A Cheat Sheet For Wearing A Full Coverage Base Without Getting Cake Face


I'm almost a 100% sure that I could have thought of a more eloquent title for this blog post that's for sure but it speaks for itself. I'm a lover of wearing full coverage foundations, I love every single imperfection being covered up and that almost porcelain skin look. But something I am not a fan of is cake face, which on the surface may sound slightly delicious and edible but it's not. We've all been there when our base looks beautiful when first applied and for the first couple of hours and then as the day goes on it looks worse and worse. As I've been dabbling in the world of high-end bases for a good few years I've found my own little cheat sheet method to wearing a full coverage base and forgoing the cake face.


I may typically favour a chemical exfoliant in my day to day skincare routine over a manual affair but I cannot deny how much of a  difference a regular manual scrub makes. And scrubs have come a long way in the past few years they're no longer sandy and abrasive which can cause a lot of issues for our skin and over-scrubbing can lead to broken capillaries. Just getting all that dry and dead skin off is one of the easiest things I find for a smooth base application that wears evenly throughout the day. Of course, AHA chemical exfoliants can do this too but there is nothing quite as good as a gentle manual scrub a few times a week. And if you're somebody who uses a flannel to do their double cleanse this also helps to keep on tops of things on a daily basis. 


As well as exfoliating something else that is really important whether you get it from your moisturiser of choice or primer is to make sure your skin is hydrated. And this isn't something that just stems from the products that we use either making sure your body is hydrated by drinking plenty of water is also important. But having a good layer of moisture as the start of our canvas is what I find not only helps my base to wear better but it feels much more comfortable on the skin too. Of course, you can run into issues like your moisturiser not meshing well with your base and your skin being so thirsty that it not only drinks up your moisturiser but your foundation also. But in general, making sure your skin has a happy level of moisture is one of the most important factors.



The formulation of full coverage bases has changed so much over the years and they're no longer paint like heavy matte bases. You can still get a full coverage finish without compromising on glow or a kind formulation. As of right now there are two full coverage bases that I think that are absolutely fantastic; 

TARTE AMAZONIAN CLAY FOUNDATION*: This isn't one you want to go for if you have a drier skin as it will more than likely cling to the skin in an unflattering manner but if you have slightly oily skin like myself this can work beautifully. It's a full coverage creme that is so incredibly pigmented that you only need the smallest amount to achieve a full finish and in combination with a good buffing brush you can achieve a beautiful finish in seconds. It's a very natural finish, not too matte or too dewy so I don't find I need to set this down with a powder to get it to last all day and the staying power is absolutely superb. 

BECCA ULTIMATE COVERAGE FOUNDATION CREME*: A full coverage long lasting base that is a water blend isn't your traditional formulation that's for sure but it's absolutely beautiful on the skin. Even though it's a water blend you don't need a lot to achieve a full coverage finish and it's also oil free so again if you're an oily skinned human it will probably be a great option. I've used this on more combination skin days and it's still worked well and wore evenly throughout the day and most importantly not clung to anything. Much like the Tarte one, it's a natural finish, maybe a little softer in its finish but it adheres and melts into the skin wonderfully. 


Whenever I apply my base I always use a buffing brush, typically from Zoeva. I like a dense foundation brush that can blend in the product within seconds but I never want it to suck up all the product which can easily happen. Beauty blenders reign supreme when it comes base products now but I still prefer a brush and never find that I get a smeared or uneven finish. However, I do believe that when it comes to full coverage the key when it comes to application is bop and buff rather than anything else and of course, layers. When working with multiple products working in thin layers is key, piling on heavy thick layers of any product doesn't make it look any better or last any longer. Working with thin layers over and over again is what I do when I want a really full coverage finish but I want it to wear evenly, not gather on the skin and really last. 


  • Prep
  • Moisture 
  • Be careful with your product choice
  •  Choose your tool of choice and bop and blend.
  • Work with fine thin layers when building up coverage 
  • Avoid powder products with talc in. 

Do you have any tips for avoiding cake face?

Rebecca WarrinerBeauty