Help! My Makeup Makes My Skin Look Flaky and Uneven!

Dry skin isn't a curse; in fact, it can even be a blessing. During the balmy summer months, your makeup likely stays in place as everyone else's slowly sweats its way off. And you can probably load on luxurious creams without worrying about greasy shine or acne spots.

But when your skin's especially dry, foundation can go on unevenly, leaving you with a flaky, cakey mess. You don't have to give up makeup or resign yourself to uneven skin tone. The right makeup, coupled with a few skincare hacks, can keep your dry complexion glowing all day long.

What's the Difference Between Pressed and Loose Powder?What's the Difference Between Pressed and Loose Powder?

Prep Your Skin Before Applying Foundation

If you've ever painted a wall or piece of furniture, you know that paint goes on unevenly if a surface is dirty or rough. A new coat of paint can actually emphasise imperfections.

The same is true of makeup on your complexion. Just as objects need the right pre-treatment before being painted, your skin needs to be properly prepared for your makeup.

Makeup primers fill indentations in your skin for a smoother surface. Try a primer for dry skin that contains hydrating ingredients, such as:

Napoleon Perdis Auto Pilot Pre-Foundation Primer - GOLD
Napoleon Perdis Auto Pilot Pre-Foundation Primer - GOLD
Napoleon Perdis Auto Pilot Pre-Foundation Primer - GOLD
$59.00

4.6 of 147 reviews

This special Gold edition of Napoleon Perdis Auto Pilot Pre-Foundation Primer is infused with tons of nourishment and skin-perfecting ingredients, making this a primer that goes much further than skin deep. This conditioning, soothing primer is enriched with calming botanicals that minimise irritation, inflammation, and redness while the lightweight formula perfectly preps and primes skin, smoothing lines and creating a beautiful canvas for your favorite complexion products. The perfect choice for dry or dehydrated complexions in need of a primer that does more than just prep, your skin is sure to fall in love with Napoleon Perdis Auto Pilot Pre-Foundation Primer - GOLD.

Napoleon Perdis Auto Pilot Pre-Foundation Primer - GOLD
Bobbi Brown Primer Plus Hydrating 3-in-1 Setting Spray
Bobbi Brown Primer Plus Hydrating 3-in-1 Setting Spray
Bobbi Brown Primer Plus Hydrating 3-in-1 Setting Spray
$50.00

4.8 of 4 reviews

What it Is: A sheer, nutrient-rich mist that preps skin for foundation, finishes makeup and instantly refreshes the complexion for a healthy-looking glow. Paraben-free, Sulfate-free, Phthalate-free and Mineral oil-free. How To Use It: With eyes closed, hold bottle at arm’s length and spray lightly over face.

Bobbi Brown Primer Plus Hydrating 3-in-1 Setting Spray
M.A.C Cosmetics Strobe Cream
M.A.C Cosmetics Strobe Cream
M.A.C Cosmetics Strobe Cream
$56.00

4.4 of 78 reviews

A lightweight formula that promotes luminosity and radiance. Available in pink, peach, silver and gold, this cream can be used on all skin types.

M.A.C Cosmetics Strobe Cream
The Ordinary High-Spreadability Fluid Primer
The Ordinary High-Spreadability Fluid Primer 30ml
The Ordinary High-Spreadability Fluid Primer
$13.90

4.3 of 148 reviews

The Ordinary High-Spreadability Fluid Primer is a lightweight serum-like formula that increases the spreadability of subsequent complexion makeup to help avoid the unnatural and uneven accumulation of pigments especially around the eyes and on dry skin. Ideal for application before concealing, or applying full coverage foundation for a more natural look. The Ordinary High-Spreadability Fluid Primer also acts as a light, non-oily surface hydrator for a natural dewy look.

The Ordinary High-Spreadability Fluid Primer

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Choose the Right Makeup for Dry Skin

Makeup labels exist for a reason: manufacturers really do formulate products for various skin types. So if you have dry skin, you need a makeup for dry skin. Of course, that doesn't mean every formula you try will work for you. Some tips for choosing the right foundation for your complexion:

• Steer clear of powder foundations, which can dry out your skin and look cakey.

• Pick a moisturising formula, such as Elizabeth Arden Prevage Anti-Ageing Foundation, Napoleon Perdis Sheer Genius Liquid Foundation or Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation.

• Thoroughly blend your foundation, since uneven application can create dry-looking patches.

• Try a BB cream instead of a foundation if your complexion is relatively smooth. BB Creams offer sheer coverage and are less likely to cake and flake. Tinted moisturisers are great too. 

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Exfoliate Weekly

Exfoliation removes the top layer of dead skin, reducing flakiness and helping your makeup go on more smoothly. Unfortunately, exfoliation can also strip your skin of its natural oils, increasing dryness over time. 

Balance these competing effects by choosing an exfoliator specifically formulated for dry skin, such asDermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant. Exfoliate only once per week and moisturise immediately afterwards.

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Don't Forget to Moisturise (the Right Way)

Moisturiser is dry skin's best friend, but some products are more effective than others. Steer clear of treatment formulas that address wrinkles and acne, since these often contain skin-irritating ingredients.

Instead, select a highly emollient moisturiser, such as Weleda Skin Food 75ml. Moisturise at least twice daily: once in the morning after showering or cleansing, and again at night after removing your makeup.

Experts at Dr. Hauschka claim that the way you apply moisturiser can make a big difference. A pressing motion can improve the way your foundation sits, as this method doesn't unsettle dry skin.

Try warming a pea-size dab of Dr Hauschka Rose Day Cream 30ml between your palms to melt the waxes. Then press the product into skin that's still hydrated with toner.

Moisturising before you apply makeup can help reduce cakiness, but moisturiser can also make your makeup go on unevenly if you rush the process. Apply moisturiser fresh out of the shower, and wait until it's completely absorbed into your skin before applying your foundation.

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Primer's, Foundation's, Exfoliators and Moisturiser's

Primer

/Liquid Foundation

/Exfoliators

/Moisturisers

The Ordinary High-Adherence Silicone Primer by undefinedThe Ordinary High-Adherence Silicone Primer by undefined
Top Primer

The Ordinary High-Adherence Silicone Primer

$8.80

$8.80

View

4.2 of 195 reviews

The Ordinary High-Spreadability Fluid Primer  by undefinedThe Ordinary High-Spreadability Fluid Primer  by undefined
Top Primer

The Ordinary High-Spreadability Fluid Primer

$13.90

$13.90

View

4.3 of 148 reviews

Dermalogica Age Smart Skinperfect Primer SPF30 by undefinedDermalogica Age Smart Skinperfect Primer SPF30 by undefined
Top Primer

Dermalogica Age Smart Skinperfect Primer SPF30

$68.64 $78.00

$68.64 $78.00

View

4.6 of 83 reviews

Napoleon Perdis Auto Pilot Pre-Foundation Primer - GOLD by undefinedNapoleon Perdis Auto Pilot Pre-Foundation Primer - GOLD by undefined
Top Primer

Napoleon Perdis Auto Pilot Pre-Foundation Primer - GOLD

$59.00

$59.00

View

4.6 of 147 reviews

Benefit POREfessional 22ml by undefinedBenefit POREfessional 22ml by undefined
Top Primer

Benefit POREfessional 22ml

$55.00

$55.00

View

4.4 of 167 reviews

Jane Iredale Smooth Affair Facial Primer & Brightener by undefinedJane Iredale Smooth Affair Facial Primer & Brightener by undefined
Top Foundation

Jane Iredale Smooth Affair Facial Primer & Brightener

$72.00 $80.00

$72.00 $80.00

View

4.4 of 35 reviews

Skindinavia Makeup Finishing Spray 118ml by undefinedSkindinavia Makeup Finishing Spray 118ml by undefined
Top Primer

Skindinavia Makeup Finishing Spray 118ml

$39.95

$39.95

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Cinch Face Cheat(er) Cream Moisture + Glow by undefinedCinch Face Cheat(er) Cream Moisture + Glow by undefined
Top Moisturiser

Cinch Face Cheat(er) Cream Moisture + Glow

$39.95

$39.95

View

4.4 of 50 reviews