5 Reasons Why Your Foundation Isn’t Performing As Well As You Want It To

Angelica Di Guglielmo


Foundation is a life saver. Whether your skin needs a full-blown makeover or just a little pick-me-up, foundation is always there to save the day. With the popularity of YouTube and Instagram nowadays, we tend to run out and buy into the latest foundation craze solely based off the recommendations of our favorite beauty bloggers. Unfortunately, more often than not, we get home, apply it, and might come to find we’re not so into if for ourselves. After carefully selecting the perfect shade and paying and arm and a leg for a supposedly “amazing” foundation, it’s discouraging to think that it’s not all that it’s hyped up to be. But what if we told you that the problem isn’t the foundation

Would you be surprised to learn that the issue is actually you? There are so many amazing formulations that can be used on a variety of skin types, but the steps you’re taking before and during application can seriously determine whether or not that splurge was worth it. We’ve compiled a list of 5 reasons why your foundation isn’t performing as well as it should. Are you making these mistakes?

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1. You’re not moisturizing enough.
No matter your skin type, you need to moisturize. It preps the skin, helps create a smooth canvas, and ensures your face isn’t just soaking up the makeup you put on top of it. Make sure you’re choosing the right type of moisturizer for your skin–those with dry skin should opt for richer creams while those with combo/oily skin can go for lightweight liquid or gel formulas. Remember to allow 5-10 minutes for everything to absorb into the skin.

2. You’re not using the right primer.
Primer can be a beautiful thing, but if you’re not using the right one, it can do more harm than good. It all comes down to ingredients. Foundations and primers are commonly either silicone or water-based. Since water and silicone do not mix well, the combination of the two can often cause problems with both foundation application and wear. If you want to look your best, the formulation of your foundation should match the formulation of your primer. So that means if you’re using a water-based foundation, you should use a water based primer and so on. How can you tell if a primer and foundation are water or silicone-based? Check the ingredients! Water may be the first thing listed but don’t let that fool you. It needs to be there because it’s what makes the product liquid. You need to look for ingredients towards the top of the list that end in “-cone” or “-siloxane.” If they’re there, it means it’s a silicone based foundation. If they’re not or they’re towards the middle or bottom of the list, it means it’s probably water-based.

3. You’re using too much primer.
Although primers are meant to help prolong the wear of your foundation, using too much can actually give the reverse effect. Excess primer can create more of a slip on your skin, causing the foundation to slide around. Stick to using a pea-sized amount in places only where it’s necessary. If you tend to get oily, try using it just in those areas. If you’re dry, you can usually skip primer, provided that you’ve moisturized really well.

4. You’re using too much foundation.
We understand that you probably want your foundation to cover every last imperfection, but in reality, it’s meant to give the skin an even color. If you’re piling on the foundation to try and cover pesky spots, take a step back and remember that “less is more.” Use a light, thin layer–just enough to even out your skin tone–and rely on concealer to deal with the heavy-duty coverage.

5. You’re not applying foundation correctly.
If you find that a certain foundation emphasizes things like dry patches or the fine “peach fuzz” hair on your face, it might not be the product itself but rather how you’re applying it. If you use circular, buffing motions with a brush it can cause micro-exfoliation, which can lead to both the skin on dry patches and fine facial hairs lifting up even more. Instead, try using downwards strokes when applying foundation to ensure that everything lay in the same direction.

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