Hi guys, in the last couple of weeks I made a major discovery. I finally found a way to make matte foundation work on dry skin. I’m sure some of you already have a routine like this nailed down, but my skin has always been particularly difficult and uncooperative when it comes to matte textures. I honestly didn’t think I’d ever be able to make it work, but I got there. This routine works for me, it might not work for everyone, but I thought I’d share it and maybe it can help some of you out.
I know when people with dry skin talk about using matte foundations, they always talk about prepping the skin well. Or moisturising well. That’s all well and good, but that doesn’t work for me. My ‘prep’ routine is quite extensive and I don’t think the word ‘well’ quite cuts it. And just moisturising is not going to do anything for this dry, flakey face. I’ve always preferred matte skin, so finding a way to make it work has made me very happy.
Before we get into it, if you’d like to know more about my skin then click here for my skincare history. It’s very dry, sensitive and can get texture prone around dry areas.
Choosing Your Foundation
The first step in making a matte foundation work is picking the right one to begin with. Be realistic, going in with the heaviest matte isn’t going to work. You need a soft matte or comfort matte foundation. On dry skin foundations tend to sit slightly more matte than they would on normal skin anyway so going for one with a more satin matte finish will end up matte on the skin anyway.
I know it’s cliché and you’ve heard it all before, but drink plenty of water and eat reasonably well. Sure, this post is about products that help, but you want the best base possible before you go in with products. In order to have the best looking skin after foundation, it helps to have generally healthy skin beforehand. Stay hydrated, get lots of fruit and vegetables and healthy fats. I’m not going to preach about this but I had to mention it.
Now, I’m just throwing it out there that no matter how good your skin prep is before you apply the foundation, it will perform better if you have a good skincare routine to begin with. Products don’t perform miracles. You can use things to boost what you’ve already got but nothing is going to give a miraculous transformation in three minutes.
For me, I have to prep my skin well (there’s that phrase again) the night before if I want anything to work the following morning. Hyaluronic acid is my best friend for plumping the skin up and giving it a boost, both the night before and the morning of application.
I did a post in the past about my hydration sandwich philosophy when it comes to skincare for dry and dehydrated skin. The way I prep my skin for matte foundation is very similar to this. I know you don’t always know which foundation you want to wear the following morning, so you may not be able to prep the night before. But I tend to go through phases where I go a week or two wanting to use the same one. If I’m in a matte phase, I would use a routine similar to the one I’m about to describe every night.
One of the main issues with dry skin and matte foundation, is the foundation clinging to dry patches and emphasising them/ making them look bigger than they really are. To combat that, you want skin to be as smooth as possible before application. I always start my prep with a hyaluronic acid based serum, such as Hydraluron or the Sarah Chapman Skinesis Hydration Booster. If my skin is particularly dry or flakey, I use the Ren Wake Wonderful Nighttime Facial. This is a lactic acid exfoliator, and always leaves my skin looking fresh and glowy the next day.
Hydration & Moisturiser
If my skin is dry but doesn’t have much texture or flakey patches, I use the hydrating serum followed by a regular mosturiser. Hyaluronic acid works by holding up to 10,000 times its weight in water, so the serum performs best if followed by a water based based moisturiser. Lately, my favourites have been the Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask or the Ren Vita Mineral. The Clinique formula contains extra hyaluronic acid so skin is extremely hydrated and plum the next morning. Alternatively, the Ren product contains oils so is less hydrating but more nourishing. I decide between them depending how my skin feels on the day. I follow these products with an oil, usually the Pai Rosehip Oil, as my final step.
Using all of this is heavy on the skin before sleep, but it makes my skin look the best the following morning. Which is all we really care about before matte foundation.
So, we did the prep the night before and our skin is looking great this morning. Our morning cleanser should be an oily one so we don’t strip away all that great work from the previous night. My skin doesn’t respond well to too many products in my morning routine, so I keep it simple. More hydrating serum, usually the same one as the night before followed by SPF. As we’ve already established, the serum works better if followed by something water based. Most SPFs are water based so that isn’t a huge problem, but I usually go for the Clinique Anti-Wrinkle SPF30 as that also contains hyaluronic acid for an extra boost.
Matte Foundation Application
Obviously, we’ve already out a lot of work into our skin and we don’t want to ruin that with bad application. I find that Beauty Blenders work best with matte foundations. Brushes tend to press the product into the skin more and makes them slightly more dry. Going in with a wet sponge makes the application slightly less dry. Sometimes I also spritz my beauty blender with the Moisture Surge Hydrating Mist too. Not at all essential, but I like to do it for an extra boost.
I usually find matte foundations don’t need setting on dry skin, but if they do, I use my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder. I’m obsessed with this product and I know it’s pricey, but I’ve truly never found another product that even comes close to this. It leaves the skin set but still has a beautiful soft focused glow that doesn’t make the skin look dry. It’s extremely finely milled so it applies lightly and nothing clings to it.
I know this is a long post, and a long process, but this really works for me and leaves me with a finish that I love. Do you have dry skin? Have you found a way to prep your skin before wearing matte foundation?
Until next time,
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