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No more cakey or patchy makeup with these tips for the perfect base

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Those old times when you had just started using makeup and you realised there’s a world beyond kajal and lipstick. While they gush back all the happy carefree memories, they also bring the horror of how you’d always end up with ghostly makeup and every time something used to go wrong with your makeup. In case, you still feel there’s room to improve and eliminate those days of the cakey, patchy and overtly bright base then you’re at the right place. We are decoding where one could go wrong with makeup and how we avoid cakey and patchy makeup. Get your notepads out!

What are the basics of makeup?

Before we look at what might be messing with your makeup, let’s understand the basics of makeup. Makeup is what helps you highlight your best features whenever you want. Over some time, it has also become an expression to showcase your mood. To each their own. While some may like a colourful look, some may prefer muted tones. What doesn’t change is the base. This is where the basics of makeup play a role. The basics of makeup are the following:

1. Prep your skin with moisturiser and primer
2. Use the correct shade of foundation
3. Apply blush according to your skin tone and skin shape
4. Use a concealer that matches your skin tone


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This forms your base. However, when you’re just beginning to use makeup, you can go wrong in one of these steps. Let us help you decode where you could be going wrong.

How do we land up with cakey and patchy makeup?

If you’re still living with the fear of stepping out with makeup due to it always turning patchy, cakey and too bright then this is what you need to know to analyse where are you going wrong:

1. Using a lot in one go

When you’re rushing or when you don’t know the right technique to use makeup, you might end up using a lot in one go. Blending all of that makeup on your skin becomes the biggest challenge when you apply a lot in one go. It is best to use a little and blend it evenly before moving on to get the second coat. This avoids a patchy and cakey base. It is especially true for foundation and concealer.

2. Not using moisturiser beforehand

Have you avoided using a moisturiser before applying makeup just because your skin is oily or because you don’t want the makeup to run down? Not applying moisturiser beforehand does more harm to your makeup look. The reason is, blending makeup on dry skin is more difficult and results in patchy makeup.

3. Mixing the formulations

All of us have at least once mixed creamy foundation with powder blush or vice versa. This makes the makeup more prominent in some areas of your skin. For instance, If you have applied creamy blush on a powder foundation base then the blush will not blend easily and will stick to the skin where you first placed the product. This gives it a very patchy look.

4. Using the wrong shade

We’ve all had those young days when we looked like ghosts every time we stepped out with makeup. At times it even turns ashy. To explain the ashy shade, it means that your product is oxidising after exposure to the environment so you need to buy better products. If it looks white or cakey with clear makeup lines, it means that you have picked the wrong shade. Makeup is never about changing your skin shade but instead highlighting the goodness of your skin. To choose the right shade of foundation, stick out your arm and observe the veins. If it is green then you are of warm shade and orange or yellow undertones of foundation will suit you better. If you have purple veins then you’re of cool undertone and you can stick to pink undertones. If you have both, then you must stick to a neutral tone. Apply it on your neck or on one side of your cheek to know the exact fit and whichever disappears into your skin, is your exact shade.

5. Not using a setting spray

If you’re going to wear your makeup for long hours then you need a setting spray. The setting spray helps keep the makeup in place for hours. Due to sweat, oil, etc your makeup can be ruined easily but setting spray can be your saviour.

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What to do to achieve a flawless makeup look?

It’s the small changes which make a huge difference in your makeup. From skin prep to makeup techniques, let’s understand where to go absolutely right to get the perfect flawless makeup base:

1. Start with a moisturiser

Moisturisers are of three types broadly: Humectants, Emollients, and Occlusives. Before you do your makeup, ideally you should apply a lightweight emollient. Emollients are the ones who smoothen and soften your skin making the makeup easy to glide on your skin. Skin prep is one of the most important steps in makeup to get a well-blended makeup look. Skin prep also includes a primer to fill in the pores that can cancel out the texture.

Sublime recommends Gush Beauty Glow Getter Moisturiser. This is not just a moisturiser but also a primer which makes it the perfect choice to be in your pre-makeup skin prep vanity.

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2. Always use a primer first

Even after applying the moisturiser, your enlarged pores will be visible when you apply makeup. So to make your skin a smooth canvas for you to paint with your makeup, you need to apply a primer. There are multiple types of primer which can add to your look. For example, if you’re going for a matte look then you can opt for a matte primer.

Sublime recommends Plum Prep Set Go Face Primer. It’s a soft matte finish primer and it feels just so light on the skin!

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3. Start with the correct shade

To pick the right foundation shade may often seem to be the most nerve-wracking part of makeup. To break it down, all you need to do is understand your skin type and patch-test your foundation before buying it. Most of us match the shade of the foundation on our arm but we couldn’t be more wrong. We need to match the shade on our jawline. Along with this, you can also match your undertone to get the exact shade.

Learn how to know your undertone and match the shade here.

4. Replace full coverage foundation

Full coverage foundations are not bad. They just don’t fit well for an everyday makeup look. When you want a very natural base you must opt for skin tint or light coverage foundation. Using a creamy instead of powder or matte finish foundation also really helps to give that natural finish.

Sublime recommends Ilana Soft Blur Cream Concealer & Foundation With Spf 50. We love how creamy it is which makes it super easy to blend. This little jar is not just a foundation but also sunscreen and concealer. Did we mention how easy it is to carry it around?

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5. Use a damp sponge or brush

Often where we go wrong with makeup is blending. While choosing the right shade and type of makeup is important, what makes the difference is how well we blend it. But at times, your skin is not behaving well so your makeup stays patchy where you had put the drops. To avoid this, soak your makeup applicator (sponge or brush) and dab it equally across your face, hairline, and neck. This will help in spreading the makeup evenly and also doesn’t let all the product be absorbed by the applicator. Sublime recommends Makeup Eraser The Sponge. It comes with a cute little wash ball as well which makes it easy for us to keep the sponge clean after every use.

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6. Dab and not pull

Now that we know to use the makeup applicator in the right way, it is also necessary to talk about the blending technique with it. If you want to avoid patchy makeup then ensure that you’re constantly blending the makeup by dabbing the sponge on your skin and not pulling it. Pulling or stroking it leads to taking away some makeup from that part of your face. It’s also due to uneven pressure applied on the skin while blending the makeup. So the correct way to blend in makeup is to gently dab and keep the pressure even.

7. Start with a little

A little goes a long way. Some use a lot in one go and some build layer by layer. We’d say that layers will always give you a more flawless base. If you’re looking for good coverage, then layering is the way to apply. Often the concealer ends up looking patchy. This is because it is not blended, not used in the right shade, and applied in great quantities. By using little in one go you will get the correct idea of how much more concealer is actually needed.

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Makeup is a free expression of what you feel and to express it just right you must be mindful of the application. Certain points that everyone should keep in mind while applying are prepping your skin before makeup, using little products in one go, matching the base shade with your skin’s natural shade, and using the right technique to blend the makeup. Treat your skin as a beautiful canvas where you can highlight your features!

- Divya Salvi

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