Forums > Hair, Makeup & Styling > Foundation for Super Dry Skin, HD Compatible

Makeup Artist


Posts: 25

Seattle, Washington, US

Hello Fellow MUA's!
So, I've had this happen to me once in a blue moon, yesterday was no different.

The actress turned out to have super-dry skin with mild rosacea and freckles (i wanted to keep and show the freckles, so I only applied makeup to her t-zone where her redness shows). And we're filming a movie scene.

But I don't find out client has super-dry skin until I apply my Graftobian HD Glamour Creme foundation.

I applied moisturizer on her, and Kryolan Underbase primer (seems to work fabulously with the Graftobian so far, better than Smashbox primer), prior to applying the foundation. The foundation turns into a scaly texturized mess highlighting pores and never looking like glowing skin like it does on other people. You can see the makeup as makeup.

I've emailed Graftobian about this, and they say "apply more moisturizer". But I don't think that fixes the issue quickly.

I proceeded to go with painting on Temptu S/B with a duofiber brush, wanting a more natural look. My thinking, maybe silicone base would work better than graftobian mineral oil base? This didn't work either.

So I airbrushed Temptu S/B on her tzone, but that looks too thick in attempt to cover her redness, but it worked in texture to blend into her real facial skin (not covered by makeup).

And then, director has me wipe it all off.

So, what do you recommend for super-dry skin that holds makeup like a scaly snakeskin?
Other analogy I can give, is a dried up river bed in a desert texture.

I appreciate your feedback. Thank you!! smile

Mar 24 13 12:59 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Danielle Blazer

Posts: 846

Los Angeles, California, US

How did you cleanse, exfoliate and treat the skin prior to applying moisturizer?

Mar 24 13 01:05 pm Link

Makeup Artist


Posts: 25

Seattle, Washington, US

Excellent question Dani B. Thank you!

Usually I'm on a time crunch, and the ladies I do makeup on super dry skin, they're on medication for their skin issue, or I have 15 minutes to do a face and no time to take extra care (it's what the client wants).

This actress in particular, I don't dare do cleansing and exfoliating, because she informed me she's on new medication for rosacea, and it wasn't sitting so well with her moisturizer. I figured, adding more moisturizer couldn't hurt.

She has beautiful skin. It just texturizes the product in a wrong way.

Mar 24 13 02:09 pm Link


Thomas Van Dyke

Posts: 3048

Washington, District of Columbia, US

smashingdivas wrote:
...she informed me she's on new medication for rosacea, and it wasn't sitting so well with her moisturizer....

This can be a major issue... some antibiotics etc cause considerable stress to the epidermis... retinol, and especially retinoic acid  and various acid peels...   any of these can/will alter the epidermis considerably...

Please be aware...  this is a know major side effect...

Retinoids can cause dryness, redness, and flaking

I ALWAYS advise brides to avoid any skin treatments in the last two weeks before their event... you would be surprised at how many do this believing it is a good idea... peels are the worst in my humble estimation... product will slide right off the surface... only recourse is to airbrush... creams will simply not work...

This is a compelling reason to tactfully query your client about their current skin care... you need to know this up front since it may not be obvious upon initial observation...

hope this helps...

Mar 24 13 02:57 pm Link

Makeup Artist

The Savoury MUA

Posts: 2

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

This seems to be a common concern for most of us MUAs.  The method I use is applying the Smashbox Hydrating primer or the Hourglass primer which has properties that help for dryness.  Of course using the green primer on the red areas and then doing a light coat of foundation (water based is best) is good to prevent layering.  I do use the green above moisturizer.  I have also been known to mix my MAC glowing moisturizer to the foundation to make it more sheer but still have the pigment.

Dry skin has been difficult and will continue to be.  The aim is to prevent the foundation from seeping into the skin.  For the one day, using heavier primers that block any penetration would be good for her.  She may hate it or how it feels but it will be great for pictures.

Mar 24 13 03:25 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Linda Chudomelova

Posts: 133

Prague, Prague, Czech Republic

I was about to suggest Face Atelier, but then I saw you said Temptu S/B didn't help and neither did airbrush. Honestly, I'm at a loss. If she only had dry skin, I'd suggest Vaseline under the makeup (Marilyn Monroe used to do that), but I wouldn't dare with Rosacea. sad

Mar 24 13 03:36 pm Link

Makeup Artist


Posts: 316

Los Angeles, California, US

What about prepping the skin with a facial oil? Some ingredients may help reduce inflammation.

I've tried the Nude ProGenius oil on a client with super dry, red skin (the client was from australia and never used sunscreen or much skincare); I followed with moisturizer and her skin looked much more hydrated and healthy.

Try this: … il-P374111

or this: … Id=1494699

or this:

Mar 24 13 03:49 pm Link

Makeup Artist


Posts: 25

Seattle, Washington, US

Such amazing comments! Thank you!
@The Savory MUA, what water based foundation do you use?

Thank you!

Mar 24 13 04:44 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Danielle Blazer

Posts: 846

Los Angeles, California, US

Even when I am short on time, I properly prep the skin. Others may disagree, but I've found that I end up with a better result if I spend 5-8 minutes of 15 on skin care and the rest of the time on makeup. But that's just

For what it's worth, my rosacea/sensitive/dry routine in under 8 minutes is:
-wash with Cerave (spritz face with water, massage Cerave, wipe away gently with cotton pads and water)
-use Philosophy's Microdelivery Peel pads
-apply Fresh Sugar Lip Balm and eye cream (Murad or Kinerase)
-gently apply LaRoche Posay Rosaliac Moisturizer
-let it sit for two minutes, min.

I use a LM Hydrating Primer on this type of skin usually, and either airbrush or use a Beauty Blender to apply makeup. I try to use my fingers in a tapping motion more than I use brushes to avoid micro-exfoliation. I also try to apply as little makeup as possible if I can get away with it. Little to no powder with this kind of skin.

Mar 24 13 05:59 pm Link

Makeup Artist

KC hmua

Posts: 183

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

less is more with this skin, covering should be second to calming down the texture. The more layers the more the products will interact with her skin and become a mess. This isnt your average dry skin.

firstly i would say watch your application with the skin, any rubbing or movement will cause micro exfoliation and potentially flare up the redness. No strokes, airbrush is great but keep the thickness of the application to a minimum. i like beauty blender and i gently press product into the skin no blending or strokes or movement of the skin. I would rather use a very light water based foundation but first cleanse it oh so very gently with some cetaphil or equivalent. water can dry out the skin so im sure there is a version that you just remove without water. i like using as a moisturiser Avene Eau Thermale Rich Skin Recovery Cream Calming  as i find its texture like an old fashion cold cream, it leaves a film on the skin which stops the foundation seeping into the cracks. its also very good for taking the redness out of the skin so i dont need to use a green corrector, i usually find green corrector can sometimes be more trouble than its worth, adding another layer, more touching the skin can irritate it.

answer is keep it super simple and use products sparingly and target them specifically. think things through before trying it out cause once you have that micro exfoliation its pretty hard to make anything work after that.

Mar 24 13 08:43 pm Link

guide forum

Makeup Artist

Camera Ready Studios

Posts: 7191

Dallas, Texas, US

I see this a lot.... If you have talent that has recently used any skin peeling product like Retin A or skin bleaching products... foundation will not stick properly and cream foundation is a disaster in these situations because it accentuates the scaling.  I rarely airbrush but this is a very good example of when airbrushing will really help...

Assuming you don't always have an airbrush with you...I would use a heavy moisture and then pat the liquid foundation on with a sponge like a Beauty Blender (silicone bases work best for me in these situations like MUFE Face and Body... You don't want to wipe the skin...just stipple the makeup on one layer at a time. DO NOT POWDER in the dry areas at all.  If you still have scaling areas you can put a little embryolisse moisture on a sponge and pat OVER the foundation in the real dry areas.  You may not end up with a perfect coverage but it's the best you can do when you have flaky skin, In my experience anyway

Mar 24 13 09:52 pm Link

Makeup Artist


Posts: 10525

Nashville, Tennessee, US

I second the treatment Mary does and highly recommend the Embryolisse product.  Also their spray toner (flower waters only) is incredibly for reviving and calming the skin before and after foundation.  Bouncing the damp beauty blender can even the skin out and tamp down the scales.  people with rosacea require a lot more pre shoot input and if at all possible a face to face to try products.  I try to keep them hydrated with the Embryolisse toner constantly while shooting and tamping down as i stated with the BB.  I'd definately use a liquid over a cream foundation in this case.  i never ever never use any exfoliation on this skin type.  and finding out if they've used Retinol or any product of that nature is key - I just hate that stuff for the most part for rosacea - that skin must be treated like fine antique lace.

Mar 25 13 12:32 pm Link

Makeup Artist


Posts: 39

New York, New York, US

Maybe you should invest in a glycolic peel. A light 15% one, they sell them at Make up artist's choice online, should do the trick. Of course, for this specific person, if she actually had rosacea, it may present a problem but it would certainly even out dry skin in only a couple of minutes if this should happen again.

Mar 27 13 10:35 am Link