Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

Beauty Discovered

Makeup & Beauty Tips on How to Avoid Caky/Powdery Foundation

Share your best tips and tricks for avoiding powdery or caky-looking foundation!  Feel free to share your experiences, how you mastered techniques, or what you struggle with.

Temptalia’s Tips

  1. If it’s a liquid, I love spritzing a bit of water on my brush before applying, because it helps to smooth out the foundation, spread it more evenly, and it ensures it doesn’t go on too heavily (except where I need it).
  2. At the end of application (of everything!), lightly mist face with water (or a setting spray), which will help take down any excess powderiness.
  3. Use a buffing brush to really work the product on the skin and blend it out.

Thanks to Lauren for today’s topic!

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28 thoughts on “How to Avoid Caky/Powdery Foundation – Tips & Tricks

  1. Moisturize well before application, and choose the right way of working with a foundation. Some work better with sponges, other brushes, and still others just fingers! It might take some experiments.

  2. sierra

    The beset way to avoid cakey and unnatural looking foundation, to me, is to put it on in layers. start with a light layers, and with moisturizer handy, dot the moisturizers around the edges to smooth it out. if you want more coverage, put it on a lil more liberally and then use the moisturizer to lessen the cake. itll look like ur wearing nothing, and also if you put it wherever your face creases, it will make the fact that your wearing anything less apparent

  3. Mariella

    My tips would be to exfoliate regularly and moisturize really well, especially in winter (I find I get “cakey” where I have bits of dry skin; if I exfoliate to get rid of dry patches and moisturize to keep them at bay, my foundation turns out much better).

  4. A medium to full coverage foundation is easier to build up in layers if you apply a little at a time. Cream foundations tend to be thicker and heavier, so if you use a cream foundation, apply a small amount and blend well. Powder tends to be more visible on facial hairs. Shaving or threading facial hair can help with this.

  5. Lizz

    This is so helpful. I have always been afraid to use a liquid foundation so I have just been using BB cream’s, but now with these tips I might actually have to give it a try :) What is your favorite drug store foundation?

    • Shaunngh

      I always come back to Revlon Colorstay but I’m hearing great things about Rimmel’s Wake Me Up Foundation. I’m in Aus though so our drug store/high end is different :)

    • Kelly

      Revlon Colorstay, or Revlon colorstay Whipped

    • Veronica

      I’m at the end of a bottle of Maybelline FITMe, which I found worked very well for my skin, which generally requires sheer to light coverage. With a setting powder, I get a full day of wear, longer with a primer. If it wasn’t for the fact that the range leans neutral-to-warm, I’d probably stick with it as my go-to foundation, but I need something a tad cooler.

      Keeping in mind, my skin is normal to dry, and foundation tends to wear well on me regardless if I prime or not. The range is also somewhat limited toward the darker end fo the spectrum, so very dark skin tones are going to find the line lacking.

  6. Veronica

    Keeping your skin well-moisturized is a big part of it. I find the dry areas tend to show up the worst with foundation.

    I also prefer layering, spot-buffing where I need it. I always wear sheer foundation for this reason – if heavier coverage is required, I’ll take a dab of concealer and smooth it out over the area before I apply foundation or I’ll take a buffer brush and blend more foundation into the area.

  7. Kristina

    Applying moisturizer with the brush you apply you foundation with. Then apply foundation with same brush. Or mixing liquid foundation with some hydrating or illumining primer with application of damp sponge or brush.

    For drier skin types, a spritz of Clinque Moisture Surge Spray over setting power bring moisture and luminosity back to skin.

  8. Using a good moisturizer and primer first would be my first advice. And avoiding a dry application really helps as well. I usually apply my foundation with a damp sponge.

  9. Sasha

    Getting a good color match is important in not making your foundation stand out. I get out of the shower, moisturize and let the moisturizer sink in for about 10 minutes and then use foundation primer. I buff my foundation out with MAC 187 brush, set with a fine powder and use a setting spray (or water) to tone down the chalkiness of the powder. I also typically use light to medium coverage foundations. Tinted moisturizers (except for Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation) don’t give enough coverage for my reddish skin but heavy coverage seems like too much unless you have really severe acne or skin issues. I use UD Deslick for my setting spray and to combat oil without looking overly matte, and there are also good illuminating moisturizers to put on under your foundation if you need to add some dewy glow to dry skin.

  10. blueraccoon

    Exfoliate really well – my foundation tends to show up cakey/powdery when my skin is dry and flaky, regardless of type. So make sure your skin is smooth and moisturized. Even if your skin is oily, you might want to use a moisturizing primer (not too much moisture) or a daily moisturizer before you apply makeup.

  11. If you’ve got skin like mine: Very oily, flaky (due to seborrheic dermatitis (SD) and almost a decade of horrible cystic acne)


    If you (therefore) have to use a long-wearing foundation, which unfortunately tends to accentuate flaky skin


    If you have not been able to find an application technique that doesn’t accentuate said skin, here is the answer for you:

    Mix about 1:1 of a lotion/gel-like moisturizer into your foundation, and apply with your fingers! This really reduces the chances of having cakey makeup. (I also mix 1:1 of that same moisturizer with an oil-controlling non-silicone based primer and use that as my “moisturizer” before foundation).

    While moisturizing and chemically exfoliating the skin are essential, it is this application combination that’s helped my foundation application to the greatest degree. It also looks the most natural. Some primers can certainly enhance longevity, but if you’ve got flaky skin like me… you know that almost all silicone-based primers only accentuate flaky skin even more. Trust me, when you find the right foundation and “mixing medium” for your skin, this trick will be a godsend!

    Just for reference:

    I’ve tried over 70+ liquid foundations (the Lancome Teint Idole 24H and the Smashbox Studio Skin foundations work best for me; see here for more information: http://www.futurederm.com/2012/11/08/my-top-liquid-face-makeup-products-from-sephora/) and tried every possible method of application with the foundation alone. Nothing gives a more satisfactory result than what’s described above.

    Note that I really do take care of my skin, so it’s not a skin care issue. It’s just that after everything my skin has gone through over the past decade, no topical product (or combination of them) can completely deal with my skin. And while I’ve dealt with the acne (yay!), I will always have SD and acne scars (ice pick, boxcar, a bit of rolling), which increases the tendency for the skin to flake and come apart from manual encouragement, with which to contend.

    I hope that helps some of you. :)

  12. Try and minimise the amount of foundation you actually apply. For everyday coverage I mix Illamasqua Skin Base with their Matt Primer (about 1:1, or a little more foundation if I need the coverage). It makes the foundation glide on much easier, and I find mixing the mattifying primer in helps me use less powder.

    If you do need the powder, apply it in dabbing/pressing motions with a damp sponge (I use a Beauty Blender-esque cheapie). This helps mesh the textures together. As a result, you can apply more powder than with a brush/dry sponge and it won’t look caky.

  13. xamyx

    Using the right formula for my skin is essential. Just because one foundation is very popular, or gets raves on the internet, or is from a brand I love, doesn’t mean it’s what will work for me. I have decent skin, so I don’t need heavy coverage; however, if I am experiencing any redness, I’ll just go with a more pigmented formula.

    As for powder, I use a fluffy brush, and “set” with a spritz of rosewater & glycerin, and buff everything in.

  14. Sanya Rai

    Even I’ve been a big victim of cakey make-up. Any foundation doesn’t seem to settle on my skin until I started using Very Me Smoothie Foundation. It’s really great and works well on my skin.

  15. Jade

    Be aware of how your brush or application method deposits the product onto your skin. I used to apply my foundation to my forehead first, then do the rest of my face, but I found I ended up with too much product on my forehead. Now I dab my foundation lightly all over my face, starting from the nose and working outward, then blend it all in.

    Take your time too! I always find my foundation doesn’t look as good if I rush. Hard when you have to be out of the house by 6.30am!

  16. jkj

    My skin has been drier ever since I started using Differin as an acne treatment, so that even if I moisturize well before applying foundation, I still get dry patches that show up when I apply my makeup. It doesn’t matter if I use liquid foundation or a mineral one like BareMinerals. The makeup just looks more noticeable on my face than it did before I used the Differin–in certain patches, anyway. Any advice? 😛

    • I use Differin, and it can be a product that takes some getting use to, and you might want to ask your doctor about it! I know that when I started using it, dry/patchy skin was a warning and my doctor (for me) said I might need to gradually work up to daily usage.

      • jkj

        Your skin always looks flawless in photos on here–have you changed anything about your skin care/foundation routine to make using the Differin more tolerable? And thanks for responding :)

        • I’ve been using Differin for a couple of years now, so for me, I don’t have any problems with dryness as a result of Differin–essentially it seems like my skin has adapted to it and it’s back to its usual seasonal dryness (I get drier in the winter). I did it every other day for a few months, then switched to daily (evening) use. :)

          • jkj

            Good to know–I guess I have only been on it for about 3 months, so maybe I need more time to adapt. One more question–did you find that it was still as effective when you used it every other day? Thanks so much!

            • I don’t remember feeling like it was more/less effective, but it was how I started using it, so I think I was trying to just stay regular and use it and eventually I saw results :)

  17. Holly M

    exfoliate regularly and make sure that you use a good moisturizer. I have several moisturizers just b/c I need to switch it up based on the season, as well as how my skin feels. For the longest time, I avoided thicker moisturizers or face oils out of fear that they would cause acne. Once I started using a moisturizer better suited to my skin, not only did my skin look better but so did my makeup. I apply moisturizer and then give it a good 5-10 minutes to sink in before I apply my makeup (so I go eat breakfast, brush my teeth, and let my dogs outside). Using a good primer also helps for me (swear by Hourglass). After I apply my makeup, if it looks too powdery or I’m worried about it getting cakey, I put some moisturizer on my hands, rub my palms together, and then sort of press my palms into my face. Out of every skin care product I’ve used, I’ve found that Clarins Beauty Flash Balm works amazingly well for this

  18. Ana

    I use Avene Thermal Spring Water before applying my moisturizer. I let it dry a little bit and apply the moisturizer when my face is slightly damp. This kind of seals the water on my skin and helps me to apply my SPF and foundation better. I use a buffing brush to apply my a light to medium cover foundation, I also use that brush for tinted moisturizer and BB creams. If I use a full coverage foundation I use a stippling brush. I apply setting powder with a light hand and remove any excess with a fan brush.