How to Make Your Makeup Look Smooth

 Have you ever had that experience where you put on skincare or sunscreen under make makeup, and you actually feel little balls of product gumming up? Here’s how to prevent it. 


Choose the right sunscreen.

Let's begin with sunscreen, Cassandra would recommend trying to find a lighter-weight sunscreen that doesn’t tend to ball up as much. A lot of sunscreens are trial and error. But if you’re concerned about your skincare pilling up, two things you want to be aware of in your sunscreen are pigments and formulas that are physical as opposed to chemical. Physical sunscreens have ingredients like zinc. The zinc is actually a powder, and it’s combined into a liquid. On top of that, some sunscreens have pigments are made of powder. While tinted, physical sunscreens are great,  these two different powders can cause clumping when you put on makeup. 

There are some examples of this that Cassandra loves. 

Iris&Romeo Weekend Skin SPF 50 + Vitamin C + Glow -$50


This is wonderful because it is a mineral sunscreen with a tint that doesn’t ball or pill up. This also has vitamin C which provides an antioxidant boost. Cassandra has found that this does not peel up on her the way some other sunscreens have. 

But, find a sunscreen that works for you. And if you're using makeup, that might mean going for a chemical sunscreen. Moreover, a lot of people find that chemical sunscreens absorb better into the skin.  They’re very lightweight so they don’t ball up at all, and a lot of people like that feeling. 


If our skin is crusty or tends to produce a lot of oil or blackheads, sebaceous filaments. exfoliation may be the best bet. When you apply a nice smooth product like foundation over a jagged surface, it can get caught in some of these areas. Also, makeup is tinted with a powder, and we previously discussed how this could cause clumping. So, exfoliating responsibly can be a lifesaver. There are different types of exfoliants too, physical and chemical. Cassandra loves chemical ones because they exfoliate evenly whereas a lot of physical exfoliants can be a little too abrasive, and they don’t move them around evenly. 

As long as your skin isn’t too sensitive, chemical exfoliants like AHAs and BHAs can work wonders. 

Paula’s Choice 25% AHA + 2% BHA Exfoliant Peel - $42 

This product is bright purple and potent. BHA is salicylic acid so it’s oil soluble whereas AHA is water soluble, so AHAs are a little better if you want hydration.  However, this might be too strong for some people so the next option might be helpful. 


Wishful Yo Glow AHA & BHA Facial Enzyme Scrub -$63 

This a cellulose scrub, and these can be amazing if you are someone who likes physical exfoliation. But, these don’t scratch your face. When you use this, you’ll see it clump up. However, this isn’t the product peeling off your skin, it’s just the product pasting up so it can physically exfoliate the skin. This is fantastic because you’re gently exfoliating without the potential of tearing your skin. 

But, at the same time, you are getting that physical sensation, and you are gently removing that top layer of the skin.  This has pineapple enzymes in it which are a gentle form of exfoliation. Exfoliation also helps your other skincare absorb as opposed to sitting on top of the skin. If you have dead flakes on your skin, your actual products won’t be able to penetrate, and both your skin and the unabsorbed skincare can cause your makeup to clump up.  But, if you exfoliate, your skincare can actually penetrate and get to work. 

Use less of your moisturizer

If you’re worried about your moisturizer pilling up under makeup, you could use an eye cream or small dots of a thicker moisturizer on certain spots. Especially If you have dry skin, try using less of the thick moisturizer on dry spots and something lightweight on the rest of the skin.  You can also use a moisturizing setting spray.

Youthforia Pregame Setting Spray -$36 

Another option is some sort of setting spray. This is kind of like a spray-on moisturizer. You could also use a regular setting spray. Just make sure that you’re spraying a light mist or setting spray between your skincare ingredients and between your powder cosmetics. Setting spray dries down on the skin. So, it allows your powders to go on without gumming up and getting that cakey feel. 

Use oil-soluble serums

Some serums can cake up when used with makeup. For example, vitamin C and niacinamide can be a problem because of the powders used to make them. So, when is it a problem, and when is it not? The most commonly used vitamin C  is ascorbic acid, which is a powder. When we’re trying to mix a powder into a liquid product, sometimes it doesn’t mix in completely, especially with makeup. So, here is an oil-soluble vitamin C.

These are like little balloons with a formula in them. It’s very pillowy, and it goes onto the skin super dry. If you like primer, you’d like this texture. Additionally, this helps with fine lines.


Beauty Pie Vitamin C Capsules - $40



Photocred: istock