How to make matte foundation dewy

How to make matte foundation dewy

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We all love a clear, glowing complexion that looks lit from within regardless of our skin types! And while the dry-skinned girls can quickly get away with moisturizing and dewy foundations on the regular without the fear of it sliding off their face. Girls with combination to oily skin do not have the luxury to carry off a dewy foundation since matte formulas work better for them. 

But just because you have a matte foundation doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun with it; you can turn any matte foundation into a dewy one without compromising on the mattifying benefits that your foundation offers! 

One of the best ways to make your foundation dewy is by adding liquid highlighter to the foundation because liquid highlighters promise a soft, luminous glow that makes your skin look well-rested and radiant without emphasizing any flaws you might have. Oftentimes dewy foundations and their luminous finish can emphasize unwanted things like the pores, wrinkles, fine lines, signs of ageing, active acne and texture on the skin. The rich and moisturizing formula of luminous finish foundations may also slide off the face when natural oils come through making you lose coverage on the areas that need it well, so finding that middle ground where you can adjust the amount of sheen in your foundation while making the foundation last all day long is especially important when you have combination to oily skin type.

You can turn any matte finish foundation dewy with a few simple steps requiring products you already have sitting at your vanity! Multiple ways help turn your matte foundation dewy without taking away from the longevity of the foundation:

Add a liquid highlighter to your foundation

If you own a liquid foundation, the best way to turn it luminous is by adding a little bit of your liquid highlighter to the foundation. If you’re trying it for the first time, start by adding a little highlighter to see the results and keep adding more if you think the finish is not as dewy as you want it to be. 

Since both the mediums are liquid, it is least likely to affect the foundation’s formulation. It will not disrupt the coverage and the oil-controlling benefits that your matte foundation offers. In short, it will be a luminous finish foundation that controls your oils, has the same level of coverage, and stays put all day long!

Add a powder highlighter

If you don’t have a liquid highlighter in your makeup collection, you don’t need to worry because adding a little bit of your powder highlighter also gives the same result as adding a liquid highlighter. The only downside is that you’ll have to scrape off the powder highlighter with a spatula to mix into the foundation, and it may get a little messy. 

Once you’ve scraped off the powder highlighter, you can mix it into your foundation and apply it like you usually would. If you don’t want to use your highlighter for this method, you can also use a shimmery eye shadow as long as it’s the right tone. Powders are generally more pigmented than liquids, so be wary that a little will go a long way; if you add too much, you may end up looking like a disco ball. You should also keep in mind that adding powders to your foundation is to avoid chunky and glittery powders at all costs because they will not mix well with the foundation and will not give an appealing look to the skin.

Adding a powder to your foundation will slightly alter the foundation’s consistency as powders tend to thicken up liquid products. Still, considering the small amount of powder that’ll be added, consistency shouldn’t be a problem.

NOTE: If you’re not willing to scrape off your powders, loose shimmers, if you have them, will give the same result as adding a powder. Take a small amount, mix it into your foundation and blend it away on the skin for a subtle glow!

Use a facial oil

Using oil as a primer will also take away from your foundation’s matte finish and leave you with a satin finish on the skin. The results won’t be as visible as that of adding a highlighter to your foundation, but as the day goes on, you’ll notice your natural oils seeping through, adding to the luminosity. The only downside is that you’ll need to keep an eye on the oils and blot when required; just a light touch-up on the t-zone, and you’ll be good to go!

You can also add a few drops of oil to your foundation directly and mix it in before you apply it to the skin. With this method, you’re changing the formulation of your foundation, which means that if your foundation is water-based, it will separate at some point. Adding in oil also means that you’re adding more slip to the skin; if not set with a powder, the foundation can slide off of certain areas of the face and may also transfer onto your phone, clothes, and hands when you touch your face. 

Use an essence or an elixir

Essences and elixirs are all the rage in skincare lately and offer the coveted glass-skin finish when applied. Their consistency is somewhere between a serum, moisturizer, and an oil. For a naturally radiant complexion, using essence or an elixir as a primer does the job well, as the consistency isn’t too slippery. The tackiness from the essence also provides an excellent base for the foundation to adhere to.

Since the formula isn’t as emollient as that of facial oil, elixirs will have little to no change in your foundation’s consistency, neither would they sheer out the coverage. 

Use a radiant primer

Using a radiant primer under your foundation can also help turn your matte foundation dewy as long as you’re using a sheer to medium coverage foundation. If you’re using a radiant primer and a full coverage foundation, it will cover everything the primer offers. This method works great with BB and CC creams and lets your skin shine by maintaining the radiance that the primer provided you with. 

Using a radiant primer will ensure that your foundation glides and blends onto the skin smoother, stays on longer, and stays looking radiant throughout the day without messing with the foundation’s actual formulation.

Using a highlighter underneath your foundation

If you don’t have a radiance-boosting primer, you can use a liquid or a powder highlighter generously all over your face as a primer before you go in with your foundation. The amount of highlighter you use depends on the coverage of your foundation. If you’re using a full coverage foundation, go heavy on the highlighter; if you’re using a medium coverage foundation, don’t go too generous. If you’re using a low coverage foundation, keep the glow to a minimum. You can customize the amount of glow you want with this technique.

Dust a powder highlighter all over your face

Want to look dewy without altering the formula of your foundation? After you’ve set your foundation with a powder, take a big fluffy brush and set your face again with a luminous powder for that soft and subtle glow!

Use a dewy setting spray

If you love your matte foundation as is, you can invest in a dewy setting spray to transform your oh-so-matte look into an oh-so-luminous look within a matter of a few spritzes. Dewy setting sprays lock in your makeup, take away any powderiness you may have, and make sure your makeup lasts longer. The plus side is that if you feel like you’ve lost the dewiness throughout the day, you can spritz it onto your face on the go!

Mix a dewy moisturizer into your foundation

If all you have is a dewy moisturizer, you can add that into your foundation for a soft luminous finish on the skin. One thing to keep in mind when adding in a moisturizer is that you’ll have to compromise on the coverage as moisturizers tend to sheer out the product, and some that have a tint to them may even change the shade of your foundation slightly. You can go in with a concealer to conceal any problem areas if the coverage isn’t sufficient for you.

Always use a beauty sponge

If you find that your matte foundations look too flat on the face and sit heavy on your already parched skin, invest in a beauty sponge. Applying foundation with a damp beauty sponge can do wonders for how your foundation sits on the skin; the sponge’s water adds an extra boost of hydration and a slight sheen to the foundation. The sponge’s pressing and bouncing motions also help the foundation blend better and provide a seamless finish to the skin!

What is a dewy foundation?

As the name suggests, Dewy foundations offer a dewy, luminous finish to the skin, which is excellent when you have a lackluster complexion that needs a boost of radiance. They usually come enriched with moisturizing and hydrating ingredients with light-reflecting pigments that brighten and even out the skin tone, giving you a radiant complexion.


As the head artist of Farishta Beauty I was inspired by many young individuals who were just like me passionate about makeup.
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