Applying a layer of makeup over dry, parched skin is like trying to paint the surface of a cracked desert floor. To keep your skin hydrated, and provide a smooth palette on which to create your makeup magic, you need to have a good moisturizer handy and use it every day.
Moisturizers and lotions are designed to lock water inside your skin so it doesn't dry out. Yet you don't want a product that's too heavy or greasy--it will just block your pores and lead to breakouts. Look for the words "oil-free" or "noncomedogenic" on the label--those are cosmetic-speak for, "it won't clog your pores." Some moisturizers incorporate an SPF 15 or 30 sunscreen, which will do your skin the extra favor of protecting it against sun damage.
After you wash your face in the morning, smooth on a thin layer of moisturizer while your face is still damp. Let the lotion dry fully before applying your makeup. Moisturize again before you go to bed and you'll wake up with radiant looking skin.