What to Do When Makeup Doesn’t Look Good on Me?

Makeup Doesn't Look Good on Me

Like every other human endeavor, makeup application does not always go right. Even celebrities are no exception and more often than not, their flaws are filtered out in the photographs.

Makeup is supposed to enhance your best features. However, it does not always look flawless on every type of skin without something like a primer. There is also such a thing as your blush going somewhere you don’t want it to, your foundation looking cakey, or getting overzealous with your drawn-in eyebrows. 

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to prevent that, which are described below.

If your makeup doesn’t go the way you plan, however, there’s no need to fret. There are plenty of simple quick fixes that you can apply, which are also described below.

Why Does My Makeup Not Look Good On Me?

  • The number one reason for flawed makeup is not having to prepare your skin properly. That regiment needs to start the night before. If you don’t completely clean away all traces of yesterday’s, your makeup won’t blend properly. If you don’t use your moisturizer first, let it set then you risk having your makeup looking lumpy and pilling. Plus if you have very dry skin, your foundation will try too hard to cling onto it and it will end up looking cracked.
  • If you forget to apply your primer, your skin could end up drinking the oil from your makeup, which results in a patchy, uneven appearance. It also clogs your pores putting you at high risk for a breakout. If your skin is oily and tends to break out, the primer can act as a barrier between your skin and the makeup. 
  • Not setting your base properly can result in excessive shine. The key is to apply the most base in your most oily areas. Shine is usually the most aesthetically pleasing on the high points of your face, such as your cheekbones. It’s best to set your base according to the type of skin your foundation is designed to work with. 
  • It could be that your foundation doesn’t match your skin tone properly. When it doesn’t, it can make you look bruised or like you have jaundice. Also, if it doesn’t match your cheek or jawline, you could end up having your face look a different shade than your neck.
  • Similarly, not using the best finish for your skin type can result in patchiness or shine. If you have oily skin, it’s best to go for powdered foundations. If you have dry skin, it’s best to opt for a liquid foundation.
  • You may not be using the best tools needed for your type of makeup. Sponges soak in everything and if they’re not cleaned regularly, they get very unhygienic very fast, which can lead to patchiness at best and allergic reactions at worst. Brushes are more hygienic because they don’t absorb. However, whatever you choose to use, experts recommend finishing with fingertips to blend it in more naturally.
  • Speaking of keeping your sponges clean-you really should clean all of your tools after every use. If you don’t, again, they can get very unhygienic very fast. That can lead to dullness with patchy spots or worse. You don’t need special potions or cleaners, antibacterial wash-up liquids usually do the job quite well. If any of your brushes have any real hair, though, you may need to use dollops of your shampoos and conditioners. 
  • Never apply your concealer under your foundation or it will look cakey. Instead, let your foundation determine where your skin needs the most help.
  • If you get too liberal with your blush, it can make your nose look stuffed up or your temples look splotchy. Instead, blush is supposed to make only your cheeks look flushed.
  • when you try to cover up your zits with a concealer that’s brighter than your skin tone, instead of a nice blend, you’ll just get a bunch of shiny spots.
  • If your lipstick is making you look tired and washed out, it means that it’s either not long-lasting or it needs a lip liner as a barrier.

What Can I Do When My Makeup Doesn’t Look Good On Me?

Cakey Concealer
If your makeup already looks cakey, as soon as you can get to a bathroom, you can try a little blending with your fingers. Start in the middle of your face and work your way outward. To prevent the color discrepancy described above, make sure that especially your neck and jawline areas are soft. To prevent cakiness, remember that less is more.

Undereye Concealer Creases
Simply smooth it out with your pointer finger. If you can, add a translucent setting powder to set it. 

Clumpy Mascara
Grab a spoolie and wet it slightly. If your spoolie is waterproof, dab a bit of makeup remover on it. Start at the base of your lashes and gently work your way back to the tip. 

Smudged Mascara
Grab a cotton swab and dab it into micellar water. Carefully trace it directly over the smudge trying not to remove your whole eyeshadow. Fix your eyeshadow as necessary.

Overdrawn Eyeliner
Like with smudged mascara, dab a cotton swab into micellar water and gently trace it directly over the problem liner. Then go over the area with a piece of blotting paper or a tissue to remove any leftover oils. Redraw the liner being careful to create a more even wing.

Overdone Blush or Bronzer
You can either take a bit of loose setting powder and sweep over it with a fluffy brush or bounce any leftover foundation from your blender on it.

Overdone Drawn-On Brows
Just grab a spoolie to blend your work more. If it’s extremely cakey, dampen your spoolie a little to remove the excess.

How can I make my makeup look better?

  • when your makeup looks too powdery, a misty spray is best for breaking it up. If you don’t have a mister, you can simply press a wet towel lightly onto your skin.
  • If your foundation’s making you too doll-like, you can use a bit of dry facial oil with a foundational brush on top. 
  • If your blush looks too streaky, reach for a tinted moisturizer. It helps to buff the color out by diffusing the hard edges, which makes for a natural look.
  • when you’re going for dramatic dark or bright lips, blush can even out the color. Experts recommend an even appliance onto the whole cheek in that case. If you’re going for vivid eyeshadow, though, it’s recommended to put the blush a little higher up on the cheek.
  • If you’re not going for smokiness and that’s what you end up having, a small amount of foundation on a shadow brush can clean up the hard edges in a second. 
  • If you’re going for dark metallic eyes, use the hydrated lip look. It looks great in low light. If you’re going for a matte red lip, go for the dewy skin look. Especially if you’re going to have a professional picture session done, it will look timeless and frame-worthy.


The best way to prevent your makeup from going wrong is to, first, cleanse away every trace that you can at night. Aside from preventing a lumpy look, it also does your skin’s health a lot of favors. 

Particularly if you have oily skin, you want to make moisturizers, serums, and primer a part of your makeup routine. Otherwise, your pores could drink the makeup and become clogged making them more prone to breakouts. 

Again, there’s a good quick way to fix just about every makeup blooper that does occur. However, as much prevention as possible is the best practice.

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Hi, my name is Joy-Lee and I'm the owner of wevaluebeauty.com. As you might've noticed, I'm a true beauty lover, and made it my passion, my work and my hobby. I love sharing my thoughts and feelings on a variety of beauty aspects and want to thank you for reading!

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