Woman applying powder foundation with a makeup sponge onto her face.

Hitting “play” on those “Get Ready With Me” videos is strangely satisfying, at least until you try to replicate the makeup look. Your expectation takes a hit as you notice your pores become more pronounced under the foundation, textures appearing out of nowhere. Such is the reality of cakey makeup, the bane of every beauty girl’s life.

While is likely the culprit of cakey makeup, other factors like using too much product and improper techniques are also at play. So how do you achieve that smooth, your-skin-but-better base everyone wants? Here are a few clever hacks.

Lightly Exfoliate With a Cotton Pad

You could be wearing the priciest primer and still come out with cakey makeup if you don’t remove the layer of flakes on your face. These can mix with your foundation, resulting in a splotchy texture that highlights every imperfection. The solution? Exfoliating your skin.

The key to pre-makeup exfoliation is choosing a gentle formula that won’t strip your skin of its natural oils. A cotton pad and micellar water will work, especially if you find too harsh and drying.

Begin by pumping Eskinol Naturals Micellar Water Hydrate with Natural Aloe Extracts onto the pad and gently glide it across your face in upward motions. It has natural aloe vera extracts that help lock in moisture and purify your complexion, leaving it smooth and ready for makeup application.

Simplify Your Skincare Routine

When it comes to skin prep before makeup, . If you’re too gung-ho about using your skincare products, your skin can get greasy and – voilà! – you end up with patchy makeup. On the other hand, skimping on skincare can leave your skin parched. It’s about finding the right balance between two products: a cleanser and a moisturizer.

To create the perfect blank canvas, try using Dove Facial Cleansing Mousse Moisture Care. It has 40% Active-boost serum and to keep your skin hydrated for up to 24 hours. After cleansing, slather on some lightweight moisturizer all over your face. Add an extra amount on dry areas like the chin, sides of the nose, and forehead for safe measure.

One last crucial step is to wait five to 10 minutes until everything sets before moving on to . That way, your base makeup can blend seamlessly and won’t pill up throughout the day.

Try the Sandwich Setting Technique

A setting spray usually goes last in a typical routine. But lately, many beauty gurus are buzzing about sandwiching it with your base products to avert cakey makeup completely.

To give this technique a go, spritz some setting spray after prepping your skin to seal in all the goodness. Then, give your face another light mist after applying foundation and concealer. This second layer acts as a glue that “melts” your makeup for a more natural finish.

Finish off with another coat of setting spray to keep shine away, prevent your makeup from transferring, and give you that airbrushed finish.

Use a Buffer Brush to Use Concealer

Concealer is often blamed for creasing makeup, as even high-quality products can easily settle into the fine lines. At the heart of the issue are the techniques and tools at your disposal. While blending the concealer with your fingertips or sponge is faster, this can result in a sheer coverage that prompts you to add more layers.

Instead, use a small buffer or smudger brush. You can control the amount of liquid or cream formula by brushing it onto the back of your hand before applying it to the face. Next, tap it on the blemishes you want to cover. Remember to only blend the edges, not the center, for an even finish.

Apply Foundation in Sections

Smooth foundation application is more than just rubbing it on and calling it a day. How you apply it to the skin matters. High-coverage formulas dry faster, so putting too much at once leads to cakey makeup. The best approach is to spread it in thin layers.

Using your fingers or a makeup spatula, swipe a small amount of foundation on one area of your face. Pat it with a damp sponge to blend out any harsh lines. Be careful not to drag or pull the sponge to avoid picking up product from your skin.

Have these tricks down pat if you never want to deal with cakey makeup again. While you’re at it, don’t forget to purge your cosmetic bag and throw out any expired products so you’ll always get that flawless finish.