5 Reasons Your Makeup Is Patchy and How to Fix It

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Inconsistent texture across the face is almost always to blame for patchy makeup—this could include acne breakouts or rough skin. The biggest culprit of patchiness is dryness, says celebrity makeup artist and founder of Monika Blunder Beauty, Monika Blunder. “Makeup can cling to the dry patches of your face in a different way, causing it to look patchy and cakey,” says Blunder. The rough, uneven texture is easily emphasized when foundation settles in, says Lynnette Cole, PUR education director. Celebrity makeup artist Cara Lovello says acne can also be one of the culprits behind uneven makeup. This all boils down to having a better skin-care routine to prevent dryness or acne. Here’s what the experts suggest for beating patchy foundation application.

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Moisturize well

“To avoid patchiness, make sure your face is well prepped and moisturized, and give a little extra love to any especially dry patches on your face,” advises Blunder. She loves using a salve or balm for the dry spots before applying makeup.

“Ensuring your face has enough slip and moisture will guarantee your makeup goes on smoothly and evenly,” says Blunder. She suggests choosing a product that’s emollient or oil-based with a translucent base. Blunder likes to use Undercover Face Crème ($95) for skin prep to facilitate easy makeup application.

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But don’t apply too much moisturizer

This might seem contrary to the last tip, but Cole recommends avoiding going overboard with products before putting on makeup. “Prepping the skin is key,” she says. However, “applying too much moisturizer or not allowing it to dry before applying primer can cause pilling or foundation to appear patchy.“ She recommends going with a lightweight moisturizer like Cloud Cream ($38).

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Use a primer

Lovello recommends not only moisturizing before makeup application but also using a primer. She says to make sure skin is “soft to the touch before you start putting makeup on.”

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Lovello says exfoliating can help combat dry skin and patchy makeup. Cole also recommends exfoliating twice a week to remove dead skin using either a chemical or physical exfoliant, like PUR Joystick Exfoliating Deep Pore Clay Cleansing Stick ($26) or Downtown Detox ($28).

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Choose the right formula

If you have patchy problems, Blunder recommends going for a foundation that slides and blends smoothly as opposed to a powder. She suggests Blunder Cover ($52), as it’s an easily spreadable hybrid foundation and concealer.

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