The Problem Solvers Series | Avoiding the Dreaded Cake Face

How to avoid cake face and over applying makeup. Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist, Real Techniques, Laura Mercier
One of the biggest problems I find with applying makeup, especially foundation, is that it sometimes just doesn’t sit very well on my dry skin. Oppositely, when you have oily skin and need to layer your products to ensure lasting power, sometimes things get a little much. I’m talking about cake face people. It can happen when there is too much product, or the skin texture isn’t smooth, or purely because it isn’t the right product for your skin type, and it’s not pretty. Here’s my tips for getting that flawless base without the dreaded cake face.

Laying Down Your Base
How you apply your foundation can be key to how it looks on the skin. If you’re finding things are getting a little too heavy looking with a brush or your hands, try using a damp makeup sponge like the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, and pressing the foundation into skin in thin layers to build up coverage. 

Give it Time to Settle
Out of habit you might want to instantly powder your skin after applying your foundation or base product, but wet/creamy product + dry powder is a recipe for cake my friends! Instead let the foundation/bb cream/etc do its job and settle itself down. In the meantime move on to the next step in your routine and come back to the base after a few minutes. 


Choose the Right Powder
Do you need a mattifying powder, or just one to set your makeup from moving? There are so many powder formulas on the market these days and one size rarely fits all. When in doubt reach for a loose translucent powder that is finely milled so that it looks invisible on the skin. An all time favourite is the Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder in Translucent. 


Spot Powder
It can be instinct to want to set your entire face with powder, but unless you have super oily skin, you might only need powder in certain areas. If you’ve given your base time to settle, you might find that you actually need less powder than you thought! For myself, I know I crease under the eyes, and my foundation likes to wear off in between brows and on cheeks, so I spot powder where I need it because less powder equals less build up through the day. I like to use a small, precise brush for powdering, like the Real Techniques Setting Brush so that I don’t over apply. 
Spray it Back to Life
If you’ve still managed to get things looking a little dull or flat, then there is one more trick up my sleeve I rely on: a facial spray. Setting sprays have been around a long time now, and while some are more meant for setting makeup, I prefer one that actually adds some radiance back and makes my makeup look like skin. There are plenty to choose from, but for me nothing beats Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist – it just does what it says right in the name! A few spritzes of face mist, and cake face is gone!
Have you had to deal with the dreaded cake face before? What are your fixes for thick cakey makeup? If you have a ‘problem’ you think would make for a great post for the Problem Solver Series, leave me a note in the comments below!


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Charlotte Tilbury CA

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Girl Loves Gloss

Jaime Pickering | 30-something, makeup hoarding (I prefer to call it "collecting"), classic rock loving, jeans and t-shirt girl - who just happens to love a little gloss from time to time.
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