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One of the main foundation myths we encounter is the idea that by using less makeup you lessen the risk of cakey foundation. Whether you prefer natural, ‘no-makeup makeup’ or fuller coverage, cakey makeup can occur without the right application methods.

Knowing how to put on foundation so that it won’t crack or build-up comes down to how aligned your products are with your skin type, and the tools you use to apply them. Seamlessly blended foundation and concealer is possible for oily, sensitive or dry skin types – you just need to know which formulas suit you best.

Ahead, learn new tips on how to apply foundation for beginners or avid makeup lovers, for a radiant and perfectly toned glow every time. YSL’s range of luxe powder or liquid foundation are formulated with supportive and nourishing ingredients, for all-day wear that won’t fade or cake. We’ve compiled the top cakey foundation mistakes and how to apply your products the right way below.

Common cakey foundation mistakes

Even with the right makeup tools, an unhealthy base won’t support makeup formulas in the right way.  Healthy skin can wear makeup products without causing them to fade, transfer or crack. Foundation application doesn’t begin with the product – rather, how you prep skin and methods you use to apply work in symmetry together. Some of the most common cakey makeup mistakes include:

·       Dehydrated and uncleansed skin

·       Wrong application method for product formula

·       Not allowing time in-between skincare and makeup routines

·       Wrong foundation texture for skin type

How to apply foundation correctly?

Foundation cracks, transfers or cakey textures can ruin any makeup look you’ve just spent time perfecting. To avoid this and ensure your complexion is enhanced through your products, follow our foundation application steps below. Holistic and supportive, our tips for how to put on foundation ensure that radiant skin comes from within.

1. Establish the right base

A build up of dead skin cells, presence of impurities or lack of moisture in skin will make it near-impossible for your foundation to blend in a luminous way. To achieve the ‘second-skin’ effect, ensure the base you’re working with is properly prepped – yes, that means skincare. At a minimum, skin should be revitalised and hydrated. Before thinking about how to apply liquid foundation or powder, remove irritants and impurities with a skin-suitable cleanser. Follow with a gentle exfoliant to prevent foundation sitting on dead skin cells, and then nourish skin with a long-lasting moisturiser. Allow time for your skincare-rich formulas to absorb into skin before following with your makeup routine.

2. Choose the right formula for your skin type

The modern generation of YSL foundations are formulated to support individual skin concerns and needs. Tailorable to you and your coverage preferences, it’s important to take time in considering which foundation type best suits you. To assist the wearability of your foundation, establish the right texture in skin with a primer first. Foundation variations include:

For oily skin types: opt for a mattifying formula that helps to stabilise oil-levels and prevents shininess from occurring throughout the day. The pigment-rich formula in All Hours Liquid Foundation helps to reduce the appearance of pores, and is suitable even for those with sensitive skin.  

For dry skin types: to prevent foundation cracks, increased hydration is key here. Look for skincare-infused formulas that promote nourishment in skin. Touche Éclat Le Teint Liquid Foundation includes vitamin E alongside botanicals marigold bloom and mallow extract to provide 24-hour hydration. For those who prefer more natural coverage, Touche Éclat Le Teint Crème is enriched with macadamia oil to protect against dryness.

For mature skin types: firming foundations like Le Cushion Encre De Peau Foundation are made with buildable gel-like formulas that don’t sink into skin. Tone is evened and pores minimised, for an enhanced glow.

3. Use the right foundation application

Though fingers are used by many in foundation application, this method can encourage the product to swipe across skin instead of being blended into it. For best results, we recommend utilising a tool of your choice to ‘buff’ the product in.

·       How to apply foundation with a brush:

For how to apply liquid foundation, use Foundation Brush No 1 to buff the product out from the centre out towards your temples. Start with a small amount of product and build up as needed. To achieve an even complexion, take time and don’t press the brush too heavily into skin. For how to apply powder foundation, use Powder Brush No 4 to blend product into skin, taking care to tap any excess off the brush before application.

·       How to apply foundation with a sponge:

Begin by saturating your sponge in water, then apply a pea sized amount of product. With a dabbing motion, press the product into skin, from the centre outwards. Use any pointy edges of the sponge for angled areas like your nose, and to disperse concealer under eyes.

4. Clean makeup tools frequently

Once you decide to feature makeup tools in your foundation application, its really important to follow a habitual cleaning regime. Unclean brushes or sponges become clogged with product and won’t be able to disperse foundation across skin properly. This doesn’t only cause cakey makeup results, but the bacteria they may carry can cause stress to skin – affecting the health and appearance of complexions. A good rule of thumb is to wash your tools every two weeks with warm soapy water, or when you notice visible makeup.  


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