How to: Avoid Cakey Foundation


Today we’ll be talking about what is known as ‘cakeface’, i.e. when one’s foundation has been applied so heavily or unevenly that it gives an unattractive appearance (yes I came up with that all on my own). As I had mentioned in a previous post, the aim of a person wearing foundation is to have a ‘your skin, but better’ look. Think of the clear skin you had at say age 9 — minus the unkempt eyebrows and playground sweat of course.

Prep and Prime – Whether you opt for a tinted moisturizer, a BB or CC Cream or a foundation, you’re skin needs to be moisturized and it is also important to use a face primer — this is an essential step. Even if you don’t want to wear a face primer (maybe you don’t wear makeup that often), please moisturize! As with anything else, your primer should meet your needs.

  • For oily skin I recommend Benefit’s The POREfessional because this one focuses on not only smoothing any lines, but also on mattifying. I’ve heard that for this Maybelline’s Baby Skin is a great drugstore alternative because the ingredients are similar. Image
  • For dry skin I recommend Rimmel Stay Matte or Rimmel Fix and Perfect (one has a purple cover and one has a blue cover); personally I find that these work well with my dry skin. However I do apply them after my moisturizer has been fully absorbed by my skin. To read my full review of Rimmel’s Stay Matte primer click here.Image
  • For combination skin I recommend Rimmel’s Stay Matte foundation or MAC’s Prep and Prime should do just fine; it’ll keep you matte in your oily areas and you won’t get dry in your dry areas.

So you’ve cleansed your skin, moisturized, applied your primer and now your face is pretty much ready to go. At this point, I usually used some sort of light spray to ‘prep’ my face, I like MAC’s Fix Plus because not only does it have a light feeling, but it also contains soothing chemicals as opposed to anything that may be a bit harsh. You can also try Urban Decay’s B6 Vitamin-Infused Complexion Prep Spray Image

Applying your foundation

  • Many of us don’t even need as much foundation as we tend to think. You really only need a little, and if you find that’s not enough, don’t worry just yet because that’s where your concealer and powder foundation come in.
  • Remember to work the foundation into your skin properly, whether you’re using a sponge or a brush or your fingers. If you’re using a beauty blending sponge it should be damp in order for it to work effectively, and if you’re using a face brush make sure it’s clean.
  • One of the things that also causes ‘cakeface’ is when you’ve applied both your liquid foundation and your powder…and then you begin to sweat. This annoys you and you know it. This is where you’ll blot (no, not with a tissue), but with a blotting sheet. I recommend Boscia Blotting Linens (Generally they retail for 12CDN, but you get 100 sheets so that’s a good deal).Image
  • If you’re still sweating after you’ve used your blotting sheet: either turn off the light or draw for your beauty blending sponge; I personally vote for the sponge. Don’t add more product to the sponge because that’s just going against the look you want to achieve. Spritz it with MAC’s Fix Plus if its no longer feeling damp, and lightly dab/blend your makeup back into place. 

Using too much powder is actually the best friend of using too much liquid foundation in Cakeface World. Your face starts to look oily or you begin to sweat and then you think “Oh okay well I’ll just use some more powder”. Packing on the product is only making matters worse, all you need is about one – okay or maybe 2, light* applications of your finishing powder using a fluffy powder brush. I recommend e.l.f’s Powder Brush or the powder brush by Real Techniques.


Finish Up

Setting Powders I recommend (tested, tried, and true).

Bare Minerals Finishing Veil in Illuminating


Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder


Make Up For Ever Microfinish HD Powder


Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder


Black Opal Invisible Oil Blocking Loose Powder


MAC Blot Powder Pressed or MAC Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder 


  • Lightly swirl your brush in your powder, tap off the excess into the cover and then lightly apply.
  • Hold your setting spray about an arm’s length away from your face so that it actually sets your makeup instead of messing it up.


Throughout this post I’ve linked the products so that you can have an idea of their prices vs. the amount of product, allowing you to figure out which places close to you may have these available.

To read my recent post on How to Meltproof Your Makeup click here


Tal 🙂


5 thoughts on “How to: Avoid Cakey Foundation

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