Why is My Foundation Cracking?

Foundation is one of the few steps in my makeup routine that I have experienced a love-hate relationship with. While I simply could not achieve flawless makeup without foundation, it is also a product that I have struggled to make work due to my oily skin type! Throughout the years of putting various moisturizers, primers, foundations, and powders to the test – I have finally discovered the ultimate hacks to avoid having your foundation crack or separate on the skin.

Is Your Skin Clean?

This may seem like an obvious step in most of your routines, but you may be forgetting how vital it actually is for both your skin health and makeup routine! Cleansing your skin before bed as well as in the morning will help to remove any oils that you have produced throughout the night. If you do not cleanse your skin prior to layering on makeup, those oils will seep through the foundation and separate the makeup quickly. In the morning, before makeup, I have been loving the Fresh Beauty Soy Face Cleanser as well as the SkinMedia AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser for nighttime use.


Is Your Skin Hydrated and Moisturized?

Oftentimes, especially those of us with oily skin, we assume that adding moisture and hydration to the skin will produce even more oils, which is not true! When we strip our skin of moisture after cleansing, if we do not add moisture back into the skin, we are actually making our skin produce more oils due to overdrying. To avoid this, moisturizing right after cleansing is ideal to balance the skin! Right before makeup, after cleansing, I love to apply a water/gel cream. I have been loving the Tatcha The Water Cream because it is very lightweight, fast absorbing, and does not leave any film on the skin. My go-to hydrating primer is the new, Farsáli Skintune Blur which is a vitamin C infused primer + serum that blurs and hydrates at the same time.


Is Your Foundation The Right Finish for Your Skin Type?

Try to avoid foundations that work against your skin. If you are oily, try using a waterbased foundation. Oily skin types usually believe that they can only use matte foundations; however, using a waterbased foundation will allow you to participate in the natural/dewy skin trend without looking greasy. Two of my favourite waterbased foundations are the Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation and the Makeup Forever Water Blend Foundation.


If you are dry, you definitely do not want to use ultra-matte foundations. Matte foundations tend to cling to your dry patches and can actually dry out your skin even more because they are formulated to limit oil production. If you are looking to achieve a matte finish, try using a natural-satin finish foundation. This will allow your skin to breathe and retain moisture without conveying too much dew and luminosity. For a natural finish foundation, my favourites are the Becca Ultimate Coverage Foundation and the Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer.


How Are You Setting Your Foundation?

With oily skin, I have come to learn that less is more. I always assumed that because I produced so much oil in my t-zone that I needed to pack on layers and layers of powder to stop the oils from seeping through my foundation – which is not correct! I have learned a trick while working on several brides which is to blot the t-zone right after applying foundation, to remove any excess oils, and then set the area with a light (yes I said LIGHT) layer of powder. Setting the area with a light layer of powder: 1) allows the skin to breathe 2) makes touch-ups MUCH simpler as there is no need to add a 100th layer to the 99 other layers of powder beneath 3) helps to avoid the foundation from separating and to prevent yourself from dealing with cakey makeup. My all-time favourite lightweight setting powder is the Dermablend Loose Translucent Setting Powder. I recommend this powder for all skin types and skin tones!

Screen Shot 2018-09-24 at 10.55.56 PM
Dermablend Loose Translucent Setting Powder $36

If touch-ups do become necessary throughout the night- a great tip is to lightly blot the area before powdering. If you go ahead and apply powder directly on top of the oils, (as gross as this sounds) you are actually mixing the oils with the foundation and further setting that into place with the powder, which is so counterproductive. Majority of the time, when we blot our oily areas, a powder touch-up isn’t even required. So, remember to always blot first and powder after. The Boscia Black Charcoal Blotting Linens work well to absorb oil without removing makeup and actually help to purify pores!

Boscia Black Charcoal Blotting Linens $14

For dry to normal skin, a lot of the times, loose powders and compact powders can be very thick and heavy which can cause even more clinging to dry patches that will eventually crack on the skin. A solution I have learned is that after the foundation has set – if it feels dry to touch – powder is not always needed. In fact, on my clients with severely dry skin, I oftentimes opt for a drier/tackier concealer which will avoid the need to set the under eyes with powder, OR, I will use a creamy concealer and set the area with a soft, finely milled powder. A great alternative to powder overall is setting spray! For years I have been using the Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray which works to keep the foundation locked in all day while delivering moisture and hydration.

Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray $40

I would love to know what tricks can you not live without when applying your foundation! Let me know down below in the comments!


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2 thoughts on “Why is My Foundation Cracking?

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