Caked Face Makeup? Learn How To Fix It And Prevent It From Happening
There are a lot of makeup trends and looks to try at least once – but caked face makeup is definitely not one of them. A makeup mishap that should be avoided at all costs (unless you love the Mary Queen of Scots look), cakey makeup can happen to anyone regardless of skin type. But you can definitely learn how to fix it when it happens. You can also avoid it completely by tweaking your makeup routine and application techniques.
Read on to learn more about the causes and signs of cakey makeup and how to do a fast fix when you’re out and about. You’ll also be able to pick up a few nifty tricks to always end up with a fresh and flawless foundation application with a natural finish.
Why Might Your Foundation Be Cakey?
If your makeup base or foundation ends up looking unnaturally layered and thick, or you end up with a dull or pasty complexion instead of a pretty glow, chances are cakey makeup is the culprit. And if you find powdery residue settling into expression lines, cakey foundation may be to blame.
Why does this happen? A number of factors need to be considered. Mature or aging skin can be an issue, as crepey or dry skin texture can contribute to cakey-looking foundation. You may also be using the wrong foundation formula or finish for your skin type. You might also be a little too heavy-handed with your makeup brush, resulting in thicker layers of makeup that looks caked on. Another thing to look at: Your skin’s condition and your skincare regimen, as other products layered on under your full coverage foundation, may be causing the caking.1
How To Fix Cakey Makeup And Foundation For Good
Looking at any combination of these aforementioned factors is already a good first step in resolving your cakey makeup problem. Another good rule of thumb is to start with a solid skincare routine that’ll help your subsequent makeup application go a little smoother (literally).
A well-moisturized face is key to seamless foundation. With that in mind, there could be ingredients or components in your specialized skincare products that could be drying your skin out, causing your makeup to pill, flake, or cake. This is especially true for blemish-treating or potent anti-aging skincare products. So, try shifting these products to your nighttime skincare routine or tweaking your moisturizer to make up for lost hydration before applying makeup during the day.2
Make Sure You Select The Perfect Foundation Formula
In addition to making sure your foundation suits your skin tone, you also have to choose the right formula carefully. Whether you have oily skin, dry skin, or fall somewhere in between, your best bet is to nix the heavier, fuller coverage foundation and concealer and find formulations that offer a sheer, buildable, base and finish. These lighter liquid or cream foundation formulas are often easier to layer on and blend, which can lessen the chances of caking (or ending up with a full face of white makeup).3
Keep Your Moisturizer A Little Damp Before Applying Makeup
Here’s a top tip: Make sure you apply a good, even layer of moisturizer before stippling on your liquid or cream makeup base. You can also opt for a misting of light facial spray to make sure skin is supple and hydrated before you start your makeup routine.4
Keeping skin a little damp from your skincare helps your foundation or base glide on and blend in a little more seamlessly, which can help eliminate any cakiness. You’ll end up with more natural-looking, supple skin.5
Also Consider Priming Your Face
If you find a lot of caking happening around your eye area, try incorporating a good eyeshadow primer into your routine. You can also plump and fill in expression lines and creases with a good skincare product or serum that functions as a primer, too — doing this can help avoid foundation caking into these areas. A good overall face primer can help lock makeup base in and prevent it from sliding around your face, caking, or pilling. So, choose a lightweight one that works well with your foundation formula.6
Set Your Foundation With A Translucent Powder Or Facial Spray
Conventional makeup wisdom dictates that you set your foundation with a layer of loose powder, but too much can cause the product to cake and settle into your fine lines and other creases in your face.
To avoid this, here are a few simple tweaks:
- Opt for a light dusting of translucent powder only on the areas where you commonly observe excess oil cropping up. This is usually around the T zone of your face.
- When you touch up your makeup midday, use a blotting paper to sop up oil instead of adding another layer of powder.7
- Try lightweight hydrating mists to set makeup instead — these bring hydration and glow to your face, instead of mattifying it the way old-school loose powders do.
These are all good tweaks to try when overhauling your entire makeup application strategy, but what do you do when you’re already out and about and see the dreaded cakiness setting in? Read on for quick fixes.
Already Caking? How To Touch Up Your Makeup Midday
If excessive oiliness is causing your makeup to cake, make sure you always have oil-blotting papers in your purse. Once you’ve gently lifted off and blotted the oil, apply a small amount of hydrating spray on a clean makeup sponge or blender, and dab on the affected areas — this can help loosen up cakiness and re-blend your makeup. It may also help you achieve an instantly refreshed look.8
If the caking is concentrated in your under-eye area, consider dabbing on a small amount of makeup remover, hydrating with the same spray or mist, then reapplying your concealer.9
Hydration (And Preparation) Is The Secret To Flawless Foundation
To fully resolve a cakey makeup problem, remember to go heavy on the hydration and light on your makeup application. Consider trying the tips mentioned above to avoid cakiness. Include some basic makeup SOS in your makeup kit: Small bottles of makeup remover and hydrating mist (or makeup setting spray), a clean makeup sponge or Q-tips in a protective case (to keep everything hygienic), and oil-blotting paper or tissues.
Whether you have fair skin or darker skin, dry or oily, anyone can fall victim to caked-on foundation, so make sure you have the right strategies in place to both avoid and resolve it. A fresh, glowing, and natural foundation look is the goal, and it isn’t difficult to achieve at all.