How To Wear Makeup When Your Face Is Flaking Off

Listen, it's hard enough to master the fine art of makeup application on a normal day, but when your skin throws a giant wrench in the operation by being dried out and flaky? Well, let's just say things can get ugly real quick. Sick of having our foundation stick to our scales and our lip color gunk up on our parched pouts, we went to Renee Garnes, a celebrity makeup artist and Posh Beauty ambassador, to learn how to wear makeup when our faces are staging a protest.
Read on to find out which products are best for dry skin, plus her tips and tricks on how to best apply them to flaky faces.
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First and foremost, you need to prep your skin with a serious moisture infusion, says Garnes. "Makeup tends to sit on flakes, cake into dry areas, and highlight dry patches even more," she explains. Before you apply any makeup, Garnes say to (gently!) exfoliate your face to take away some of the dryness, then apply a hydrating, non-irritating moisturizer.

Aveeno Ultra-Calming Daily Moisturizer, $14.29, available at Drugstore.com.
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If your skin is flaky and irritated, add a few pumps of this silky concentrate (it's like a super-charged serum) to your daily moisturizer. In a couple of days, you'll see a soothed complexion and a hydrated glow.

Aveda Tulasara Calm Concentrate, $59, available at Aveda.
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Need an extra boost of hydration? Apply a nourishing primer after your daily a.m. moisturizer, and before your foundation. Not only will it keep flakes at bay, it'll help keep your makeup in place, too.

Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer, $32, available at Too Faced.
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Or mix a few drops of this chamomile oil- and vitamin E-rich infusion into your foundation for an extra boost of hydration and radiance.

CoverFX Custom Infusion Drops in E+ Chamomile, $48, available at Sephora.
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Now that your skin is a moisturized — or as moisturized as it's realistically going to get — it's time to add your foundation. Garnes says she likes to apply foundation in the winter using her fingers — it allows her to work the product into the skin and around dry patches, rather than just brushing the product over top of them. "Make sure to sanitize your hands first," she says. "Then, taking some product, warm it between your fingertips and press it gently onto the skin." Make sure you choose a hydrating cream or lotion foundation — matte, powder, and oil-free foundations can tend to make dryness more pronounced.
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This CC+ Cream is basically a super-charged tinted moisturizer that's formulated with hyaluronic acid and all the SPF you need. It goes on best when applied with your fingers, evening out every line, patch of hyper-pigmentation, and blemish.

It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream with SPF 50+, $38, available at Sephora.
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If your skin is so dry you simply can't imagine layering any type of coverage product over it, opt for a correcting moisturizer like this one from Dr. Jart+. The thick green goo isn't just insanely hydrating, it also transforms into a beige tint when rubbed in, evening out redness and discoloration in the process.

Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment, $52, available at Sephora.
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If you have dehydrated skin but still want to reap the makeup-setting benefits of a powder, try this one from By Terry. It's loaded with hyaluronic acid to help draw moisture into the skin.

By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra-Powder, $60, available at Barneys New York.
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For the eyes, Garnes says it's important to use a primer to help create that smooth canvas on your lids and prevent product from settling into any nooks and crannies.
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This priming formula hydrates, smoothes, and lasts all day — plus there's an added bonus. It has a shimmery, Champagne-colored tint that gives eyelids a light wash of flattering color.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Minor Sin, $20, available at Urban Decay.
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"For drier skin, a cream-based eyeshadow works best," says Garnes. She suggests applying it over your primer base.
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Not interested in getting smudge-proof shadow all over your fingers? Try a stick version that makes gliding on intense color easy enough to do in the back of a cab.

Maybelline Color Tattoo Eye Chrome, $7.99, available at Ulta Beauty.
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Then use a powder shadow to build your crease and contour. "Your crease has natural oils, so it won't dry out as quickly," she explains. She also advises staying away from products with a lot of talc in them, which can look dried-out and caked-on.

Make Up For Ever Star Powder Eyeshadow in 943, $20, available at Make Up For Ever.
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Cream is once again the name of the game when it comes to your cheek products: Garnes says she always uses a cream blush on her clients with dry skin. "Cream blush gives skin a natural, dewy glow, and disguises the fact that skin is actually dry." She suggests applying your blush with a dome-shaped, fluffy powder brush, and to build the color slowly.
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Prefer a pro-approved drugstore option? This formula from Circa Beauty is a top under-$20 cream blush pick — especially the universally-flattering shades Portofino and Capri.

Circa Beauty Ultrasuede Cream Blush, $13, available at Drugstore.com.
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For bronzers, Garnes likes a liquid or cream option, like this one from Clinique, because it won't aggravate dried-out skin. Speaking of aggravation, she also notes that since dry skin is usually very sensitive, it's in your best interest to use fragrance-free, hypollergenic cosmetics on your face so as not to exacerbate the issue.
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This bronzer from RMS Beauty is chock full of oils, so it won't dry out skin. Plus, the finish is somewhere between matte and shimmery, so you won't feel like you're covered in glitter — but you will glow!

RMS Beauty Buriti Bronzer, $28, available at Birchbox.
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When it comes to highlighters, creams and liquids are yet again the way to go. Using your fingers, gently pat the creamy formula onto the tops of your cheekbones, Cupid's bow, and down the bridge of your nose. The result is a gorgeous, ethereal glow.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquid in Champagne Pop, $41, available at Sephora.
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This creamy powder formula is soft to the touch and delivers high-impact radiance — without any flaky patches.

ColourPop Pearlized Highlighter in Wisp, $8, available at ColourPop.
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Chapped lips do not make for a smooth canvas on which to create a lip masterpiece. Garnes says to first exfoliate away flakes by mixing together some olive oil and sugar and gently rubbing it on the lips with a moistened cotton pad. Or, use a scrub or soft toothbrush.

Sara Happ The Lip Scrub Brown Sugar Lip Exfoliator, $24, available at Nordstrom.
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Once the flakes have been swept away apply a lip balm (Garnes swears by Burt's Bees, which she says is always in her kit) and remove excess balm with a tissue.
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Once you've hydrated your pout, Garnes says to add a touch of foundation, to help create a base for the color, then to apply your lipstick. Be sure to choose a creamy, moisturizing formula. "Avoid matte lipsticks, which can have a drying effect and leave your lips feeling tight and uncomfortable," she says. Garnes also notes that long-wear formulas (those that claim to stay in place for 12 hours or more) should also be avoided as they can cause drying, as well.

L'Oréal Infallible Le Rouge Lipcolor in Bold Bordeaux, $9.99, available at Drugstore.com.
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If you simply cannot give up matte lips though, reach for a lipstick won't accentuate any dry patches. This one from Chanel feels like balm yet has a beautiful matte finish.

Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Luminous Matte Lip Colour in La Fascinante, $36, available atNordstrom.
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