Why Does My Foundation Look Patchy

Why Does My Foundation Look Patchy

Nothing can be more frustrating than spending a lot of time in front of the mirror only to end with a patchy foundation. You meticulously blend it in the hopes of getting a luminous even finish. But no matter what you do it all seems to cake up.

And having no makeup at all is better than a cakey foundation. It can make you look like a clown. The harder you try to blend it in, the thinker it can get. So you might be asking yourself- why does my foundation look patchy?

Let’s see some common reasons that make your foundation look less than desirable. And let’s see how you can avoid uneven makeup.

What Causes a Blotchy Foundation?

A blotchy foundation may have several reasons. And it’s more than your skills in makeup! So below are some reasons why it’s hard to achieve an even foundation. 

1.Incompatible formulas

Beauty products can either be water-based or oil-based. Oil can’t be mixed with water, the same goes with makeup. Using an oil-based foundation with a water-based moisturizer will not blend in nicely. 

Blotchiness is common especially if you’re using a silicone-based primer. Silicone doesn’ mix well with water. So if you’re using a water-based foundation with a silicone-based primer, expect everything to be really patchy. 

2. Your skin is dry

If you haven’t been religiously moisturizing your skin, it can get dry and even dehydrated. And applying the foundation on dry skin can be tricky. 

It won’t blend in properly. Since your dehydrated skin is in dire need of moisture, it will just absorb all the water from your foundation, hence it results in an uneven finish. 

3. Wrong makeup tools

If you’re using the wrong makeup tools to blend in our foundation, it can result in those patchy streaks. Though brushes are convenient, they might not be the best tool to use for applying foundation.

4. You don’t exfoliate enough

The build-up of grime, dirt, and makeup can make your face look uneven. So your canvass is your face and your paint is your foundation. If you apply makeup on an uneven surface, the result will be patchy. 

5. Uneven surface

If your skin has some bumps and holes, your foundation will look cakey. 

6. Powdering your dry skin

You often see a lot of girls dabbing powder all over their faces before applying foundation. While it may help control oil, it won’t be beneficial if you have dry skin. And instead of applying powder to your entire face, it’s best to just dab a little loose powder on your oily areas, such as the T-zone.

7. Unclean tools

A dirty brush or beauty blender can harbor a lot of microorganisms and bacteria. And bacteria can result in spots.

How to Avoid Cakey Makeup

How to Avoid Cakey Makeup

Now that you know the do’s and don’ts, let’s see what you can do to avoid a cakey makeup

1. Use a primer

A primer can fill the bumps and tiny holes on your face. And this can help you achieve a smooth and even finish. If your canvas is smooth, your foundation will be too.

2. Moisturize your skin

Dehydrated skin will suck out all the water from your foundation and this can leave out all the oil on the surface of your skin. And this will look like small streaks on your face.

3. Clean your makeup tools

Aside from bacteria, a dirty tool can also get sticky and it’ll be difficult to blend in your foundation with a sticky brush or blender.

4. Use a beauty blender or a sponge 

Instead of using makeup brushes, use a beauty blender or sponge instead. This will help you create a more even finish. And you need to gently apply the makeup in circular motions to blend it in. That’ll be hard to achieve with a brush.

5. Exfoliate regularly

When your skin is free from any dirt or grime buildup, your foundation can glide well like melted butter on hot toast.

6. Use the same base of makeup

If you’re using a water-based primer, pair it up with a water-based foundation. Oil doesn’t mix with water, and it also applies to your makeup.

How to Fix Cakey Makeup

A cakey makeup with too thick a foundation can make you look like a clown. It can also feel heavy and hot, especially on a humid day.

So here are quick fixes on what you can do.

  1. Always clean your face before applying makeup.
  2. Avoid products with drying ingredients. Normally, anti-acne products with salicylic acid can dry up your skin. 
  3. Use a liquid foundation with a lighter formulation. Heavy cream can be heavy on the face and it can cake up. 
  4. Opt for water-based products. These products are easier to blend in. 
  5. Use a damp sponge when applying foundation. Sometimes, not blending your foundation well can make it look cakey. It’s going to be easier to blend your makeup with a damp sponge. 
  6. Set your makeup by dusting a bit of loose powder on your face.
  7. Apply a hydrating mist on your makeup.

How to Apply Foundation

Follow our simple tips on how to easily blend in your foundation.

  1. Use a sponge to blend in your foundation, an egg-shaped one is the most appropriate. And don’t forget to wet your sponge before dipping it into your makeup. This will make it easier.
  2. Work your way from the inside to the out. Tap a bit foundation in the middle of your face and slowly move it to the outside. In this way, you’ll have more makeup on the center of your face rather than the area near the hairline.
  3. Dab foundation between your eyebrows and work your way to your forehead.
  4. Next, dab a little on your chin, and work your way downwards.
  5. Set your foundation by applying a bit of loose powder using a small brush.


Foundation looks thick and fake how to fix it?

Apart from following our tips and guide above, it’s important not to retouch your foundation. Instead, just blend it in again. The retouching will render your makeup thicker, making it look cakey and fake.

Is liquid foundation better than powdered ones?

Liquid foundation is easier to blend in than powdered ones. They have a more blendable formula, so it’s best for beginners too. If you can’t blend your makeup well, it will result in patches.

Can I apply the foundation using my fingers?

A big no? The heat on gout fingers can absorb more product, so it’s going to be a waste of money. And you’ll be using more than what you have to. And using your hands can result in a thicker and more cakey foundation 


A cakey makeup, thick and blotchy foundation never looks good. And you don’t necessarily need to be a skilled makeup artist to get your foundation even.

We’ve listed several do’s and don’ts and simple tips on how you can avoid patchy makeup.

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