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Foundation on dehydrated skin? Here's how!

Dehydrated skin is a common affliction at the end of summer. You would think that dehydrated skin would simply look dry, and yet it usually looks like an oil slick with the added patches of dry skin and redness thrown into the mix. Consequently, putting on makeup (especially foundation) becomes a nightmare. What works for your dry cheeks, looks horrible on your oily areas and vice versa. The solution is in letting your skin to breathe. Sounds simple enough, except that those breathable, light-coverage foundations probably won't offer you the amount of coverage you need. We have the perfect technique for you right below…

Step 1: Moisturize!

While it seems counterintuitive to put more hydration onto an oily-looking skin, it's actually the one thing dehydrated skin needs. You will want light-weight, silicone-based, moisturizing lotions with hyaluronic acid and glycerin and no oils among the ingredients. I also suggest a weekly pampering session with soothing sheet masks – they work wonderfully for skin that needs a little pick-me-up at the end of summer and throughout the winter.

Step 2: Choose the right foundation

The worst thing you can do to your dehydrated skin is to cake on loads of foundation. Your skin needs to breathe, which means covering it with a thin layer of silicone-based foundation that will hold the moisture inside is a much better idea.

Step 3: Counteract the redness and hyperpigmentation

Skin that has been damaged by the sun is uneven in color. There's often redness around the nose area and hyperpigmentation spots on the forehead and on the cheeks.

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Before going over with the chosen foundation you will want to color correct these problem areas. The opposite of red on the color wheel is green, so use a concealer with some green color in it to neutralize the areas with redness. Use a small amount of the product and lightly spread it out with fingertips.
As for the forehead and cheeks, you might be able to do a fair bit of damage control by contouring. Contouring shade is usually a tone or two darker than your natural skin tone, which means it is very likely the same shade as the hyperpigmentation spots and can cover them effectively. While it sounds a bit weird, using a cream contouring product under the foundation creates a very natural sculpted look – like you're a slightly more chiseled version of yourself without the obvious fake contour. With a foundation brush, blend the cream contour on the sides and top of the forehead and under the cheekbones. Blend the line well into the hairline, so it's not obvious that you used any product.

Step 3: Foundation

With a foundation brush (a clean one) apply the foundation of choice on your face in light layers. Use featherlike strokes where you need less coverage, and press the brush down where you need more.
Make sure to blend the foundation with the previously applied contour to make a seamless transition.

Step 4: Finishing touches

If there is still a blemish or a red spot shining through, use a high-coverage, strongly pigmented concealer in the same shade as your foundation, which you tap on the spot lightly and blend out the edges. For the ultimate well-rested look, use a brightening concealer under the eyes, focusing the majority of the product on the area that's darkest. Tap it in with your fingertips.

Before & After


Product list


  • YSL Touche Eclat green color corrector
  • YSL Touche Eclat highlighter
  • Catrice HD Liquid Coverage foundation
  • Derma Color concealer