The ESSENTIAL Guide to Beauty Basics

Photo by: Giacomo Bagnara
How to layer skin care

While it used to be that all you needed to preserve your youth was a gentle cleanser, moisturizer for your skin type, and a stellar sunscreen, the

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Photo by: Giacomo Bagnara
How to layer skin care

While it used to be that all you needed to preserve your youth was a gentle cleanser, moisturizer for your skin type, and a stellar sunscreen, the beauty game has changed. Now, the same tried-and-true products you were using for years are popping up in completely new textures while cutting-edge innovations are showing up in everything from gels, serums, and oils. Dr. Frederic Brandt, M.D., a celebrity dermatologist in New York City and Miami, breaks down what goes on top of what:

-No matter what else you've got waiting to be slathered on, serums go first. "Always put the lightest thing that is the least occlusive on first," says Dr. Brandt. Think about it - serums are made with such tiny molecules so they can get into skin, and if you put on a thick moisturizer before them, they can't get through.

-Next up, face cream. Whatever it is you like - gel, lotion, or cream - take small amounts and dab them on your forehead, nose, both cheeks, and chin. Then, gently rub it in. This helps you not only get the moisturizer all over but also lessens waste.

-Finish with some eye cream and sunscreen. "Pat the eye cream in - don't rub," says Dr. Brandt. "Skin [around the eyes] is thinner than anywhere else on your face, so any tugging can help increase lines over time." As for broad-spectrum sunscreen, it needs to go on last to do its thing. (If you have it laced into your moisturizer, then you're already good to go.)

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Fri, Dec 27, 2013 3:22 PM EST
By Nicole Catanese, Refinery29

Nobody wants to go through life messing up the get-gorgeous and look-polished fundamentals (i.e. incorrectly cleansing your skin, applying a boatload of products in random order, or doing your nails more harm than good with each swipe of a file). Instead, wouldn't it be so much better to be a total beauty rock star? So, we consulted with leading experts in skin, hair, makeup, and nails, and created an easy-to-follow cheat sheet that's going to completely alter how you get ready - be it for the office, a party, or coping with a beauty emergency.

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