Beauty How-To: Avoid A ‘Cake Face’

I love makeup. Adore it. Can’t get enough of it. Don’t leave the house without it. But sometimes after the primer, foundation, concealer, powder, bronzer, eye shadow, eyeliner, mascara and lip gloss, my skin begins to feel a bit…suffocated. Sometimes, when it’s quiet, I can hear my pores screaming. Friends, it’s not intentional, but I am on my way to being a victim of cake face.

In simple terms cake face is the act of putting way to much makeup on, but in reality it’s a lot more complicated than that. We look at the poor misguided souls on Snog, Marry, Avoid and assume that all women with cake face have an inner voice assuring them that orange is defs the new natural, so we belittle them and dismiss them as being shallow. However cake face is probably better described as being masked confidence.

The problem with linking self esteem to the over-application of makeup is that it’s often approached with a few token phrases. They go something like, “Don’t do it guys! You don’t need makeup! Let your natural beauty shine through! Be confident! Beauty comes from the inside! Other vague inspirational declarations!” But when you have acne or dark circles under your eyes or any number of ailments on your face you’d rather conceal, caking on the foundation tends to be an accidental natural progression.

On that note, being confident in your own skin is super important, and beauty does come from the inside. But I can’t tell you how to find it. There is no miracle cure for self esteem. What I can tell you though is this: if you want to kick your cake face habit, but you’re not brave enough to go completely without makeup (or even if you’re not a victim, but just want to let your skin breathe for a little while) here are three excellent lightweight beauty products that will make you feel like you have something on, but not too much.

Dove Essential Nutrients Tinted Moisturiser RRP$9.99

There are some tinted moisturisers out there that are having a slight identity crisis and seem to think they’re actually foundation. Not this one though. It feels just the slightest bit thicker than a moisturiser, doesn’t give you an annoying neckline if you don’t blend it properly, and will leave you with a beautiful natural glow. Added bonus: SPF15.

Maybelline Define-A-Lash Lengthening Mascara RRP$19.25

The rubbery little brush on this mascara makes it almost impossible to put too much on. This mascara will cling onto your eyelashes for dear life, elongate them, and won’t clump.

Maybelline Fit Me Bronzer RRP$14.95

Bronzer is one of the hardest products to get right. Too little and you can’t see it, too much and it looks like dirt. This bronzer, however, is one of the most natural looking ones I’ve ever used, because it’s more peach than brown, and has only the slightest shimmer to it (you know how some bronzers feel like you’re applying glitter to your cheek bones? Not this one).

Images: primpedcdn2coolspotterslipsicosmetics


  • Reply Jessica Carter Tuesday 24th July, 2018 at 10:11 pm

    Nice information. I was also doing same mistakes over and over again. I am 68 now and due to age, people don’t understand that with skin elasticity, skin also loses moisture, like Matte is out and Dewry in in kind of.

    I was suggested to keep skin moist and basically Foundation primer is the key to anything by MakeUp Guide Blogger and it really worked well

  • Reply Natasha Lee Thursday 1st December, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    I will try the Maybelline Fit Me Bronzer. Thanks for sharing this skin care and beauty products tips with us.

  • Reply detailed Saturday 15th December, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    I can’t wear foundation, I feel like I’m suffocating. I invest in a good moisturiser, bb cream, lip balm and mascara. That’s pretty much it. Since I’ve stopped wearing so much make up, my skin has become almost flawless.

  • hausoftina
    Reply hausoftina Saturday 6th October, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    I really want to try the Dove Essential Nutrients Tinted Moisturiser! Thanks for the tips (:

  • Reply Claire2012 Saturday 22nd September, 2012 at 12:37 am

    such makeup is awful

  • Reply Fiendangelical Thursday 20th September, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Her foundation is the wrong shade, that’s why it looks unnatural.
    I have blemishes and dark spots on my face so I rarely go without foundation. If I had great skin though, I would definitely give my skin a break!

  • Reply becci19 Wednesday 19th September, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    too much makeup is never attractive!

  • Reply Ian Wednesday 19th September, 2012 at 11:46 am

    its not a good look

  • Reply Anastasija Wednesday 19th September, 2012 at 4:47 am


  • Reply ChocolatD Tuesday 18th September, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    ha. she looks woeful, but makeup is great styled from dramatic to fresh, just suit it to you and your mood!

  • Reply amanda6393 Monday 17th September, 2012 at 8:49 am

    Oh, Christina. She looks so much better with less make-up.

  • Reply sappheire Sunday 16th September, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    smooth upward strokes creates less streaking

  • billiecelene
    Reply billiecelene Sunday 16th September, 2012 at 8:40 am

    This was a great article, thanks for your tips.

    That photo of xtina is so funny because she used to be stunning, naturally. Now she has gone for the cake face look, even on her appearance as a judge on the voice!

  • Reply leckytomato Sunday 16th September, 2012 at 12:50 am


  • Reply leckytomato Sunday 16th September, 2012 at 12:50 am


  • Reply Misskate Saturday 15th September, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Performers tend to wear a lot of make-up, it’s their job. Wear what you feel comfortable with.

  • Reply KNY Saturday 15th September, 2012 at 3:50 pm


  • Reply dincy101 Saturday 15th September, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    People need to understand that Make-up is for problem areas. not necessarily your whole face. Lots of girls make this mistake thinking if they put layers on it will give them flawless skin 🙁

  • Reply foxoduck Saturday 15th September, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    Oh yuck! Less is more

  • DearMonet
    Reply DearMonet Saturday 15th September, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    I always put on too much bronzer!!!! Still working on not being too heavy handed!!!

  • Reply T1NA Saturday 15th September, 2012 at 11:21 am

    great article

  • Reply Sparkles17 Saturday 15th September, 2012 at 11:21 am

    OMG so over the top!

  • judi1
    Reply judi1 Saturday 15th September, 2012 at 10:27 am

    I love letting my skin breathe during the week but then applying different amounts of make-up according to where I’m going and the look I want.

  • Reply fifi73 Saturday 15th September, 2012 at 8:47 am

    That bronzer looks lovely…. I’ll have to check it out when I’m at the shops next….

  • make up magic
    Reply make up magic Saturday 15th September, 2012 at 7:58 am

    You cant go wrong with maybelline

  • lanalang
    Reply lanalang Saturday 15th September, 2012 at 6:09 am

    Egh, cake makeup ages your skin soooo bad.

  • Reply dj23249 Saturday 15th September, 2012 at 4:52 am

    very informative and some great tips

  • Reply cindyhu_1234 Saturday 15th September, 2012 at 12:30 am

    this is what i do everyday!

  • Reply Claireo Friday 14th September, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    Personal choice- enjoy!

  • smurfette
    Reply smurfette Friday 14th September, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    love the bronzer

  • Reply AmberB Friday 14th September, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    Not a good look!

  • Reply ragdollbaby Friday 14th September, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    Well written, thanks for the chuckles 😉

  • Reply maggielyly Friday 14th September, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    thanks for the tips!

  • Reply dapperdolly Friday 14th September, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    Great introduction before the recommendations – we’re surrounded by hypocrisy. People look don’t on others wearing make up and others push it so much. I personally think that the only things that I think are important is that, if a person chooses to wear make up it should be because they want to, not out of pressure either way. However, there are so many factors like self esteem and why we suffer from uncertainty that that is easier said than done. Therefore, for whatever reasons people decide to wear it – the essential thing is that the make up is vegan friendly/truly cruelty free and fair trade – then it is not a careless luxury or something that causes suffering especially if the people using it are using it to help with emotional/mental issues. If it is natural make up then it is also helpful for the skin/body and hence can be beneficial not only for the wearer but if it is fair trade then it is helpful for the producers. As for cake face – it’s a tough one. The whole ‘natural look’ is mainly fake because it takes a lot to achieve it. Also cake face can happen simply by a raise in body temperature, an active T-Zone, or coming into things that effect the make up – like steam. I find translucent powder or carrying a fan helps.

    • Jane Hollier
      Reply whatjanedid Friday 14th September, 2012 at 9:02 pm

      Thanks so much for your well though out comment! Would love to know more about fair trade and vegan makeup x

  • Reply yslyenom Friday 14th September, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Uhmm…don’t really like the look

  • hayley_shortie_22
    Reply hayley_shortie_22 Friday 14th September, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    That looks rotten the fake tab doesn’t help either

  • Reply cadam Friday 14th September, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    love the bronzer

  • Reply jreilly Friday 14th September, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    great info

  • Reply BellaB Friday 14th September, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    Too much base/ foundation is a horrible look.

  • Reply coyleshana Friday 14th September, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Yes not a good looka

  • Reply ichigolove01 Friday 14th September, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    Would love to try the Dove Tinted Moisturiser.

  • sommy7
    Reply sommy7 Friday 14th September, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    Thanks for the info

  • Reply Whatthe Friday 14th September, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Oh yeah I don’t like ‘cake face’ make-up. They look like Dolly Parton clones to me – all with bleached curled white blonde hair with thick artificial looking make-up on their faces. They all seem to come out of America. Must be a factory over there.

  • Reply jessicawheelock Friday 14th September, 2012 at 12:34 pm


  • Luci
    Reply Luci Friday 14th September, 2012 at 11:43 am

    I love these 3 products- they are my lazy work day combo. On the weekends i go w just tinted moisturiser and the bronzer to give my eyes a releax

  • Reply Senorita Friday 14th September, 2012 at 11:41 am

    chrostina always has way to much makeup on

  • CandyFairy
    Reply CandyFairy Friday 14th September, 2012 at 11:08 am

    I know a lot of people are going to diagree with me here, but I don’t actually think it looks that bad! 🙂 Makeup is made to be worn, so wear as much as you want, if you’re happy, who cares. 🙂

    • Reply MsKimo Friday 14th September, 2012 at 7:09 pm

      I agree, wear as much as you want, as long as you’re happy, no-one else matters.

      • Reply KatP Saturday 15th September, 2012 at 1:34 pm

        Do what makes you happy but remember that constantly clogging your pores up will only make the ache/blotchiness worse!

        I agree that sometimes all you need is a little mascara to brighten your face.

        And if you keep pretending you have confidence you will gradually believe yourself!! There is nothing more beautiful than a confident smiling woman!

  • newbie
    Reply newbie Friday 14th September, 2012 at 11:06 am


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