Try using a balm or oil cleanser to remove makeup followed by a second gel, cream or milk cleanser - this is called 'double cleansing'. Watch the video below to learn more about finding the right cleanser for your skin type.
No matter what tool you're using—a foundation brush, a BeautyBlender, or your fingers—buff (or bounce, if you're using a sponge) the foundation into your skin as opposed to “painting” it on to build coverage smoothly and avoid streakiness, says Park.
The main reason why your foundation looks grey on your skin is because of the foundation shade you are using. If you pick a shade that is much lighter than your skin tone without having the same undertone, this will make your skin look dull and grey after application.
Dehydrated or dry skin can cause makeup to clump and cling into dry patches. Your face can look like it's peeling when you put on foundation. Oily skin can also cause makeup to split on the face. Following an appropriate skin care routine and preparing your skin before makeup application is an essential step.
You Need to Exfoliate
While moisturizing and priming play an important role in the end look of your foundation, Garshick says that exfoliation does, too. “Those who have a build-up of dead skin cells and don't exfoliate regularly may find their foundation appears cakey,” she says.
A thick layer of makeup is more prone to sliding off your face throughout the day because it just can't adhere as well to skin. If you have oily skin, try an absorbent mattifying foundation primer before you apply your sunscreen and foundation.
Fingers are best for a quick and natural application; sponges are good for achieving a flawless finish; and brushes are ideal for full coverage.
The main reason your makeup looks dry is that the underlying skin is dry, and your foundation lacks adequate moisturizer. It can also be caused by skin conditions like rosacea, eczema, or even an allergic reaction to your makeup.
“Textured or rough skin can cause patchy foundation as the product will settle in and emphasize any skin texture. It's best to gently exfoliate with a chemical exfoliant before the application to remove dead skin,” says Alex. A good rule of thumb is to use an exfoliant 2x a week.
Blend The Foundation Lighter Than You
When in doubt, always pick a shade that is slightly lighter than your complexion rather than darker. This can prevent your complexion from looking darker than the rest of your body. It is the safest way to go when unsure about two shades that may look too light or too dark.
Other reasons for cakey foundation include dry skin, not layering your makeup in the correct order, and not using the right skin care products. Skipping out on exfoliation is another factor that can cause cakiness. Always make sure you prep your skin by exfoliating and moisturizing to help makeup go on smoothly.
The Cause: You're forgetting to moisturize regularly.
Dryness is the most common cause of dull face skin. It creates cracks in skin's surface and causes dead skin cells to build up, making the complexion look uneven and lackluster, says Kenneth Howe, M.D., a dermatologist at Wexler Dermatology in NYC.
Have a Monthly Facial. Facials have been a celebrity skin care staple since their inception, and for good reason. These non-invasive treatments really can work wonders to prevent breakouts, smooth out fine lines, and give your face an all-over glow.
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Also known to be perfect for mixing with mineral powder foundation, aloe vera helps control oil and fills up pores—acting as a dupe for face primer. This reduces makeup from settling into fine lines.
Aloe Vera Gel + Moisturizer
Mix a teaspoon or two of moisturizer (depending on how oily your skin is) to a dollop of pure aloe vera gel and apply all over your face as a primer. Aloe vera gel will soothe redness and the moisturizer combination is a great way to maintain a dewy finish without looking oily.