Makeup Application Steps I Just Don’t Like

Raise your hand if you have ever watched a YouTube makeup tutorial or an Instagram makeup tutorial and felt inadequate because you only do a fraction of the application steps the influencer or artist demonstrates.

Maybe you thought I was going to raise my hand. But I’m not.

While I tend to skip several steps in the application process, I am NOT ashamed and you shouldn’t be, either!

My school of thought is that makeup is an individual way of expressing yourself, and we all have a preferred way of doing it. Mine excludes a few things.

Here’s what you will not often, or ever, see me do – and I’d love to hear from you below about what YOU don’t like to do that might be a popular technique you see in tutorials!

Also – my photos are meant to be a funny exaggeration and I had fun doing it, I hope you enjoy!


The only baking I do is when I help my husband make chocolate chip cookies by taste-testing the fresh-from-the-oven delights (which he kinda hates, lol).

But seriously. The term “baking” refers to using a setting powder after applying your foundation and a creamy concealer. You put a load of powder on you face and let it sit and “bake.” Which is basic terminology for – let it comingle with the creamy product on your face and create a flawless appearance before you take a brush and dust away what’s left. (I read more about the process here, to be more accurate in my description since I don’t do it!)

I see a lot of people doing this also as a way of catching fall-out from their eye shadow.

First – I do my eyes first. I don’t care how messy my application is, because I tidy it all up with a facial wipe before I move on.

Second, I am getting older, and at 41, I don’t want to “bake” my makeup, because this process can look caked on with my aging skin (pun intended). I’m getting fine – and not so fine! – lines!

Setting powder is something I will dust all over my face after I apply my foundation, and my preferred product at the moment is Milani Prep + Set + Glow Translucent Illuminating Powder.

Makeup Sponge

Speaking of baking, I see a lot of it happening with a makeup sponge, like a Beauty Blender.

I have tried. I really have. But I strongly dislike applying my foundation and cosmetics with a sponge.

Please give me a brush. A fluffy foundation brush. Same brush for concealer – if I even bother with that step. I don’t need to blend anything out, like contour, because (spoiler alert!) I hate doing that too.

This is not to bash the sponge, or those who use it. It’s me, sponge, not you!

Like I said – makeup application is individual and I am in awe of the people that use a sponge and nail it and love it.

Under-Eye Makeup

Someone once told me, I would love to see you do your eye looks with your under eye done.

It’s a great callout. I hardly ever bring shadow or liner to my lower lash line, if anything, I get a little dab of inner corner highlight on my inner corner lower lash line. Sometimes if I get a wild hair I’ll add a little mascara down there to my sparse amount of lashes.

But I like to wear eye makeup to work, and I feel as though smudging my shadow and doing it up at my under eye is too much for day-to-day, given that I work in a corporate environment. Sounds odd, I know, given I wrote a post last week on wearing glitter to work!

On the weekends, I don’t feel the need to do under my eyes. In some regards, I’m just lazy about it. Other times I simply forget. It’s totally just a personal preference.

Yet, when I see other people with full eye makeup like this, I LOVE IT. I love watching people smudge the lower lash lines and get creative. It’s definitely something I like to do when I’m going out on a weekend night – but I just don’t go out “on the town” a whole lot these days.


Ok. So contouring.

I’ve done it. And I have a wonderful palette from Jesse’s Girl that I rely on when I want to do it.

But it’s an extra step that I feel is just too extra for me.

I use blush to accentuate my cheek bones and give me a little color. And I add highlighter – I love highlighter.

My happy moment in complexion makeup application is how foundation can even my skin tone and hide the veins and redness in my facial skin to make my face the same color as my neck. I’m not very concerned about whether my nose looks slimmer or my cheeks look more cut.

I mostly contour when I am curious to see how I might use makeup to “change” my face – contouring by my nose to see if I can make it look smaller, for example. Sometimes it is neat to see what a little contour can do. I’ll try to lift my cheeks. But it isn’t a step I do everyday or often or that I feel is a must-have in MY process everyday.

Face Primer

This is one area that’s gray for me. Because I own a few primers, and I use them; I don’t buy many but every now and then one comes along I really want to try.

But is primer absolutely necessary? I don’t feel it is. Most days I go without it and I get great performance from the makeup I wear. If I properly moisturize my face after showering, my makeup application is good. Even with primer, foundations that don’t look good on me, still don’t look good on me. I’ve tried a variety of primers in a variety of combinations with foundations and I generally haven’t seen a difference.

So why add the extra step into my routine?

Also, I am NOT a fan of slippery/silicone-based primers. If I wear a primer, I want one that’s moisturizing or a little tacky. It’s the same reason I love a tacky base coat in a mani – it helps the product adhere better to the surface.

So yeah. You will catch me primer-less on my face (not my eye lids, though, I always primer-up my lids!) more often than not.

I know there are some ride-or-die makeup application steps that I’ve likely touched on that might have you clutching your pearls and thinking, “I could NOT skip that step, she is CRAZY!” And likewise, perhaps you feel similar to me when I am adding glitter to my work eye look or highlighting so you can see my cupid’s bow from outer space.

The point is: Makeup is individual and an expression for each of us! So what makeup application steps do YOU skip or dislike?! I’d love to hear below!