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Ask Lex: Dry Skin Makeup Tips

Make Up Tips for Dry Skin
Photo: Playing Fashion

Reader: I have really dry skin. What is the best thing to use before and after applying makeup?

I feel you sister! The only time of year that I appreciate having dry skin is during the summer. During all other times of the year I need to put in extra effort to maintain a dewy glow. If I don’t, my skin literally begins to flake. Gross, I know. We may have been having a warm streak in New York City, but my skin is still in complete cold weather mode. So here are few tips to keep the dryness at bay…

Before/After You Put on Makeup:

  • Drink a lot of water. Water is quite honestly the elixir of the gods. It is great for your hair, it is wonderful for your body, and it is amazing for your skin. Besides the fact that you really should be drinking at least eight glasses a day anyway, if your skin is dry it is especially necessary. It is essentially bringing out your beauty from within. You are hydrated on the inside, so your skin will follow suit. Water will not reverse the problem, but it will help in retaining moisture. Eight glasses a day fashionistas, for realz.
  • Do a mask once per week. I like to use Queen Helene’s Mint Julep Masque or Mud Pack Masque. Keep it on for 10-15 minutes while you watch some Bravo and when you wash it off your skin will be as smooth as a baby’s bottom. When you have dry skin you need to be getting rid of dead skins cells as often as you can.
  • Use a scrub every other day. Again, it is important not let the dead skin cells build up. Just be sure to use a scrub that is gentle. I have always been a big fan of St. Ives Apricot Scrub. It smells great, it is gentle, and it exfoliates amazingly! It is best to use a scrub (and/or mask) at night as your skin renews the most while you are sleeping.
  • Remove makeup with products that are not drying. I use Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash because it does not have soap. It gets rid of all of my makeup (even waterproof mascara) without any hassle. I rarely even need to use a eye makeup remover. When I do, I try to use removers that are oil based.
  • Finish with a rejuvenating oil and hydrating moisturizer. I skip it in the summer, but in the winter I like to finish with some sort of oil (jojaba, coconut, argan, etc.) and top that with my moisturizer. This is another step that is best done at night.

When You’re Putting on Makeup:

  • Use liquid foundation. For years I swore by powder, until I finally realized that it is way too drying for my skin. Now I only use liquid foundations. Currently, my favorite drugstore brand is Maybelline Fit Me. It blends perfectly and offers such a variety of shades! The big misconception is that foundation is just to cover blemishes. While that is a part of it, the reality is that foundation’s primary purpose to give you an even tone. If you don’t use foundation, I’d suggest trying to wear just a little for a more even and bright complexion.
  • Cut your foundation. Cutting foundation simply means mixing in some moisturizer with your foundation. I like to do a 50/50 ratio. So basically, a dollop of foundation mixed with an even dollop of moisturizer. You will be amazed at what a difference this will make!
  • Use a cream based highlight/contour. This a step for the girls who already like to contour or are interested in trying. Not required, but highly recommended. For a long time I was using a powder to contour my cheeks. That was until I discovered PUR Cameo Contour. It glides on easily and blends out beautifully. My favorite part is that it comes with with it’s own beauty blender that is uniquely shaped to give a perfect contour. There is a huge variety of shades so you do not need to fret about finding the perfect one for your complexion. It’s there. Cream based products are the best thing for dry skin.
  • Finishing with a setting spray. Everyone should use a setting spray in my opinion. Honestly I don’t know how I went so long without one. If your skin is dry, it is especially necessary. It is gives you that last boost of hydration. I alternate between a L’Oreal Infallible Setting Spray and NYX Cosmetics Dewey Finish Setting Spray. I use L’Oreal when I need my makeup to last all day into the night and NYX when my skin is super dry.

Dry skin happens, but hopefully these tips will help you weather the storm!

**Lex answers reader questions on Tuesdays and Thursdays. All reader submissions are anonymous.

xoxo Lex Loves Couture



  1. What moisturizer do you use? I have exactly the same skin type, where if i don’t take care and have a routine, my skin just goes flaky -Not very nice at all!! haha
    But i’m looking for an inexpensive moisturizer to use over these winter months.

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