8 Simple Hacks You Can Use To Fix Cakey Makeup

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Do you ever experience a time where you are layering foundation and concealer to cover blemishes and pigmentation or get a seamless blend, then bam! You have yourself a caked face. Undoubtedly, you look for ways to fix your cakey makeup, even though it sets in perfectly.

You don’t have to put yourself through the wringer by going out with that face. Neither do you have to clean the whole making off, then again from scratch. While these two options are what people often go for, there are ways you can fix cakey makeup if you end up with a caked-on look.

This article provides simple cosmetic hacks to fix cakey and whitish makeup on your face.

What causes cakey makeup?

1. Pigment over-layering

Building concealer and foundation on your skin can cause cakey makeup because you over-layered them on your face while trying to create full coverage and cover spots or blemishes.

While you have your concerns, you should know the rules of applying foundation and concealer to get shear, medium, or full coverage.

Likewise, learn to use the right tools like brushes, blenders, or even your fingers when it comes to applying foundation and concealer.

2. Not using the right shade

This often happens when you pick a lighter shade than your skin for foundation. You end up with cakey makeup. Then layering a much lighter concealer brings out the white of your face. It becomes hard to darken the foundation, but you can get it right by controlling your hands when blending.

3. Layering products wrongly

This can also cause cakey makeup, especially if you are trying to build makeup products with different consistencies.

For instance, using a powder foundation before a liquid concealer can lead to cakey makeup. The liquid concealer is supposed to come before the powder foundation. Also, using highlighters after setting powder lead to cakey makeup.

Following the rules of layering makeup will prevent cakey makeup.

4. Not maintaining a good skincare

Dry skin can lead to cakey makeup, so also does oily skin not properly exfoliated. Therefore, you must exfoliate to remove dead skin and excess sebum from your face to make the layering as smooth as it can be.

Additionally, moisturize your dry skin to provide moisture balance and plump your skin. When the skin is balanced, it would prevent cakey makeup.

How to fix cakey makeup

1. Blot

With blotting paper, you can remove excess makeup soaked in oil. Blotting papers are an oil-absorbing solution that helps clear the excess oil on the face. And with it, you can dab surplus makeup on the face, fixing the cakiness on your face.

This should be your first choice when you notice a cakey mention. Therefore, keep this on hand at all times.

2. Keep blending

Another way to fix cakey makeup is to keep blending. With a foundation brush, smoothen the lines on your face to the edges of your face. For faster results, spray the clean brush with a setting spray to melt the foundation and set it while you blend.

Pro tip: Start from the center of the face, then blend to the edges for a smooth finish.

3. Use a damp sponge      

A damp makeup sponge would help soften your layered makeup, removing excess pigment. Take a clean sponge, dampen, and bounce on the face, cleaning and blending at the same time.

This is effective if you have only applied foundation and concealer. Do not use a damp sponge when you have applied blush and highlighter because they can transfer to other parts of the face.

4. Use a face mist

A face mist is a quick hydrating product you can spray on your face to keep it supple. To use face mist, spritz it on your face, then blend it with a brush. This tones down the cakey makeup.

This also helps if you have dry skin. It hydrates your skin and reduces the excess makeup on your face.

5. Use a hydrating setting spray

A hydrating spray works to set the makeup in and keep your face dewy or glossy. Apply the setting spray while you blend in your foundation or concealer or after applying them to fix cakey makeup.

The spray would tone down your cakey makeup and hydrate your skin.

6. Highlight darker angles on your face

This would create a complex makeup. You can fix the cakiness on your face by highlighting the dark corners of your face where you usually contour. This makes the shadows more prominent.

While this is a tricky technique to pull off, the result means more structured features.

7. Powder your nose

There is nothing more than creating an illusion or drawing more attention to one part of the face than the other.

You can fix cakey makeup by just powdering your nose with a setting powder, drawing attention to it more than other parts of your face.

8. Use steam

If you are not in a rush, you can do this at your convenience. Steaming your face quickly will help break down the makeup, making it easy to blot and blend until it is less cakey.

You can put your face over a face steamer, diffuser, or anything that would blow hot mist on your face for a minute or two.

How you can avoid cakey foundation

1. Use the right foundation

Find foundation shades and formula that matches your skin type and complexion. This is the best way to avoid cakey makeup.

For instance, dry skin should use dewy formulas that would glow up dull, dry skin. Meanwhile, oily skin should get matte foundations in liquid, cream, or powder forms. Combination skin can also use cream foundations to keep their skin balanced.

Additionally, if you keep noticing cakey makeup after applying foundation, it may be because you are using a shade too light. The best is to get a foundation as close to your skin as possible.

2. Always start your routine with skincare

Starting with skincare is the best protective way to keep the face balanced. Applying toner, serum, and moisturizer would prevent excess oil from pooling on your face. Furthermore, it prevents dry skin from being too flaky that it turns cakey.

3. Exfoliate face regularly

Exfoliation is also part of skincare, but you can do this anytime, not necessarily before you apply makeup.

Exfoliation removes dead skin cells piled up on the skin, which causes heaviness on the face. It also removes residue buildup from other makeup sessions. And it removes flakiness, which can contribute to cakiness.

4. Use a primer

A primer as a makeup base would save you from a lot of trouble, including cakey makeup. Be it hydrating or mattifying primer, let it act as a base before you apply foundation to your skin. This keeps it glowing but not too much that it looks cakey.

5. Let makeup products set before moving to the next

This is also for those who tend to be in a rush- don’t be. Let each phase of makeup product dry before moving to the next, most especially primer, foundation, and concealer.

Moreover, this gives you time to observe the outcome after application. You can spot cakey makeup easily while you let the product set, then you fix it accordingly.

6. Use the right makeup tools

This goes a long way because it controls how the makeup builds on your face. If you want a smooth blend, you should use a foundation brush or a beauty blender rather than your fingers.

And don’t go for dense brushes like kabuki when blending your foundation or concealer; you may not like the result.

7. Be light-handed

A little at a time will do. That’s why it’s best to layer as you build when applying makeup. It makes it easier to know when enough is just enough. Likewise, you can spot when you are going over the top.

Therefore, you need to be light-handed when layering your foundation and concealer. And when you set it with a setting powder, dust lightly on the face; you do not need to build too much.


how to fix cakey makeup

Will cakey makeup make you look bad?

It will make you look ashy and patchy.

Your color would have a different shade than the rest of your body, and the right angles will not be highlighted. If this makes you look bad, then do not go for a cakey makeup look.

Can you use translucent powder to fix cakey makeup?

Yes, you can.

When applying a powder, try using a translucent powder to set your makeup. It provides a natural finish without making your face cakey, even after hours of applying makeup.

When is the best time to use cakey makeup?

There is no best time.

Cakey has been in trend, but it didn’t last too long because the result was often unsatisfactory. The ashy look did not flatter the face.

Unless you are being intentional or going for an event or costume party, do not go out with cakey makeup. 


Cakey makeup is not the best makeup look. Naturally, you want to fix it. You can do that by blotting excess oil and pigment, using a damp sponge, or blending until the color quiets down.

Nonetheless, it’s best to prevent this by practicing healthy skincare, using shades and products designed for your skin type, and being light-handed with your makeup.

Only then can you achieve the flawless, smooth finish you want.

Thanks for reading.

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