In 2004, American women spent over $12 billion on makeup, according to MedScape News. One common issue these women face is applying foundation that “balls up,” or doesn’t lie flat on their skin and instead flakes off. The incorrect use of facial cleansing products and improper application of foundation both cause your face to appear flaky. Wash your face and apply beauty products, including toner and moisturizer, correctly to achieve a beautiful, glowing complexion.

Things You'll Need

Wash your face with a gentle exfoliating cleanser. Using overlapping circles, work the exfoliant into your skin for approximately 60 seconds before rinsing it away with cool water.

Pat your face dry with a soft towel and wet a cotton ball with a mild facial toner. Rub your face with the cotton ball, being careful to avoid your eyes and mouth. Allow the excess toner to evaporate for at least 30 seconds before continuing.

Apply a light layer of moisturizer to your face. Choose a product intended for your skin type and allow it to set for at least three to four minutes before continuing. Applying foundation to your skin before the moisturizer has completely dried leads to its balling up.

Squeeze a quarter-size amount of liquid foundation onto the back of your hand. Allow the foundation to sit for 30 seconds before applying it to your face using your fingers. The heat from your skin slightly melts the foundation, allowing it to spread on your face with greater ease.

Allow the foundation to set for at least two minutes before covering any dark spots, acne and dark under-eye circles with a cream concealer. Avoid using a stick concealer as the thicker product is more prone to balling up.

Apply a thin layer of translucent powder to your face with a large makeup brush. Brush the powder onto your skin to set the makeup, keeping it in place and preventing it from melting and flaking off throughout the day.


  • Always use facial moisturizer, even if you have oily skin. The lotion provides a base to which the foundation will adhere.

  • Avoid exfoliating your skin on a daily basis. Instead, alternate a mild, foaming facial cleanser with the exfoliant to prevent drying out your skin while removing the dead skin cells that cause makeup to ball up.