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5 Reasons Why Your Makeup Might be Cracking

Updated: Jul 12, 2022


You take your time to put on all your makeup with primers and setting spray and suddenly 20 mins after you're done, you start seeing little flakes all over your face or it just starts to crack!

Keeping the skin from cracking was one of the hardest things to figure out when I first started working on client’s faces for makeup. As a certified makeup artist and a licensed master esthetician, I have been in the beauty industry for over 6 years. What I have found is that skin care will always make the biggest difference on how your makeup will apply and continue to look throughout the day. Sometimes makeup can't hide what's going on with the skin and having a good skincare regime can be hard to keep up with, and that's okay. Having nice skin is a longer process to achieve and it won't happen overnight but it can be accomplished.


Here are 5 things that helped me when I worked with my clients.

1) Primer & Foundation

You get a new primer to try out then after you put in on with your favorite foundation, it starts to crack. Don't worry this happens a lot more often than you may think!

How can you look for a primer or foundation that can go together without the flakes and cracks?

The main ingredients that you want to look for are oil and water. Oil and water dont mix, so if you have a primer that is an oil base and a foundation that is a water base, they will separate and cause that cracking/flaking look on the skin.

How to avoid this issue?

The biggest thing is to look at is the first 2-3 ingredients of your foundation and primer. See if the product says water or some type of oil in the first 2-3 ingredients. If it mentions oil and then water (or vise versa) within the first 2-3 ingredients, then go off of the ingredient that came first.

So try and match your foundation and primer with the same type of base, water or oil base.

What about setting powder or powder foundation?

Powder foundation should be applied by lightly stamping the product into the face with a sponge or compacted brush. When done stamping in the product, grab a large fluffy powder brush and apply a little bit of powder to it. Then lightly dust away any excess product with the large fluffy powder brush, swooping from the center of the face, out. This will be the same for setting powder.

Can this be other products as well?

Potentially yes, look at your setting spray, bronzer, blush, and highlighter as well for the main ingredient. This should not apply to powder products, just cream and liquide.

2) Product Application

Still having trouble with cracking skin even after using the same water or oil based products?

Take note on how you are applying your makeup! Are you using a brush, hands, or beauty blender?

When you use a brush; stipple/press the product onto your skin instead of painting it in. This will allow the product to sit on top of the skin instead of moving it around, letting any dry skin stay put.

When using your hands; it's kinda the same idea as the brush. Try to apply less product than you think and pat in while applying. You may find that you don't need that much to cover your full face. Make sure to wash your hands before you apply because you can put bacteria and dirt onto your face and cause acne.

When using a beauty blender; press the product into the skin and avoid using a swiping motion. This will help the product cling to the skin and not pick up any sort of dryness. Important to keep in mind, don't put water in the beauty blender if the product that you are using has an oil base. Remember, oil and water do not mix!

3) Clean Skin

Having clean skin can help the foundation and primer stick to the skin rather than your natural oils and/or dirt. You gotta have a clean canvas for your artwork! Putting makeup on an unclean face can lead to getting your brushes or beauty blender full of bacteria as well. Causing your future makeup sessions with clean skin, to become dirty again.

How long should I wait to put on makeup after I clean my face?

Give your skin time to soak in your products. A good time for you to wait would be 5-10 minutes, especially after you put on moisturizer. At the end of the 5-10 minutes, feel for a slight tackiness on the skin. This will be a great indication that you can apply your primer or foundation.