6 Expert-Approved Makeup Tricks to Try If You Have Uneven, Textured Skin
When you have rough and bumpy skin, you know it can be a bit tricky to apply makeup products so everything can appear smooth. The last thing you want is to apply too much product, as it could appear cakey or make the uneven texture look even more noticeable. It's all about achieving the right balance so your skin looks smooth and natural. But that's easier said than done, right?
To help, I asked two makeup artists for their best tips for applying foundation to textured skin. See what they had to say below.
How to Apply Foundation to Textured Skin
1. Prep the skin: It's important to take care of your skin before you apply any makeup. In fact, it's crucial—even if you're not dealing with textured skin. "At home cleansing and hydrating is key before you do your makeup," explains celebrity makeup artist Tobi Henney, whose clients include Megan Fox and Ashley Graham. "I love Darya Hope's Triple Cleanse Facial System to clean and exfoliate the skin. Next, I love to apply a mask. My go-to is Tatcha's Dewy Skin Mask. Next, it's time to moisturize the skin. My go-to is Augustinus Bader's The Cream.
2. Choose the right type of foundation: "It is best to stay away from powder formulas when choosing a foundation for textured skin—powder can settle into texture and actually make it appear worse," says celebrity makeup artist Tamah Krinsky, whose clients include Alexa Chung and Sophie Turner. "When applying, it really all comes down to what kind of texture you are dealing with. If you tend to have dry patches or crepey skin, you would balance that with a moisturizing, dewy foundation. Alternatively, if you are dealing with acne or rashy skin, you may want a more matte formula to lessen the texture."
3. Add a Primer: Henney says she adds a primer after she finishes the skincare prep steps. "I love Armani's Luminous Silk Hydrating Primer. This is such a beautiful combo to apply before adding your preferred foundation," she recommends.
4. Apply Lightly: Start with a small amount of foundation and slowly layer depending on how much coverage you need and where you need it. This way, you'll avoid "caking" your makeup on.
5. Use a Sponge to Blend: "I love to use a damp BeautyBlender to apply foundation, starting from the center of the face and blending outwards," Henney says. "This will create the most natural, flawless base."
6. Take care of your skin regularly: Outside of applying makeup, Krinsky says it's important to treat your skin daily. "How you prep your skin all depends on what you are dealing with in terms of texture. First and foremost, if you are dealing with overly dry or oily skin, recurring rashes, or recurring acne, I would recommend you visit a dermatologist and not try to cover the skin with makeup," she says. "Your skin is an organ, and it is important to listen to what it is showing and telling you. More than anything, I recommend we all make a healthy habit of cleansing, exfoliating (I recommend weekly), moisturizing, and using SPF daily. Let this be your morning and evening ritual—a few minutes you use to take good care of yourself! Regardless of what you are dealing with in terms of your skin, those are the most important steps to staying balanced."
Shop the Best Foundations for Textured Skin
Looking for the perfect foundation formula for bumpy or rough skin? Take a look at some highly-rated options below.
Best Overall: Tom Ford Traceless Soft Matte Foundation
Henney recommends this one from Tom Ford, as she says it will create a super-even base and hide any skin imperfections.
Customer review: "Love love love! Buildable but looks like skin. A little goes a long way. [My skin is] oily but dehydrated, so [I] always [had] a hard time finding a foundation that was hydrating enough and didn't make me break out. It's worth the price to not break out."
Pro: Formulated with light-diffusing microspheres for a skin-blurring effect
Con: High price point
2. Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation Makeup
Maybelline's Fit Me foundation provides medium coverage and is available in 40 shades. It works to refine pores for a smoother, natural-looking matte finish.
Customer review: "I have been using this foundation for years. Not only is it affordable, but it has good coverage. I have acne and acne scars, and I have no problem covering them up with this foundation. I also have oily skin, and I find that when I use this foundation, I rarely have to blot my skin or touch it up."
Pro: Affordable price point
Con: Formula oxidizes over time
3. Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Perfect Glow Flawless Oil-Free Foundation
"Armani's Luminous Silk also works wonders on textured skin, as you can build the coverage where needed on more problematics areas, and it will give such a flawless finish," Henney says.
Customer review: "This product moved me from the 'never wear foundation' category to the 'will only use this product' category. It is light and goes only easily. It also seemed to fill in my fine lines and large pores. I kept checking myself in the mirror to see if it was for real."
Pro: Offers a flawless, glowing finish
Con: High price point
4. Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Medium Coverage Liquid Foundation with Hyaluronic Acid
If you're trying to conceal rough or dry patches, this foundation might be a game-changer. It's infused with hyaluronic acid, rose complex, and Bix-Activ to hydrate, brighten, smooth, and blur pores. The product leaves a natural finish and can last up to 16 hours.
Pro: Lightweight, buildable formula
Con: Settles and separates with long wear
5. Shiseido Synchro Skin Radiant Lifting Foundation SPF 30
"Shiseido's Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Foundation has been one of my fave foundations of late. It will give you a radiant finish and is the perfect pick for anyone with uneven skin tone as it covers breakouts and pigmentation really well," Henney says.
Customer review: "Great shade selection. The formula applies flawlessly with any tool. I prefer a dense foundation or duo fiber brush. The coverage is buildable to the point you can use it to spot conceal without looking cakey, and it looks so skin-like you won't be able to tell where it begins and ends. It blends that seamlessly."
Pro: Easy to blend and buildable
Con: Formula may emphasize texture and pores on oily skin
6. Covergirl + Olay Simply Ageless 3-in-1 Liquid Foundation
This is a great option for mature skin types. It's designed to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Plus, it firms and nourishes the skin thanks to a hyaluronic complex and vitamin C.
Customer review: "This may be one of the first drugstore foundations I've ever used to the last drop. I have dry skin and some fine lines, and this is hydrating and truly smoothes out my skin. I feel like the coverage is medium-full coverage, and it last nearly all day."
Pro: Affordable price point
Con: Formula is fragranced
7. Ilia True Skin Serum Foundation
Ilia's foundation is the best of both worlds because it's formulated to be both a makeup product and a skincare product. There's aloe leaf, rose hip, jojoba, and marula oil in the formula to soothe skin, reduce redness, and minimize the look of fine lines. It's also a lightweight consistency that is completely buildable.
Customer review: "I love this foundation! It has a medium coverage and blends well. I couldn't find another brand that matches so well. Love that it's also clean and good for my skin!"
Pro: Lightweight, breathable formula
Con: Limited wear on oily and combination skin types
8. Clé de Peau Beauté Radiant Fluid Matte Foundation SPF 20
This one may be a splurge, but it has some pretty amazing skincare benefits. It's a soft-matte liquid foundation that boosts the skin with hydration for eight hours and can reduce the appearance of pores and roughness after about two weeks.
Customer review: "Shockingly stunning texture. Would be perfect for dry/normal skin. Has a smell, but it dissipated quickly. Luminous on my skin and caused a little bit too much shine in my T-zone. It looks just like healthy skin, and a little goes a long way. I can see this lasting for a long time. Feels lightweight."
Pro: Flawless, skin-like finish
Con: Limited shade availability
9. BareMinerals Original Liquid Mineral Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 20
BareMinerals' foundation is clean and vegan, with 88% naturally derived ingredients. It contains a healthy mineral complex to refine the skin's texture, olive-derived squalane to hydrate, and peptide and prickly pear extract to reduce redness and the look of prores.
Customer review: "I totally love this foundation! It's my new go-to foundation for those 'no-makeup' makeup looks. It has a natural but medium coverage finish and can be built up to a little more coverage. The shade range is incredible, and I love how it doesn't feel cakey on the skin. Definitely recommend it!"
Pro: Offers easy-to-blend medium coverage
Con: Formula tends to be oily on most skin types
Skincare Products for Textured Skin
And if you're looking for skincare products to treat your uneven skin and smooth it once and for all, take a look at these below.
Retinol is great for smoothing the skin, but it can be irritating for some people. This option from Versed is very gentle and works well even on sensitive skin. It's a mix of microencapsulated retinol and natural retinol alternatives to improve the skin's texture, refine skin tone, and keep the pores clear.
Sunday Riley's Good Genes product is an anti-aging treatment that works to clear skin and promote collagen production. The lactic acid in the formula plumps lines and exfoliates while licorice brightens, lemongrass boosts radiance, and aloe soothes.
Editor Anna LaPlaca credits this face mask with improving her skin texture. "In just 10 minutes, Caudalie's glycolic peel works its magic and transforms my skin texture into that of a baby's bottom. (I wish that were an exaggeration.) It's a strong formula, so I use it just once or twice a week," she says.
Paula's Choice's exfoliant is one of the most popular and best-selling ones out there. It's formulated to clear and minimize pores, exfoliate any dead skin cells and buildup, and soothe inflammation.
CeraVe's retinol serum is specifically made to refine the skin's texture and reduce the appearance of post-acne marks. In addition to encapsulated retinol, it contains three essential ceramides, licorice-root extract, and niacinamide.
This article was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.
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