The real reason why your makeup is pilling and separating

Beauty fix


By Redzhanna Jazmin

Image: Instagram/@beasweetbeauty
The real reason why your makeup is pilling and separating

Why won’t my foundation stop pilling? Why has my base makeup separated? Ahead, we’ve got all the answers.

Has this ever happened to you? You’re trying out a new product, loving the way it feels and glides over your skin… and then it happens. The first signs of trouble.

It starts off with a ball. Small, but ominous. You pick it off your face and soldier on. Then, it happens again. And again. And again. Soon enough, there’s nothing left of your foundation or your liquid blusher—it has pilled up and all but disappeared. Or, worse, it’s separating on your face—fissures appearing in the crease of your nose and the lines of your eyes, and the rest of your face makeup going on patchy.

It’s every girl’s worst makeup nightmare. From here, you either go out looking like a hot mess, knowing that it will only get worse as the day goes on, or you suck it up, wash your face and start from scratch (but you’re already late!). Obviously, the best course of action here is to avoid this happening in the first place. Fortunately, we’re here to help you troubleshoot your routine—ahead, find out all the possible reasons why your makeup is pilling or separating:


Reason 1: You’re layering the wrong products


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This is the biggest culprit when it comes to a pilling base. Just like your skincare, some formulations just don’t play well together. When it comes to makeup, the forbidden combo is mixing water-based and silicone-based products together.

There’s a really easy way to tell which products are silicone-based and which are water-based. Essentially, check the ingredients list for anything ending in “cone” or “siloxane”—if you get a hit, that product is silicone-based and should only be used with like formulations to avoid separation or pilling.


Reason 2: You’ve got oily or combination skin


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The biggest enemy of a flawless base is oily skin. Unfortunately for you oily-skinned girls out there, the sebum on your face works overtime to break down your base, leading to the separation and splitting of your makeup. The fix is simple—simply prep your skin well.

For oily and combination skin, you’ll want to opt for lightweight skincare that thoroughly hydrates your skin and absorbs excess oil. In fact, that brings us to our next point.

Try: Chanel Hydra Beauty Crème, RM290


Reason 3: You’re prepping your skin wrong

On the topic of no-no formulations and incompatible skin types, the way you prep your skin matters too. For oily skin, silicone primers can be fantastic, working to control oil and shine throughout the day while smoothing texture. Of course, using silicone primers means you’ll have to opt for skincare and makeup layers that are also silicone-based.

On top of that, using too-rich (or too much!) skincare—even on dry skin—can work to break down your base prematurely. The fix? Pare down your routine to the essentials by using hybrid products. For example, we love two-in-one primer-moisturiser hybrids that streamline skin prep.

Try: Tatcha The Liquid Silk Canvas Face Primer, RM305

In short, it’s all about finding the right skin prep routine for your skin type and needs.


Reason 4: You’re doing too much


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This is an official PSA: Stop caking on your makeup. To get a good base, you really don’t need to be applying layers upon layers of foundation and skin prep. Really, less is better, topped off with some spot concealing here and there.

In fact, doing too much with your makeup can actually make separation and pilling worse. Think about it this way—the more products on your face, the more likely they are to react with one another.


Reason 5: You’re not setting your face

If your foundation is still separating even after heeding all advice, your issue may lie with your setting routine. Whether you’re using powder or a spray, setting your base is crucial. Again, the ‘less is more’ philosophy still applies, but you do need that extra layer of protection to ensure that your base stays put all day.


For more makeup tips like this, click here.

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