The face-changing foundation trick: check the bottle's ingredients list.

GUYS. This week I learned something about makeup that has changed the whole bloody game.

You know how, on some days, your foundation glides on like a dream, and on others it looks like you’ve covered yourself in clag glue? The same product but with such… weirdly different results.

Yeah, well I’ve discovered the reason that happens.

For context: I was in bed watching Q&A YouTube makeup tutorials (eating a bag of chips but that’s not entirely relevant) when I stumbled upon Shannon Harris’ (Shaaanxo) ‘Makeup Mistakes We All Do’ video.

“[You need to be] making sure that your primer and your foundation are compatible,” the beauty guru told her three million followers last week.

“This is something I only learned in the last year or two, so I wasn’t really familiar with it… but basically, you want to match [the base] of your foundation with [the base] of your primer.

“If you have a water-based foundation and then you go in with a really oil-based or silicone-based primer, they will really bounce off each other. As we all know, water and oil don’t mix, they separate, and the same thing will happen on your face.”

I know, you guys, I know.


So, obviously, once I heard this life-changing information, I rummaged through my makeup bag to figure out how ‘compatible’ my foundation, primer, and moisturiser are.

In my regular routine I use NARS Sheer Glow, which is water-based, with NATIO’S Ageless Illuminating Primer, which is water-based, with Olay’s Complete UV Protection moisturiser, which is DING DING DING DING also water-based.

Listen: The Mamamia Out Loud team have a too-good-to-be-true eyebrow kit to streamline your beauty routine. Post continues after audio.


I’ve seriously never felt so proud in my entire life.

But this also possibly explains why, in the past, other products haven’t worked out so well for me. They were great on their own, but they didn’t “sync up” with the other products I was already using.

For example, I loved Hourglass’ Veil Fluid foundation in store but at home found it didn’t work as well as I would’ve liked. Just as I adored Bare Minerals Pure Brightening Skin Foundation in store and was disappointed upon purchase.

The reason? Both foundations are actually oil-based, and were likely reacting to the primer and moisturiser already on my skin.

Upon closer inspection, the same thing goes for many of the beauty products I thought I would adore but didn’t just hit the mark. It turns out nearly all of the products in my ‘never touch again’ pile are oil or silicone based, and therefore just didn’t like being used in conjunction with my current water-lovin’ products.

The positives from checking your products against each other are two-fold: Firstly, the look and feel of your makeup is going to be optimised, but secondly, you’ll actually be able to get use out of those brilliant products you might’ve mentally binned.

Chances are, they’ll look great – just with the right arsenal of like-minded products around them.

Go forth and test your own makeup compatibility, friends.

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