I Asked A Makeup Artist How To Stop Foundation Creases & She Gave Me The Easiest Trick

Makeup artist Lei Tai

There’s nothing worse than putting on makeup and witnessing your foundation crease after all the blood, sweat and tears you put into it. That’s an hour of your life you’re never getting back. Why does it look so dry and crusty yet so wet and splotchy?

As my partner and I drove to dinner, I put some last-minute concealer on in the car. When we walked in, I noticed that our server looked at me for a long time. Once we sat down, I whispered, asking if anything was on my face, and of course, he didn’t notice anything — typical.

So I excused myself to the bathroom, and what was staring back in the reflection, shocked me. It turns out I had used my summer concealer instead of winter, which looked like a patchy orange. 

But it didn’t explain why my makeup was creasing when all I did was touch it up. So I asked a professional, Lei Tai, who does makeup for Vogue, Women’s Health, and Rolling Stone, how to fix my foundation creases. Because if anyone knows, she will.

Can you give us a step-by-step rundown on how you prep skin for a ~stunning~ makeup look?

Our foundation creases could happen before we even put on our makeup, and Tai gave me the easiest hack to fix it. 

“Prepping the skin before makeup can help it last longer by creating a smooth canvas for makeup to adhere to,” she said. “This can prevent makeup from smudging, fading, and wearing off throughout the day.”

Tai explained that as soon as a model sits down, she uses an oil cleanser and toner to create a clean and moisturised canvas. (Even if the model promised they clean their face beforehand — I know I’m guilty of not cleaning my makeup off properly.) 

“Up next is a lightweight, fast-absorbing serum,” she explained. For example, NIVEA’s Cellular Expert Lift 3-Zone Lifting Serum has bakuchiol, which is a bio-retinol alternative that can help lift and smooth out the skin — to create a seamless base for the foundation.

This is followed by a moisturiser; just make sure to wait a couple of minutes for the products to absorb. Other hacks to avoid creasing include “applying a primer to create a smooth base and avoiding putting foundation, concealer, or powder on areas where you tend to crease” (like I did.)

Lei Tai and Kristina Jimenez

What methods do you use for prepping oily skin, dry skin and combination skin? 

If you have oily skin, her hack is to double cleanse with an oil-based cleanser followed by a water-based cleanser. If you have dry skin, she recommends applying a face mask to soak in as much moisture as possible. Or, if you have combination skin, she suggests finding out which parts of your skin are oily and dry and then cleansing/moisturising those areas.

One of her favourite ingredients is the bio-retinol alternative bakuchiol, which is in products like NIVEA’s Cellular Lift Anti-Aging Day Cream. It can improve skin density and strengthen skin structure. Tai says using a dream cream everywhere but the T-zone for oily skin and applying it thoroughly for dry skin can help. 

Are there makeup products that clash with certain skin types? If so, are there any alternatives you’d recommend instead?

At some point, we’ve all been annoyed that specific makeup makes our skin worse, whether it dries it out or adds more oil. And it turns out we’re not going crazy.

“Yes, absolutely! There are many ingredients used in different makeup that can potentially clash with different skin types,” she explained.

If you have dry skin, Tai recommends avoiding fragrances, active ingredients and dewy makeup. Instead, you can reach for unscented alternatives and matte foundations to even out your skin tone.

Whereas if you have oily skin, “you want a foundation with a more long-lasting formula.” Or if you have dry skin, “a liquid or cream foundation would be better suited,” she explained. Finally, if you’re one of the lucky ones with normal skin, then “you have a greater range of foundations to pick from, such as a BB cream, as well as liquid or cream foundations in velvet or matte textures.”

Are there any changes you’ve made to your skincare as you’ve become more mature?

Look at that glowing skin

I know I don’t use the same skincare routine I did when I was a teenager compared to what I do now. For example, now I use a night cream when my skin is most receptive while I sleep — with products such as NIVEA’s Cellular Lift Anti-Aging Night Cream to soak in the active ingredients, including bakuchiol and hyaluronic acid. Tai is no different with her updated routine.

“As I’ve gotten older, I’ve had to adapt my skincare to my changing skin texture by adding more hydrating and moisturising ingredients in every step and be more mindful of what I put on my skin,” she explained. “It’s gone from a two-step routine to five steps every morning and night!”

If you’re freaking out that you came to the skincare game late, don’t worry, Tai didn’t craft a routine until she was 30 —  and now her makeup thanks her for it. Watch out, makeup artists. I’m coming in with a brand new skincare routine that can help my foundation glow (with no creases this time.)