Wednesday 7 March 2018


How to make full coverage foundation work on dry & dehydrated skin

Dry skin vs full coverage foundation

Lately, I’ve been loving a little extra coverage. May as well use the time when we’re not sweating (summer!) to create that perfect canvas that lasts all day & make us feel like superstars. Who needs filters if you have a great full coverage foundation at home. Today I’m sharing with you my personal heroes and how I make them work for my dry and almost always dehydrated skin, no cake! 

Don't skip on primer. 

A primer can make or break a foundation. For my matte, high coverage finish I choose lightweight & luminous primers to allow the coverage to work yet give it that glow from within finish I absolutely adore. I love Becca Backlight Priming Filter (or travel size here) all day every day and lately, Becca First Light Priming Filter (travel size) joined the fam! The latter isn't as glowing and works great to awaken my complexion in the morning. Drugstore wise, the new L’Oreal Infallible Luminizing Primer will give you as much glow & also keep that base in check all day long. If your foundation is making your pores a little too visible, try touchinSOL No Poreblem Primer*, which will make your pores disappear and base go on smoothly! My all year favourite Smashbox Primerizer will add a level of moisture to your dry skin and will improve the life and the look of any full coverage base. 

Top 5 primers to try if you love full coverage foundation

Fave full coverage foundations: pros & cons.

Smashbox Studio Skin is a firm favourite of mine as it not only offers crazy coverage, but it looks so light on the skin and stays put all day! I especially love it on top of Smashbox Primerizer which is a water-based hydrating primer that also works keeping my t-zone shine free all day long. I wear Studio Skin in shade 0.5 which is perfect for me, light and neutral toned & offers almost full buildable coverage. It’s that one base I reach for if I have an event that I go to straight after work & need my base to last 14+ hours! 

Huda Beauty #FauxFilter Foundation promises coverage that’s worthy of Instagram filter and boy does it deliver. You only need the smallest amount, which is less than a pump for me & the lightest shade Milkshake matches my paleness perfectly. It’s actually quite matte, so I tend to liven it up a bit by using a glowing primer like above mentioned L’Oreal or Becca. I tend to apply it with a dense flat top brush and then press it in with dampened Beauty Blender. No need for concealer, this covers every little and big flaws in seconds. It’s easy to work with too & I definitely need to give it a proper spin, as I only ever used it maybe 5-7 times so far. On my drier days, I add a little of The Hero Project Glow Drops and mix it in to provide a healthy glow finish without compromising on the formula. If you bought it and found it too dry looking, try a drop of oil - this little trick may change your life! 

touchinSOL Skin Top Coat is a formula I fell in love with instantly. It’s light and easily applied with a pipette, you only ever need a little of the product and the coverage is insane! It covers all my redness and small irregularities quickly, it doesn’t sit on top of my dry areas or settles in fine lines. I love using it on top of Becca First Light Primer for an added glow. The foundation itself offers a satin finish which is very natural and almost invisible on the skin. Perfect for busy mornings, it blends in easily using a brush to achieve high coverage or Beauty Blender if you’re after a strong medium finish. The little shade selection (only 2 shades so far) surprisingly matches me well. I have it in shade Light and when I first tried it I thought it will be ever so slightly too dark. I was pleasantly surprised when foundation matched to my skin perfectly! It’s the one foundation I can’t put down even though I have to, as I have others that need testing for my foundation series. 

I’ve been trigger happy when it comes to foundations and recently got the foundation one and only Adele recommends! EX1 Cosmetics Invisiwear Liquid Foundation is a brilliant drugstore alternative to high-end bases and it’s now available in Top Shop and Boots stationary so you can go & swatch it. Reasonably priced at £12.50 it offers high coverage finish with a touch of healthy glow. I find it brilliant if used on top of touchinSOL No Poreblem primer as my skin is not only covered but also quite poreless. It sits well on the skin & is long lasting too (although not as long lasting as Smashbox or Huda)! The shade selection offers mostly neutral to yellow tones but with my shade, I’m making it work on my super pale complexion. The cheapest out of all I recommended today, it really worked its charm on me! Will I trust it whilst being on tour and singing my heart out every night though? You just have to wait until I feature it in my weekly foundation series :)

Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Wear has been little forgotten until I sat down to think about what foundations to include in my top 5 here. It goes without saying that I fell in love with it from the first use and only stopped wearing it when I discovered Smashbox Studio Skin. The shade 0.5 has neutral to pink undertones and matches me well. It oxidises a little bit during the day, but it’s nothing too major. It offers a great coverage & long-lasting wear whilst being light on the skin. Perfect for dry and dehydrated skin it doesn’t accentuate any dry or problematic areas. The coverage is buildable so with one pump you get a medium, so on days I need or want full coverage, I build it up using another pump of product. Creamy in textures it blends easily with a sponge or a brush, but I prefer the sponge if I’m being totally honest. 

Full coverage foundation vs dry & dehydrated skin

How to make it work Q&A

I’ve asked you on Stories to submit your questions on full coverage foundation vs dry/dehydrated skin & you came through. So here are some issues you've highlighted, I feel it's important to get right!

Q1: How do I stop full coverage foundation from caking? 

A1: Skin prep, good primer, an optimal amount of product & setting powder. If your skin is well prepped and moisturised it gives a perfect canvas to high coverage foundations. A good primer is a must. Think of it as an extension of your base, make your primer fix the issue before foundation goes on. Dosing the optimal amount of product is super important too, take Huda #FauxFilter foundation for example, here you only really need less than a pump to achieve a full coverage. Anything more may cake during the day and what’s the point in that. Even if it doesn’t, why waste a precious product? Lastly, a good setting powder applied with damp beauty blender sets everything in place so no cake is ever allowed. I recommend RCMA No-Colour Powder to everyone as it’s finely milled, keeps everything in check and is light enough to use to bake too. 

Q2: I noticed that full coverage foundations go shiny in my t-zone a lot quicker. Have you got any tips to stop it from happening? 

A2: Using less product would be my main trick. Try to apply a hydrating yet mattifying primer like Smashbox Primerizer which is the one for me to ensure the shine doesn’t come through. Always allow the primer to sink in or even become a little sticky, only then apply your product. Setting it with a little powder is a must, choose one that works best for your skin type. Set with setting spray if needs be. I always take Blotterazzi with me everywhere I go and press it lightly all over when I go a little too shiny during the day. It soaks the sebum without breaking down the product.

Q3: How to make full coverage foundation ‘glow from within’?

A3: I live for luminous primers so I’d start there. For extra glow, I mix the foundation with a little oil or liquid highlighter which gives me the most glorious glow. If you’re more oily but dehydrated, I’d probably skip mixing in oils or highlighters and instead apply liquid highlighter on high points of your face before setting powder & use a dewy yet strong setting mist like CoverFX Illuminating Setting Spray to add that little extra something to your finish! 

Best full coverage foundation + primer combos

Ok, there you have it. I hope you'll find my tips & tricks useful and they allow you to try and step out of your comfort zone a little. Full coverage foundation vs dry skin is usually a taboo, especially when visiting beauty counters. I feel like there's rarely any base you can't 'make work' for you, but I realise not everyone is obsessed with collecting foundation primers like yours truly. You don't need 10+ products to make it work, I'm sure you have a facial oil lying around (rosehip seed works great mixed in with most foundations!) or a facial mist. Experiment and let me know if you'll be rocking full coverage with me this month!

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Thank You For Reading,


  1. primer is the only thing that saves my dry skin! that and a good skincare routine!

  2. I need to rediscover the EX1 foundation, love that it is more available now! x

  3. I am a huge fan for full coverage for Office days and I heavily rely on my primer to make it work.

    Anne|Linda, Libra, Loca

  4. Great post! I want to try the Smashbox Primerizer! xx


  5. Out of these foundation I have only tried the Smashbox and Ex1 ones which I really like yet I wouldn't say they're full coverage for me, I guess I have more to cover, haha! x

    Mummy's Beauty Corner


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