Help! My powder foundation goes on too thick!

by Paris B on · 16 comments

in Brushes etc.,Foundation,Tips,You Asked?

I received an email from Intan one day who had a query about her makeup application. Although she had the right foundation/ compact powder colour,  and used a light hand, she still felt it went on too thickly. Intan wanted to know if there were any tips to overcome this.

powder Help! My powder foundation goes on too thick!

I have replied to Intan but I thought this was a very interesting point, so I decided to write about it here too.

My advise to Intan was to use a powder brush to apply her foundation or compact powder, instead of using the sponge that is provided. I have found that when I use the sponge to apply 2-way foundation or powder foundation, it does go on with medium coverage. Its good on those days when I feel like looking a bit more polished.

On other days, or maybe weekends, I use a powder brush to apply my powder foundation. Most powders go on more sheer with a brush, so this may overcome the problem of foundation going on too thickly.

This powder brush trick also works, if your powder foundation is too dark. I had an experience once, where I bought a powder foundation that was a little dark for me. Used with a sponge, I looked strange because my face and the rest of my body were different colours. When I hit on the idea of using a powder brush to apply it, it looked much better. Not a perfect match, but enough to get by without getting strange looks.

Happily, Intan reported that using a powder brush to apply her powder foundation worked for her and it is now more natural. Do you have any other tips to share on powder foundation that goes on too thickly? icon smile Help! My powder foundation goes on too thick!

Happy Weekend!

p/s I’m testing a new tabbed sidebar. It requires Javascript to run properly so if you are not seeing a tabbed box you will need to enable Javascript on your browser. Thanks!

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[ 15 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

Nikki July 18, 2008 at 12:26 pm

Using a brush really works! I can vouch on it as I bought on NC35 MAC SF which is a bit dark on me, when I used a sponge, it came off too dark on me but when I used the brush, it was ok :) Thank goodness and I’m almost finished with it! No more NC35 for me! :)
thanks PB for this, definitely helpful to everyone!


ParisB July 18, 2008 at 2:06 pm

Nikki: Yay! I know exactly how you feel and glad you got some mileage out of the foundation!


Natallie July 18, 2008 at 4:23 pm

I never give it a thought before..hmm,i m just wondering, will powder brush be able to make a complete coverage — i mean how bout corners of mouth/nose/eyes? going to experiment it myself later :p


ParisB July 18, 2008 at 4:36 pm

Natallie: Its intended to give light coverage and for me so far, it works pretty well for a less made up look. For corners, just buff your powder brush into the corners and it works great.


Jooj July 18, 2008 at 9:56 pm

i’d like to add a comment too. if you use a kabuki brush the powder will go on heavier than a regular powder brush because the kabuki’s bristles are denser; however it will buff the powder into the skin so it’s more even, the finish is smoother and less powdery-looking, and er, flawless-er than using a regular sponge. so yeah, brushes all the way for me!

(that said, i’ve never found a powder foundie that suits me… somehow they all turn pink and make me look chalky, and don’t last on my skin. i’m sticking to liquid+loose powder)


jojoba July 18, 2008 at 10:44 pm

use a large ppowder brush for this problem. MUFE has a large powder fan brush that is EXCELLENT.

You can see it on
My Makeup Tools. HTH


Monstro July 18, 2008 at 11:37 pm

So true, PB. It seems to also work if your powder foundation is too light! My Shiseido powder foundation was going on like a mask, so I used a brush, and it works better with my skin tone now. :-)


July 19, 2008 at 12:22 am

The tabbed sidebar is quite innovative, PB!


prettybeautiful July 22, 2008 at 9:18 am

yeah i agree using brush is better instead of using of the sponge provided. i always look one shade fairer if i use the foundation sponge. =/


ParisB July 24, 2008 at 12:44 pm

jooj: Thank you! Yes thats true that Kabuki brushes tend to apply thicker.

jojoba: thanks for the recs!

Monstro: Ah! That’s a good tip! I usually have a problem with foundations that are too dark not light though.

rinnah: Thanks! It took a bit of searching for the right code heh…

prettybeautiful: Oh the foundation might be too light for you then?


Jenn July 24, 2008 at 11:26 pm

hmm..I apply my foundation using the sponge THEN use the brush to brush off the excess powder..actually, I even put on the blusher before the foundation so that the blush looks like it’s from ‘under’ the skin

another alternative is to not use the sponge but press the brush against the skin so that the powder sticks to the skin longer..


excited July 30, 2008 at 12:55 am

omg…. I haf a foundation that’s a little too dark for me (Lpreal True Match 2-way). I thought it was the lightest shade on the shelf. Apparently, It isn’t so… I’m going to try with ur method. =)


ParisB July 30, 2008 at 9:28 am

Jenn: Thanks for the tips. I find that using the sponge deposits more colour, so a darker foundation will show up darker on the skin and may not be a good colour match.

excited: I hope this works for you! Just use a brush and dust it lightly. It won’t be perfect and it’ll be sheer but at least the foundation will get some use!


Abihoe August 7, 2008 at 10:06 pm

thank you for this tip ;] i recently bought a clinique powder; £19 it cost me and it came in a box.. the colour was “02 matt beige” so i thought it would be my colour as beige is quite pale and my skin is not too dark.. but it turned out too dark ;[ it came with a sponge, and it always applied it too heavily. Using a brush really helped, and it should make it last longer aswell ;D

thanks for sharing this


¤nOtcUte¤ December 31, 2008 at 1:10 am

Jooj you can try beigy tones from Anna Sui or try Bobbi Brown. I too have problem finding the right color for my face coz I am a little yellow toned though fair and my cheeks r rosey. I’m currently using the pink tone from Anna Sui.

Hmm actually the kabuki brush is used for blending out the foundation or powder on the face if it’s too thick. That’s what the counter beauticians told me.

Actually Bobbi’s range is quite natural without fragrance I like especially their compact and loose powder as their color range is quite big. Hope this helps


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