We’ve all experienced this before – dull, patchy skin in the morning that only gets more obvious, and usually even worse, with each application of sunscreen, foundation and powder.

We’re quick to complain after, about how cakey a powder is, or how difficult it is to blend a particular fluid foundation, but chances are, it’s happening because you’re not prepping your skin right, notes makeup artist Larry Yeo at the recent launch of SK-II’s new AurActivator Complete Care Cream.

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Larry Yeo at the launch of SK-II’s CC Cream. Image: SK-II

Larry, who was conducting a live demonstration on how to use the product, said skin prep was essential: “It’s (prepping your skin) very vital, so whatever you apply on after, like your sunscreen or the AurActivator CC Cream, you find that it appears smoother. Rather than ‘Oh, I have no time,’ and just finding some product and slapping it on the skin. ‘Oh why is my skin uneven,’ and then you blame the product – it’s all about priming the skin.”

Here are two tips we learnt from Larry during the session:

TIP #1: TREAT DULL AND PATCHY SKIN WITH A DIY COTTON PAD MASK

First, gently massage a hydrating toner onto the face and neck with your hands. Larry used the SK-II Cellumination Mask-in-Lotion, which has glycerin and sodium hyaluronate to rehydrate the skin. Start at the centre of your face and move outwards.

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Take one or two drops of a brightening serum with hydrating properties and apply it, again from the centre of the face and moving outwards. This method of application helps to make sure that you do not leave out any parts of your face, because portions that have been missed will appear drier after makeup application.

For those who travel a lot or have had a particularly stressful week at work, Larry recommends treating patchy and dehydrated skin with a cotton pad mask. Drench an entire cotton pad with the hydrating toner of your choice and hold it at the dry spot for about two minutes to soften the skin. This also works well for pimples that tend to get flaky while they heal.

Larry personally does not like to apply moisturiser after this because of Singapore’s humid environment, so don’t be afraid to skip the moisturiser if you find that your skin is supple enough.

TIP #2: TREAT DARK UNDER EYE CIRCLES WITH DIY EYE PATCHES

To instantly brighten dark under eye circles, Larry applied a drop of SK-II’s Cellumination Aura Essence onto the delicate skin around the eye, leaving a thin film to hydrate and plump the area. Follow up with a little cotton pad mask, or DIY eye patch sheets for two to five minutes, depending on how much time you have.

Once you’re done, lift the cotton pad and immediately use your thumb to massage outwards from the inner corner of the under eyes. If you’re worried about creating fine lines from doing that, Larry says: “Since there’s already product on the skin, when you do that, there’s ‘slip’ so there’s less risk of you pulling too much.” Finish by applying your regular eye cream.

You can also do this for laugh lines.

Now, your skin is ready for makeup application!

Larry Yeo can be contacted at www.larryyeo.com.

SK-II Cellumination Mask-in-lotion, $119, and the Cellumination Aura Essence, $199 for 30ml are available at all SK-II counters.

SK-II Cellumination AurActivator Complete Care and Correction Cream, $92, will be available from March 2015 at all the brand’s counters.

For more information, visit www.sk-ii.com.sg and follow the brand on Facebook.