✿ Patchy, Uneven Makeup? Here’s What You Could Be Doing Wrong

If you’re like me, you devote at least an hour of your precious time daily to get your makeup straight.

You buff and blend the products on your face carefully, with a precision that only years and long hours of practice can achieve. On days when you’ve pressed the snooze button more than you should, you even skip breakfast and a few steps in your daily routine just so you could squeeze in your entire makeup regimen into the little time you have.

As such, it can get disheartening when, some days, you still end up looking like a patchy hot mess, despite all the time you have devoted to putting on makeup.

Do you see patchy streaks on your cheeks, tiny dots under your eyes, or some areas where your makeup appears to be separating from your skin? How come you didn’t experience any of these problems yesterday?

Here are the culprits behind patchy makeup, as well as ways to fix them:

1. You skipped exfoliation

Sometimes, it isn’t the makeup, but the canvas that’s patchy. The thing is, makeup holds better on clean, exfoliated skin.

If you have been neglecting exfoliating lately, you might notice some areas of your face drying up or flaking, and that could be a major setback to achieving a flawless finish.This is especially true for those with dry skin.

Unless you’re using an exfoliating cleanser, it pays to wash your face with a gentle exfoliant twice to thrice a week. If you have sensitive skin, exfoliate once a week. Go beyond that,and you become a likely candidate for chronic skin irritation and inflammation, which eventually lead to skin aging.

Proper exfoliation clears away dead skin cells and makes a smoother canvas for your makeup.

2. Your skin is dry

You may have exfoliated, but if you don’t moisturize, it’s still difficult for your makeup to stick. Skin that isn’t properly hydratedtends to draw the moisture out of any product you applyto it. Dehydrated skin tends to suck the emollients and water from your base or foundation, which leaves you with unevenly dispersed patches of pigment.

Prevent patchiness by applying an even layer of moisturizer on your face and neck before you reach for the foundation bottle.

3. Your products are a wrong combination

You may have a holy grail BB cream or CC cream to use as a makeup base, but as it turns out, it’s your favorite base that’s the enemy. Apparently, the ingredients of the different products you used (e.g.,the water-based foundation on top of a silicone-based primer) don’t sit well together, hence the patchiness.

Most products fall into either of these two categories: silicone-based or water-based. To achieve a flawless finish, you want to pair your water-based primer with a water-based foundation and your silicone-based primer with a silicone-based foundation. Following the oil and water effect, layering two different bases may cause the products to pill. The worst offender is a water-based product on top of a silicone product, as the silicone tends to repel the water.

Now, the problem here is that most products don’t exactly broadcast whether they’re water or silicone- based. So how do you know if your products fare well together?

Scan the ingredients at the back. If the ingredients near the top of the list end in –cone,-siloxane, or –methicone, you likely have a silicone-based product. If you look at the ingredients of best-selling primer Smashbox Photo Finish Primer, you’ll see that the first few items on the list include Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, and Trisiloxane. As these are all silicones, you know you’ve got yourself a silicone-based product.

Note, however, that any liquid product will list water as the main ingredient, as water makes liquid products easier to spread or blend. Having water as a top ingredient, however, does not necessarily mean the product is water-based. Your hint should be whether the first few lines in the list of ingredients are loaded with silicones.

4.You’re using the wrong tools

If you love makeup but can’t be bothered with the many different brushes that serve different purposes, I don’t blame you. Sometimes, life can get too busy that we don’t get to be pickyabout the tools we use anymore. We reach into our makeup kit, find a dense kabuki brush, and use it to apply dense cream foundation.

While I don’t fault you (confession: I also do this when pressed for time), the truth is, buffing brushes aren’t exactly a match made in heaven for certain foundation types. The circular, buffing motion you do with these brushes when applying your foundation tends to drag the product around. It lifts up any texture such as flakes or dry patches, leaving streaks and leading to an uneven or patchy application.

When using creamy, full-coverage foundation, stick to your trusty sponge or beauty blender to fully work the product. Reserve the brushes for powder foundation.

5. You don’t allow your makeup to set

Again, there are days when we don’t really have the luxury of time. On these days, we tend to pile everything on our face in a hurried daze: two layers of liquid foundation, for example, topped with a layer of powder. This is a recipe for disaster, as areas that are still wet from the newly-applied foundation tend to collect more of the powder product, leaving you a cakey, patchy mess.

Before jumping in with powder foundation, make sure to let your liquid foundation set for at least five minutes. Letting your makeup set also lets you see the areas that need more product, and you wouldn’t keep on adding more layers to areas that do not need that much coverage.

Ultimately, the most effective way to achieve an Instagram-worthy makeup finish is to maintainhealthy skin. Again, your skin is your canvas, and makeup glides on more smoothly and sits on your face more flawlessly on a cleaner and healthier base.  On top of exfoliation and moisturizing, make sure to get enough hours of sleep and drink lots of water.

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