Why Does My Foundation Look Cakey?

Why Does My Foundation Look Cakey

Nobody wants cakey foundation.

It can be extremely frustrating to look in the mirror after spending so long on your makeup and seeing it caked up in various places on your face.

You’ve tried everything.

From new makeup to washing your brushes constantly, to watching endless makeup tutorials.

Nothing seems to work, and trust us, we’ve been there too.

Luckily, we have done the research and discovered exactly why our foundation can sometimes look cakey and exactly how to prevent this from happening in the future.

And, if you’re sitting in front of your bedroom mirror with cakey makeup panicking, don’t worry!

We have a tip for fixing cakey foundation, too!

Read on to discover our tips and tricks to feel confident in your overall makeup look!

What Is Cakey Foundation?

If your foundation is ‘cakey’, that means it is heavy, thick, and noticeable. It can also mean that it is uneven, creased, or splotchy.

Why Does My Foundation Look Cakey?

Many common mistakes are causing your foundation to look cakey. Here are some examples!

The Way You Use Your Product

You typically get a cakey makeup look if you use too much foundation. We totally get it.

We want to achieve a certain look and provide our faces with even coverage. You can still do this, but you shouldn’t overdo it!

Additionally, applying your foundation too roughly can cause friction and cause it to cake up.

Sometimes, even the wrong product can cause your foundation to look cakey.

If you are using the wrong foundation shade then it can be obvious you’re wearing it, which can give it an overall cakey appearance.

Dead Skin Cells

If you have dead skin cells on your face, they can create a roughly-textured layer that your foundation won’t be able to smooth over.

Your Skincare Routine

A skincare routine is so important to healthy-looking skin. Everyone’s skincare routine will be different depending on the type of skin you have.

For example, those with oily skin will use different products and have a different routine from those with dry or combination skin.

If your foundation looks cakey, then there’s a chance that you’re using the wrong skincare products for your skin type.

Your Makeup Routine

It may not seem like it, but doing your makeup in the wrong order can lead to a cakey look.

You should always use powder after using foundation and wait the correct amount of time in between these steps.

How To Avoid Cakey Foundation

Why Does My Foundation Look Cakey?
How to avoid cakey foundation

The good news is, cakey makeup is easy to avoid! Here are the steps you can take to ensure flawless foundation.


Taking care of your actual skin is the first step in reducing cakey makeup.

Finding the right products for your skin type can be a real game-changer!

Don’t forget to include an exfoliator in your routine as this will help to remove unwanted, dead skin cells.

You should also find a moisturizer that prioritizes nourishment and hydration.

Staying hydrated is extremely important when it comes to skincare.

By staying hydrated, we reduce fine lines, wrinkles, flaking, which helps us to achieve smoother skin.

You could also incorporate a serum into your routine.

If you want something with oils then look out for ingredients such as argan, flaxseed, or rosehip.

Otherwise, look out for serums that contain Hyaluronic Acid (HA) because this binds water molecules to your skin and creates a smoother surface.

Makeup Prep

After your skincare routine, you should invest in products that prepare your face for makeup.

Firstly, you should wait a minimum of 10 minutes after applying your skincare before you start with any makeup products.

We highly recommend investing in a good makeup primer.

Primer is useful in everyone’s skincare routine, it helps to achieve a smooth skin look by eliminating pores, breakouts, and a rough texture from your overall look.

After your 10-minute wait is up, you can go ahead and apply your primer.

You should apply your primer with a makeup brush or beauty blender.

Applying Makeup

Once you’ve done all of the above, apply your makeup. We have a few tips that will reduce cakey makeup and give you a flawless skin look!

Firstly, there are many different types of foundations you could invest in.

Make sure you choose one that will give you the coverage you feel comfortable with – whether that’s light coverage, medium coverage, etc.

You can use a makeup brush for your foundation, but we recommend using a blending sponge.

First, dampen your sponge and gently dab the foundation to your skin. Careful blending is essential here.

It is important to use bouncing motions and not sweeping motions, or else this will cause friction which will cause your foundation to look cakey.

If you do want to use a makeup brush to apply your foundation, then make sure you use a brush that has soft bristles.

The softer the better! This way you’ll be able to blend away without causing too much friction.

As with your skincare routine, you should wait a few minutes for your foundation to set before applying more makeup on top of it.

Lastly, instead of adding multiple layers of foundation to achieve the makeup look you want, you should invest in a concealer!

Concealer is an excellent way to avoid cakey foundation because you can focus solely on covering the bits you want to cover.

Setting Makeup

To set your makeup, you should use a translucent powder.

Translucent powder will not lead to caking because it doesn’t settle into the crevices of your skin.

Instead, it sits on top of your skin giving you a matte finish. You can purchase a translucent powder at most drugstores.

Using a setting spray is another great option! Setting spray helps to keep your makeup in place and melts it together to remove any residue.

This helps you to achieve an overall natural finish.

How To Fix Cakey Foundation

Cakey makeup happens to everyone, but it’s nothing we cannot fix.

If you have accidentally made your foundation cakey, the best thing you can do is blend. You should start from the middle of your face and blend outwards.

Don’t forget to blend your jawline and neck, too!

Related: Why does my foundation look patchy?

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it!

Cakey foundation happens for a variety of reasons, from using the wrong products in your skincare routine to applying your foundation far too harshly.

The good news though, is that there is a lot you can do to prevent cakey makeup.

Finding the right products for your skin, investing in a good primer, foundation (in YOUR shade), and concealer, waiting before moving on to the next stage of your makeup routine, gently applying your foundation, and setting it with translucent powder or setting spray will all contribute to a flawless makeup look.

However, achieving perfect skin and perfect makeup is a learning curve, and it is important to remember that not having flawless skin or flawless makeup is perfectly okay!

It is definitely not necessary to feel comfortable in yourself and be confident in your own skin.