How To Stop Foundation Separating

Discover how to stop foundation separating with my tips and tricks for a flawless foundation look.

Darlings, discover how to stop foundation separating on the face with my complexion-perfecting tips and tricks! Whether your foundation looks patchy in areas or starts to separate throughout the day, I’m answering all of your foundation FAQs to unlock a flawless-looking foundation look for everyone, everywhere!

How To Stop Foundation Separating

Why is my Foundation Separating?

When foundation becomes patchy or starts to break down on the face, this is called your foundation separating. There are many factors that can cause foundation to separate including excess oil, improper skin prep, applying too much product and choosing the wrong foundation for your skin type.

Foundation can separate on application or as you wear it throughout the day. Discover the steps you can take to avoid foundation looking patchy.

How To Stop Foundation Separating on the Face

Darlings, the best way to identify how to stop foundation separating is to look at three key areas – skin prep, foundation formula and application technique. I’ve got tips and tricks to share that will help you to perfectly prime your canvas; choose the best formula for your skin type; and apply foundation flawlessly!

How to stop foundation separating on the face

Magic Tip #1: Always Prepare & Prime your Skin with Skincare before Foundation

Skincare is my number one beauty secret for flawless foundation application – I always say you can’t paint a beautiful picture without a beautiful canvas!

When you follow a supercharged skincare routine that works in harmony with your skin type and apply your skincare products in the correct order, your skin becomes a smoother-looking canvas that’s perfectly prepped for foundation.

Mae Magic Cream application

Discover the correct order of skincare products

Two common skin concerns that can cause foundation to separate on the face are dry patches and excess oil.

For dry, flaky skin: It’s important to use a gentle exfoliator that removes dead cells and reveals a smoother-looking complexion. I recommend applying my acid-free Glow Toner morning and evening to softly exfoliate the skin while helping to create a more hydrated, radiant-looking canvas.

Tilbury Tip: Once a week, swap Glow Toner for Super Radiance Resurfacing Facial, a beautiful blend of 3 hydroxy acids that deeply exfoliates the skin. Complete your routine with Charlotte’s Magic Serum Crystal Elixir and a protective sunscreen like Invisible UV Flawless Poreless Primer SPF50.

Learn more about exfoliating

For oily-combination skin: Keep oils at bay by performing a deep facial cleanse with Charlotte's Magic Hydration Revival Cleanser. Give skin spa-fresh hydration with my gentle foaming cleanser that melts away makeup and cleanses skin of excess oil.

Tilbury Tip: For a pore-refining effect, apply a clay mask like Goddess Skin Clay Mask. Wear for 10 minutes before you apply your serum and face cream to nourish the skin and tighten the look of pores.

Learn more about how to cleanse oily skin

For every skin type: Magic Cream is Magic Skin!

Edna Charlotte's Magic Cream

Whatever your skin type, darlings, make sure you apply Charlotte’s Magic Cream before reaching for your face makeup! I never do makeup without applying my award-winning face cream first! Formulated to give the face an immediate skin revival, this born-backstage formula is the secret to smoother, plumper-looking skin that’s ready for foundation!

My magic moisturiser is clinically proven to help boost your skin barrier and uses Cushion + Lift Technology to make skin look so smooth, so plump, and so lifted that makeup simply glides on!

Seeing is believing, darlings! In user trials where participants wore Magic Cream underneath their foundation for 12 hours, they reported magical results:

94% agree foundation LASTS LONGER*


93% agree makeup stays more LUMINOUS*

98% agree creasing is reduced over 95% FELT MORE CONFIDENT*

Charlotte's Magic Cream x Unreal Skin

Charlotte's Magic Cream really is the secret to flawless-looking foundation with no signs of caking, patching, slipping, sliding, or separating in sight!

Discover more about Charlotte's Magic Cream - the Number 1 50ml Face Cream in the UK Prestige Skincare Market!

Magic Tip #2: Choose the Correct Foundation for your Skin

Foundation formulas wear differently on different skin types – what works for me, may not work for you, darling! When creating my foundations, I always choose hydrating, skin-loving ingredients that are beneficial for all skin types. I believe each of my formulas can look gorgeous on everyone, but there are certain things that I recommend bearing in mind when trying to stop foundation from separating on your skin type.

Charlotte's Foundations

Light-Coverage Foundation

The beauty of a light-coverage foundation like Unreal Skin Sheer Glow Tint Hydrating Foundation Stick is that it breaks down far more naturally than a full-coverage option. Since light-coverage foundation looks minimal on the skin, it wears more naturally which makes it less apparent if any areas start to separate.

Perfect for: a dewy, light-coverage makeup look that feels hydrating on the skin and wears effortlessly. Unreal Skin can look UNREAL on every skin type, but those with dry skin that are looking for a hydrating, natural-looking finish will especially love it!

Medium-Coverage Foundation

When you’re applying a medium-coverage foundation like Charlotte’s Beautiful Skin Foundation, it’s easy to customise your coverage. I created this formula to make it easy to apply the perfect amount of foundation – it gives you the ability to add more product to perfect your look without experiencing foundation balling up or separating.

Perfect for: a hydrated, medium-coverage makeup look that builds and blends effortlessly in areas you want extra coverage. Charlotte's Beautiful Skin Foundation is suitable for all skin types due to its customisable coverage and kind-to-skin ingredients! 

Full-Coverage Foundation

Makeup looks with full-coverage foundation as their base have the most tell-tale signs of makeup separating; when you create a smooth layer of full-coverage foundation, it’s easy to see when areas have begun to smear, break down or become patchy. Some full-coverage formulas like my Airbrush Flawless Foundation are designed to self-set, locking down and increasing the longevity of your look.

Perfect for: a natural-matte, full-coverage makeup look that sets down and stays all day. My Airbrush Flawless Foundation is fabulous for all skin types, especially combination or oily skinned beauties who want a flawless-looking finish!

Tilbury Tip: You can make any of these foundations work for you, darlings, just follow my Magic Tips for best results!

Magic Tip #3: Seamless Makeup Application

Once you’ve prepped your skin and chosen the perfect foundation formula for you, it’s time to apply your base. Here’s how to create a flawless foundation look that doesn’t separate:

Bella Tilbury foundation application

1: Use a makeup primer

To prevent your foundation from separating, it’s important to use a face primer that creates a smooth layer between your skin prep and makeup for foundation to glide onto. I recommend my luminous Wonderglow primer for a glowy look, or Invisible UV Flawless Poreless Primer for a smoothing and pore-blurring effect.

2: Prepare foundation on your hand or a mixing medium

Apply one pump of foundation to the back of your hand or a mixing palette, then tap into it with the Magic Complexion Brush.

Tilbury Tip: If you are using a stick foundation like Unreal Skin Sheer Glow Tint Hydrating Foundation Stick, you can apply straight from the stick.

3: Apply a light amount of foundation

Using a light hand, buff a small amount of foundation into the centre of the face, focusing on your forehead and cheeks. Take a less is more approach - it's easier to add more than it is to take away.

4: Carefully blend foundation with your fingers or a brush

Blend out your foundation using gentle, circular motions, starting in the centre of the face and moving outwards towards the hairline.

5: Layer foundation in areas you want more coverage

Add more foundation as you see fit to get your desired look. Remember to blend as you go to get the most seamless-looking foundation application! Makeup is all about the power of layering, and taking your time to blend accordingly will help to stop your foundation separating.

6: Set your foundation with powder

Once you are happy with your foundation look and have applied concealer to conceal the look of any blemishes or dark circles you want to cover, set your foundation with pressed powder to help lock it into place and prevent any creasing. I recommend my award-winning Airbrush Flawless Finish – it gives the skin a gorgeous smoothing effect and looks weightless when applied over foundation.

7: Increase your foundation's wear time with setting spray

For the ultimate AIRBrush fix, mist Airbrush Flawless Setting Spray onto the face to help your foundation last for up to 16 hours! Applying setting spray will help to boost your foundation's longevity while meshing foundations, concealers and powders to create your most flawless-looking complexion while reducing the risk of foundation separating.

How To Stop Foundation Separating on the Nose

The nose can be a problem area when applying foundation, so here are my top tips on how to stop foundation separating on and around the nose area.

Beautiful Skin still life

Magic Tip #1: Use Pore-Refining Skincare

The nose is a particularly porous part of the face and so can be prone to texture and excess oil. These factors can cause foundation to separate, so the best way to remedy this is to use  pore-refining skincare products like my Glow Toner and Goddess Skin Clay Mask. By addressing enlarged pores, you can create a smoother-looking canvas that doesn’t disrupt your foundation.

Magic Tip #2: Use a Mattifying Primer or Foundation

Matte primers and foundations like Airbrush Flawless Foundation are formulated to stay in place and have less slip than glowy formulas. This makes them ideal for applying to the nose area where products are prone to separating and sliding around the face.

Magic Tip #3: Apply Less Foundation on the Nose

Your nose requires less foundation than the rest of your face, so applying a smaller amount of product can be the key to achieving flawless-looking coverage on the nose. I recommend applying foundation to the rest of your face first, then using the leftover product to perfect the look of your nose.

Charlotte’s Best Primer to Stop Foundation from Separating

Applying Invisible UV Flawless Poreless Primer SPF50 before foundation is my top tip for helping to stop foundation from separating. This sunscreen-primer hybrid helps to create a smooth-looking canvas that’s perfectly prepped to apply whatever foundation formula you choose. The hyaluronic acid-infused formula hydrates the skin while delivering protection from UV rays and pollutants; it primes, protects and hydrates to prepare your skin for makeup. Beginning your makeup look with this triple-action primer leaves the skin looking beautifully blurred and ready for smooth foundation application.

SPF Primer still life