When you look in the mirror, you want to see makeup that enhances your appearance. Cakey makeup does the opposite, making your face appear dry, wrinkled and overdone. There area a variety of factors that lead to makeup that looks cakey. Understanding the different makeup options and how they relate to your skin helps makeup look fresh and natural.


What’s Happening

Cakey makeup is a common and unfortunate occurrence with foundation, some types more than others. It happens when the makeup dries and crumples in or around the natural folds of your face near the eyes, cheeks, and mouth. Cakey foundation doesn’t blend with your skin tone, but lifts off the face, making the application appear thicker than it is. Cakey makeup also happens with other forms of makeup, including lipstick and concealer.

Prepping Your Skin

Often, cakey makeup is the result of poorly prepped skin. Before applying makeup, cleanse and moisturize your face with products for your particular type of skin. Always allow your skin to dry before applying foundation and concealer. Use an astringent and oil-free moisturizer if your skin is typically oily. Exfoliate your face if it’s dry to remove dead cells and then use a thin layer of moisturizer. Also use lip conditioners to keep the skin there smooth and soft.

The Right Makeup

The first step to avoiding cakey, mask-like foundation is to pick the right hue for your skin and avoid cosmetics made with mineral oil. Glycerin- or sodium hyaluronate-based products offer a fresher appearance. Foundations are also available based on your skin type. If your skin is naturally oily, stick with oil-free foundations. Likewise, if your skin is chronically dry, use a moisturizing makeup. Experiment with different concealers and foundation types, i.e., powders versus creams, to determine what offers your skin the best appearance.

Proper Technique

The last step following prepping your skin for use with the right products becomes all about makeup application technique and maintenance. When it comes to foundation, less is more. Coating your entire face with makeup is unnecessary. Instead, use it to highlight and accentuate your strongest features and hide blemishes. Apply it to areas that need the most concealing and blend from there. Take your time and err on the side of using too little makeup rather than too much. Use tissue to blot your skin when you use too much makeup. Always allow your face is dry completely before you layer it with another product.