Mirror Mirror: How to avoid cake-face


Angela shares five tips to avoid cakey face makeup.

Angela Park

No one wants to have look cakey. It lets everyone know you are wearing loads of makeup layered on your skin. It makes your foundation look dry, fake and overdone. To achieve a more seamless, natural look, follow these five tips!

Damp sponge:
I haven’t used a brush to apply foundation in over a year! Ever since I discovered the damp sponge technique, I could never go back. The basis of this tool is to dampen it, which expands the sponge. You can then use the damp sponge to apply foundation or concealer (liquid or cream) by dabbing it in the product and bouncing the sponge on your face. It disperses the foundation perfectly and blends as it applies. Because it is damp, the water keeps skin from looking dry. The sponge also soaks up excess product, so you don’t over-apply. The hyped sponge is definitely the beautyblender. It’s the pink sponge sold at Sephora that most makeup artists now carry in their kits. It quickly took over the makeup world, and I would say it sparked the sponge revolution. After the release of the beautyblender, company after company released cheaper dupes to copy the trend. The only successful dupe I have found is the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. I actually prefer it. The Real Techniques sponge achieves the same airbrushed look, but it has a different shape. It has a flat edge, which allows the sponge to maneuver in unique ways. It does have a slightly different texture, and it’s denser than the beautyblender, but I don’t notice a huge difference once it’s damp. The most important benefit of the Real Techniques sponge is that it’s only one third the cost of the beautyblender.

Everyone should be moisturizing before applying face makeup. Find a lotion that is light, so it won’t feel like you have another layer of product on, and massage it into the skin. Wait a couple minutes to let it soak in before going in with foundation.

Less powder:
Avoid powders. Powders will accentuate dry spots, caking up on areas of your face. Stick to liquid or cream foundations, and don’t finish it with a ton of setting powder. Just lightly brush on powder where you get most oily throughout the day.

Foundation first, then concealer:
Concealer should not come before foundation. Apply foundation first. That way, you can see what areas still need coverage, and then go in with concealer in select areas of your face. This method minimizes the amount of product on your face and is more efficient. Remember, less is more!

No matte:
Try to avoid super matte foundations. Matte foundations are drying to the skin and will accentuate dry spots. Instead, use a dewy primer before applying foundation, or just use a more dewy, moisturizing foundation. Find a foundation that sets in a finish that looks like skin. Skin is not matte and flat. It is naturally radiant. My recommendation is the L’Oréal True Match Lumi foundation, which can be found at any drugstore.