Why Does My Makeup Look Dry?

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The main reason we wear makeup is to make ourselves look nicer. We aim for flawless, smooth, supple, and soft skin. But that doesn’t happen all the time! 

There are times when our skin looks like it is dehydrated. The skin looks like it is cracking and dry. So you might ask, “Why does my makeup look dry?” 

There are many reasons your makeup can look dry. It could be due to your skin being dry. You could be using makeup that’s incompatible with your skin, or might be skipping on using essential makeup products. 

The good news is there is something you can do about it. Let’s help you figure out what causes your makeup to look dry so you can find the right solution to it. 


Why Does My Makeup Look Dry? Can I Do Something About It?

It can be frustrating to see your skin looking drier than ever after you applied makeup. Isn’t makeup supposed to make your skin look better and more attractive?

Well, it’s true, the main function of makeup is to improve the appearance of your skin but using it incorrectly or not preparing your skin properly can cause a dry appearance. 

However, even if your makeup looks dry, there are some things you can do to make it work.

But before you can find a solution to the dry appearance, you must first figure out what causes it.

The dryness could be due to the following:

  • Your skin
  • The products you are using
  • The products you are not using

Troubleshooting Your Skin 

The first thing that you have to look at when you observe that your makeup looks dry is your skin itself. In order to make your makeup look flawless, you also have to have a great canvas.

In this case, that canvas is your skin. 

Makeup can help you improve the appearance of your skin. But to begin with, it is important that you know how to take care of your skin. If it is dry, the dry texture of the skin can still show even when it is covered with makeup. 

If your skin is dry, your makeup can also look patchy because the makeup settles on the dry skin. This makes the skin look uneven and dry in some areas. 

What Should You Do?


If you already know that your skin is the culprit and is as dry as the desert, then you might have already figured out that you need to moisturize your skin!

That is true. In order to prevent dry skin, incorporate moisturizing products in your skincare routine. 

However, you would benefit better from all those moisturizer  if your skin is ready to receive them. One thing that can be preventing efficient absorption is the thick layer of dead skin cells.

Help your skin efficiently remove those old dead skin layers by means of exfoliation. 

You can select your own method of exfoliation, whether physical or chemical. However, you have to make sure that what you use is gentle on the skin. Don’t use exfoliants for the body on your face — they can be harsher.

Chemical exfoliation

Chemical exfoliation is preferred because it is gentler and could get deeper into the pores.

With regular exfoliation, the skin better absorbs the hydrating and moisturizing products that you apply to it. 

Troubleshooting The Products You Use

The makeup products that you use on your skin could also be the cause of the dry appearance. Take note of the makeup products you use that produce a dry appearance.

Check your products and see if they are made for oily skin.

In that case, they won’t be compatible with your dry skin.

What You Should Do?

If the makeup you use is not compatible with your skin type, the best thing to do is to switch products. Remember that foundation can come in various forms. If you are currently using a powder foundation, then that could be the culprit. 

Powder foundation could just worsen the dry appearance. Foundations in cream or liquid form   may be a better choice.

Additionally, there are some foundations that are formulated to be moisturizing. They will help counter the dryness of the skin for a smoother and more flawless appearance. 

That is also true for blushes. Powder blushes are the most common. But blushes now come in No products found.. They are better because they won’t make your skin look dry and flaky.

If you use a powder after applying your makeup, avoid using it all over your face. That could also contribute to the dry appearance.

Instead, just apply it over the oily areas like your T-zone. 

Troubleshooting Makeup Products You Don’t Use


There are also some makeup products that you should use in order to improve the final outcome of your makeup process. Such products would include primers.

Primers can either be for the face or for your eyelids. 

Primers  help the makeup product stick better to your skin to improve its appearance.

It also improves the canvas, which is your face, by filling in the gaps so that the foundation lies on a smoother surface. 

Another product that you should think of using is a hydrating mist . After applying your makeup, you can make your face look dewier by using a hydrating mist.

That can help you achieve a dewy glow. 

Highlighters are also good at making your skin appear dewy and glowing.

Whether you use a cream  or a powder one, applying it on areas such as the bridge of your nose, high cheeks, and brow bone lessens the appearance of dryness and dullness. 


It can be frustrating to look in the mirror after doing your makeup to see that it looks dry. There are multiple reasons why that could happen. That would include having dry skin, using the wrong products, and not using some essential makeup products. 

In order to make the skin look dewier, you have to improve your skincare routine to keep your skin moisturized. You also have to select the proper products to use.

Powdered makeup products are more drying than their liquid counterparts. 

Lastly, you should also use a primer to help smooth the skin so the foundation looks better. Highlighters and a hydrating mist also help prevent the dry appearance of your makeup look.

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Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).