how much time they have in the chair,” says Greenberg. “In an ideal world, I like to set aside 30 minutes for prep, but I can work with 15 minutes if I have to. The additional time makes such a difference, though, particularly if you’re going for a natural look.”

Step 2: Clean it up

“If the skin is dull, I like to start with cleansing, and then I’ll do some kind of exfoliator. I love the Superfood Cleanser because it takes everything off without stripping the skin. It’s also the perfect amount of sudsand I value that in a cleanser.”

Step 3: Apply a mask

“If I have enough time, I like to try and squeeze in two treatmentsone of them being a mask. If you’re dealing with zits, I really love the Superclay Purify + Clear Power Mask because it’s so calming and healing. If the skin is dull, it’s a brightening mask. Another thing I like to do is apply the Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Oil, rub and massage it in with a marble facial roller, and then put a sheet mask on top. It’s really relaxing, moisturizing, and the rollers help take down inflammation. The little ice globes that you can put in the freezer are really good for that too.”

Step 4: Hydration, hydration, hydration

“The first Youth To The People product I fell in love with was the Superberry Dream Eye Creamand I still love it today. I like to really press it into the eye area, quite firmly, again and again. Then I’ll warm a little of the Superfood Air-Whip Moisture Cream in my hands to wake up the active ingredients and apply it to the face with a press and roll motion.” 

Step 5: Always carry a mist

“A perfect face of makeup should be an understated statement—and to keep it looking fresh, I recommend that people use a mist throughout the day. Decant some of the Adaptogen Soothe + Hydrate Activated Mist into a smaller bottle so it’s easier to carry around and spray it on often to avoid dried out makeup and revive your energy.”

[Editor’s note: you can find the travel-sized Adaptogen Soothe + Hydrated Activated Mist here.]

Written by Elsa de Berker for Youth To The People




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Superfood Cleanser
Superfood Cleanser Refill 16 oz.
Superberry Dream Cleansing Balm
Mandelic Acid + Superfood Unity Exfoliant
Superfood Air-Whip Moisture Cream
Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream
The Minimalist Pores + Brighten 3-Step Skincare Kit
The Dreamer Hydrate + Glow 3-Step Skincare Kit
The Youth System™ 6-Piece Minis Kit
The Superfood 3-Step Clear Skin Routine
The Superfood Cleanser Refill Kit
Brighten, Clear + Smooth Youth Mask Trio