Apply Pancake Make Up

Edited by Saira, Rose B, Lynn, Eng and 18 others

Method 1

Hi, my name is Kara and you are watching this demonstration via VisiHow. Today I will show you how to apply pancake makeup. I'm going to be using a 'pan stick' from Max Factor. The one that I am going to be using is called Cool Bronze. I am going to be using it for shadowing. For highlights, I will be using, Flormar, and I will be using the same on my eyes. In order to sculpt, I am going to be using a synthetic flat brush, which is normally used for the toning creams.


  1. 1
    Apply the Cool Bronze to the forehead. First, I am going to apply some of the pan stick to the corners of my forehead. I am doing this because I want to hide some of my forehead.
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  2. 2
    Blend it in. You need to blend the make-up in toward the center of your face. Doing so will help to make sure you do not have any borders around your face.
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  3. 3
    Next, apply the pan stick from your temporal bone downward toward the corner of your mouth. The texture of the pancake make-up is very oily. It is a hard stick, but it is oily. You could also apply this with your fingers or a brush. I prefer to get the borders done by applying it directly to my skin then blending it in with a brush.
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  4. 4
    Blend in the cheekbone shadows. When you blend in this area, you are going to blend upward. Working from the bottom edge, brush upward toward your nose. Some people prefer to leave a straight edge, but I prefer to blend in the sharp edges.
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  5. 5
    Do the same thing on the other side. Blend toward the center, then blend in the bottom line.
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  6. 6
    Do the nose. We have done the forehead and cheeks so now we can do the nose. You need to be very careful with the nose. You do not want the shadows to be visible. When you can see that someone has drawn the lines on the nose, I always call it a bad nose job, because it should not be noticeable. Apply a tiny bit of the pan stick to the brush and dab it onto the sides of your nose.
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  7. 7
    Blend in the sides of the nose. After you have dabbed the brush along the length of the nose, you want to blend in that small area where the make-up was applied. You are adding shadows and hiding any unnecessary width. You want to make sure that you are applying the shadows all the way down your nose from the inner corner of your eyebrows.
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  8. 8
    Check to make sure it's not too obvious. Check to see how the makeup looks up close. You want it to be subtle.
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  9. 9
    Apply highlights. We are done with the dark shade. Now I am going to switch to a smaller concealer brush and using its hard edge, I am going to draw a line down the center of my nose. The thinner the line, the thinner your nose will look. Try not to make it too wide.
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  10. 10
    Blend it in. Using the tip of my finger, I am going to blend in the highlight. It is still there, but now you can barely see it.
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  11. 11
    Highlight the lip lines. Apply the whiter shade to the brush and apply it to the top of the lip lines, which run from under the nose to the lips.
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  12. 12
    Highlight the top of your lip line. I am going to add the same highlight to the top of the lips.
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  13. 13
    Blend it in. Again, using the tip of your fingers, blend in the highlight. So that it will not be as obvious. Professional make-up artists use this trick.
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  14. 14
    Apply highlighting to the chin. Switch to the larger brush and apply the highlight to the chin.
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  15. 15
    Blend the chin highlighting upward.
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  16. 16
    Using a light color with a pink undertone, I am going to cover up my gray areas. Anytime you have gray or green hues, you need to use a light pink to cover up that pigment.
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  17. 17
    Blend that in as well.
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  18. 18
    You just watched me contour my face with pancake make-up, as a professional would do. I am not a professional, but I am learning. This is a technique similar to an artist's painting; you use lighter shades to highlight, and darker shades on the areas you want to hide, thus creating light and shadows. In my case, it is the forehead I want to hide. If you have a smaller forehead, then you may want to apply the white or a lighter pancake make-up, as this will add space. If you have a larger chin, you would want to put darker shades on your chin and your jaw. It is a very individual thing. Thank you for watching VisiHow, my name is Kara. If you have any questions, about beauty and make-up, please leave your comments in the section below. Thank you. Bye-bye.
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Video: Apply Pancake Make Up

Method 2

Pancake make-up is the kind of make-up professionals use. It is a complete coverage type of foundation, used to cover and hide skin discolorations, blemishes scars, even tattoos, and facial hair. It is used to give skin the extra glamour for the bright lighting used for film, theater, television and photography.

The mastermind behind pancake make-up, was Max Factor, who made pancake the first commercially available foundation in 1935.

Apply Pancake Make-Up

Pancake make-up is often used as a primer to cover any blemishes before continuing with regular make-up application.


  1. 1
    Open your pancake makeup.
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  2. 2
    Apply a light misting of water with a spray bottle.
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  3. 3
    Apply make-up to problem areas with a brush or cosmetic sponge.
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  4. 4
    Let dry before continuing with make-up routine.
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Where Can Pancake Make-Up Be Bought?

Pancake makeup is sold in the makeup department of larger department stores, at your local drugstores and online shops like Amazon, eBay, and on the official websites of cosmetic manufacturers.

If you cannot find it at your local shops, just go online and you'll find it at Dermablend or Max Factor.

Additional Tips and Suggestions

  • For pancake make-up to be effective, be sure to use a shade that closely matches your skin color. The shade should be as close to your skin color as possible.
  • If you are buying for pancake for day-to-day wear to hide mild to moderate discoloration, you will only need one shade of pancake makeup.
  • For a more professional look in a setting with bright lights, or if you have severe discoloration, then it is recommended to also buy one shade lighter than your skin tone to achieve more accurate results.
  • Pancake makeup is water-activated. This indicates that it must be dampened before use. A light squirt of water on the cake will help prepare the make-up.
  • The cosmetic sponges should also be dampened, by dipping them in water and squeezing out the excess water to keep it moist, not dripping wet.
  • The skin should be well hydrated and the face should be washed prior to applying pancake and lightly patted dry with Kleenex or tissues.
  • The pancake makeup needs to be applied in layers. To cover a severe discoloration or a tattoo, begin with the lighter shade of foundation and then build it up to coverage.
  • The pancake needs to be applied in upward strokes fast and swift.
  • Use another clean, damp, cosmetic wedge and apply the skin-tone matching make-up.
  • It is good to begin in the center of the forehead, then the cheeks and the lower chin area.
  • It is good to blend the hair and jaw lines together as if these are not blended well then the effect of these two areas will hamper the effect. It will look a bit like a mask.
  • Pancake makeup needs to be applied in layers. The right way is to apply several thin light layers of pancake instead of applying a dab of thick pancake onto the skin.
  • The skin needs to dry for a little while, and once it is dry, it will give you a flawless matte finish.
  • Apply loose powder once it's set and dry, as this will hold it in place against perspiration and humidity.

Homemade Make-Up

These homemade make-up recipes will help you to go natural and avoid the harmful chemicals often found in commercial brands.

Homemade Lipstick

Lipstick can be a source of harmful chemicals that can damage the delicate skin on your lips.

Things You'll Need:

  • A teaspoon beeswax pastille
  • A teaspoon coconut oil
  • A teaspoon Cocoa Butter or Shea butter

Colors and Scents

  • Red Color: You can use food coloring that has no chemical additives or 1/8 Teaspoon of a beetroot powder.
  • Tan or Brown color: You can use a pinch of Cinnamon or 1/4 Teaspoon of organic cocoa powder.
  • To add more texture: Add bentonite clay (optional).

Colors and scents are optional.


  1. 1
    Get a glass jar and put in the Shea butter or the cocoa butter, then add the coconut oil and a small amount of water. Melt these ingredients, best suggestion, in a chocolate fondue that has a candle for heat. Make sure not to let it boil.
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  2. 2
    When all the ingredients are melted, remove it from the heat and add the coloring you desire, a bit at a time until you've achieved the desired color. Now add the scent into the mixture and blend well.
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  3. 3
    If the mixture looks too thin or runny, you can add a bit of beeswax to make it more solid.
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  4. 4
    After you have mixed all the ingredients. You can use a dropper to pour the liquefied mixture to a new chap container or if you have an empty one from your old lipsticks then use it instead.
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Once you have completed all the steps, you have now your own homemade lipstick with your own personal touch. Make sure that you place it in a cool dry place so the lipstick won't soften.

Homemade Foundation

Ingredients for this foundation can be found in your kitchen or you could buy them at your favorite stores.

Ingredients: Cornstarch or Arrowroot powder

You can add any of the following: Ground Cinnamon, Nutmeg or Cocoa Power.

Optional ingredients are: Olive, Almond or Jojoba oil.


  1. 1
    Get your Arrowroot powder or cornstarch and make sure the texture is very fine. If it is not, you need to grind it so it's finer.
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  2. 2
    Put the powder into a bowl.
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  3. 3
    Add your Cinnamon, nutmeg or the Cocoa Powder and keep on mixing and adding until you get the color you desire.
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  4. 4
    If want more of a compact version, add your Almond, Jojoba or Olive oil to the powder mix.
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  5. 5
    Store mixture in a jar that you've labeled.
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  6. 6
    Use a proper brush to apply the foundation
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This homemade mascara is 100% free from any chemicals that can cause rashes to your skin, or irritate your eyes. This mascara is made from Aloe Vera gel, Coconut oil, grated beeswax and activated charcoal. It works just like mascara available commercially.

Things You'll Need:

  • A clean mascara container
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp grated beeswax
  • 4 tsp Aloe Vera gel
  • At least 2 capsules of activated cocoa or charcoal powder


  1. 1
    Get a saucepan and put it on low heat. Alternatively, you could use a chocolate fondue and a candle. Add the following ingredients: Aloe Vera gel, coconut oil, and grated beeswax and stir them well.
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  2. 2
    After stirring, get the capsules and pour the contents into the mixture. Stir until it has been completely incorporated, paying special attention to the beeswax, as it will take the longest to melt. Now you can remove it from heat.
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  3. 3
    After you stir the mixture very well, get a plastic bag and pour the mixture into it. Tie the opening, and cut one corner of the plastic bag, similar to icing a cake.
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  4. 4
    Get your mascara tube and squeeze the mixture from the plastic bag, into the tube.
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  5. 5
    After you've filled the tube, do not pull the plastic bag away too quickly, as it might mess in your hands or to your table. Do not forget to place the tube on a paper towel or napkin to avoid staining your table.
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  6. 6
    Insert the mascara brush, that becomes the cap, and seal it tightly. Now you have a homemade mascara that you can use daily or for any occasion.
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This homemade mascara is only good for 4 to 6 months. After that, you need to dispose of it. Remember that all mascaras (whether homemade or commercial) are capable of growing bacteria. Proper usage is a must. If you must, date the mascara you make, or perhaps you can make it at the beginning of each season, so you'll remember when you need to throw the spring mascara out and make the summer.

Homemade Bronzer

This bronzer you are about to make will give your skin a healthy looking glow.


  • 6 tsp zinc oxide
  • ½ tsp magnesium stearate
  • 1 ½ tsp sericite mica
  • 2 tsp red clay
  • 1 tsp silk powder
  • ¼ tsp jojoba oil
  • 5 to 8 tsp bronze mica
  • 5 drops vitamin E oil
  • ½ tsp red oxide
  • 5 up to 8 tsp brown oxide
  • 1 tsp yellow oxide

This homemade bronzer isn't as complicated as the previous methods. It's as simple as putting all the ingredients into a bowl and mix them until it is fine - like powdered milk. Us a fat makeup brush to apply.

Homemade Blush

This homemade blush works like your homemade foundation and uses arrowroot as your base ingredient, plus hibiscus or cinnamon to match your skin tone.


  • Arrowroot powder
  • Hibiscus powder
  • Cinnamon (optional)

The Cinnamon can give a subtle pink glow. You can also add Alkanet root powder if you do not want to use cinnamon and more of the arrowroot powder to simply lighten the color of the mixture. Also, consider dried pomegranate seeds for a deeper colored blush.

To start, you just need to put the arrowroot powder into a bowl and add the hibiscus powder until you get your desired color. If you are adding anything else to the mixture, now is the time to do so.

Homemade Eyeliner or Eye Shadow

This is the most economical and easiest make-up to make.


  • A few drops of water
  • 4 capsules activated charcoal
  • Empty eyeshadow tin


  1. 1
    Get a small container and put in the 4 capsules of the activated charcoal
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  2. 2
    Add at least 2 drops of water and keep on stirring for at least 1 minute.
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  3. 3
    After they are thoroughly blended, simply place the mixture into an empty eye shadow container and press it down until it looks smooth. You can also use a spoon to press and compact it, and make it smooth.
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Homemade Make Up Remover/Wipes

What is the point of going natural if you still use makeup remover with chemical additives? These wipes can also be used for babies and cleaning purposes. This homemade makeup remover is not only good for your skin but also it's good for your wallet.

Things You'll Need:

  • Paper towel (one roll, or more, depending on how much you want to make)
  • Water or coconut oil
  • Scent (Optional)
  • Knife
  • Bowl with lid


  1. 1
    Cut paper towel roll into a size that will fit into your bowl.
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  2. 2
    Place paper towel roll in a bowl.
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  3. 3
    Pour your water or coconut oil on top and cover it for at least 5 to 10 minutes.
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  4. 4
    Remove the cardboard tube from the middle and pull the desired amount of paper towel for you to use.
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The reason why you can use Coconut oil is it contains Lauric Acid, which has Antioxidant, anti-fungal, antibacterial, antimicrobial and soothing properties that will clean your skin.


  • Caution should be taken when cutting the paper towel roll down to size as not to injure oneself.

Questions and Answers

How pancake is used to hide blemishes?

I have some blemishes I need to cover up.

Pancake is a thick, heavy make-up that is mainly used for TV, film and the entertainment industry. At present, the pancake is an out-of-date makeup. There are still some people, particularly the stars and models, who use this kind of make-up because of its amazing coverage. It can conceal freckles, facial hair, pimples, acne scars and other blemishes - even tattoos. The lights used in movies and films can lighten the blemishes, making these become obvious. It is not good for stars and models to be on TV with obvious blemishes. In order to avoid this situation, professional make-up artists use pancake make-ups on these stars and models. This is why they look flawless and beautiful on TV. In person, you would notice that their skin is not nearly as perfect as you see on your TV or the big screen. You will see blemishes and other flaws that most of us have, because, on this occasion, they are not wearing pancake make-up.

When using pancake makeup, use a moist sponge and apply it to your face and neck to get a flawless and even skin tone when on TV. Never use pancake makeup for daily use, as the powdery substance looks obvious on skin. Instead, use an ordinary foundation to look natural.

Pancake make-up is often called "stage make-up". A make-up foundation is the primary step the 'base' and prepares the face for makeup application. Pancake is commonly used to hide blemishes because of the following:

  • Pancake make-up provides full coverage on the face.
  • Pancake make-up evens the skin tone or skin color.
  • Some pancake make-up has higher pigmentation, which effectively hides blemishes.
  • Pancake make-up can easily hide skin imperfections like scars, discolorations, facial hairs, tattoos, and blemishes because of its thick and opaque nature.
  • The application of pancake makeup can be applied in several layers.

Take note that before using this type of foundation, it is best to always exfoliate your skin to remove dirt and dead skin cells making it more effective in hiding skin imperfections like blemishes.

Can I use pancake face powder to hide scars instantly?

I have scars that I would like to cover with pancake. Yes, but it will need to be toned to your skin color for the pancake mix is rather light in color. The purpose of the pancake makeup is to hide blemishes and scars on your face. You will have to keep the following in mind:

  • Make sure that the base color of your pancake make-up matches the original color of your face but a slightly lighter color to cover up the blemishes/scars.
  • Remember that pancake make-up is water activated and it needs to be applied in layers (lighter color to original color).
  • Remember that the strokes should be upward, fast and swift.
  • Make sure that your materials are clean as well.
  • Begin at the center of your forehead down to the cheeks and your cheekbones. *Blend the hairline and jaw lines together.
  • Make sure you dry your face after applying the make-up.
  • For finishing touches, apply loose powder.

You can use this video for reference:

Which pancake do TV models and film stars use?

Stars tend to use brand-name products that are usually quite pricey. It's fine if you use another type of pancake on your face. TV models and film stars use so many types of pancake makeups, depending on their style for a particular day and sometimes depending on the condition of their skin as well. If they are on stage, they tend to use heavier pancake make-up so that it will show more under the bright lights, however, on television or film, the close ups require a more delicate effect.

Pancake makeup for hiding deep acne?

How can I use it for this? You dab the pancake make-up onto the deep acne you wish to cover. DON'T blend or smooth it until after it is completely dry to avoid thinning and uncovering the acne. Once this is done, you can continue with your regular makeup routine.

Pancake can be applied on sunscreen lotion or not?

I really want to protect my skin. Pancake make-up can be applied over sunscreen lotion but you have to wait for the lotion to be absorbed by the skin before applying the pancake make-up so that it will not smudge during application. It is also best to use water-based sunscreen lotion if you want to apply pancake makeup afterward. You can make things easier by purchasing a mineral-based pancake make-up which can protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays.

What should I do about dark circles?

When I apply pancake makeup, I don't get good results. It just gives a rough look not smoothness. I have very dark circles under my eyes, and don't know how to hide them. You need to make sure the shade you apply under your eyes is one shade lighter than your skin tone (or make it two if it is so dark). When applying it under your eyes, do not smother it over, you need to dab it to create a smooth finish. You can also try decreasing the darkness under your eyes by doing the following:

  • Always get enough sleep.
  • Eat a well balanced diet.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Relax your mind and body.
  • If the dark circles are genetic, you need to accept the fact that it is a part of your life.


  • Cucumber slices on your eyes (extending over the dark circles) daily for 10-15 minutes
  • Cool tea bags on your eyes for 10-15 minutes
  • Ice cube wrapped in a soft cloth for 10-15 minutes
  • Apply a frozen spoon (straight out of the freezer) for a good 10-15 minutes
  • Apply an eye cream rich in vitamin K and retinol

Hi I have dry skin. Can you please let me know if a moisturizer should be applied before using a pancake?

Since my skin is dry I am hesitant to use pancake makeup because it is so thick. Pancake makeup is very popular for both daytime and nighttime looks, as it provides full coverage and an even skin tone, and also minimize flaws such as skin discolorations, blemishes, and scars. It is recommended to use a pancake foundation that is water-resistant and can give you a light or opaque makeup coverage to avoid the heavy look that you are worried about. There are also mineral-based pancake foundations that also contains a sunscreen. The trick is to exfoliate your skin before applying the pancake make-up. You can use moisturizer since you have dry skin and you need to keep your skin plump and well hydrated.


'I have vitiligo I have white patches on my feet

Since you want to use this on your body and not your face, there are products like Dermablend Leg and Body formulated specifically to be used on the face. You can also find body concealers like a tattoo cover up kit in stores such as Sephora. When applying makeup to the body it is important to let it dry in between applications. You will also want to keep a cream based blush to tone down any yellow appearance to simulate blood circulation undertones of skin.

How can I use make-up on so much oily skin, which does not accept any base & how much time can we store a stick?

My question is about oily skin, and another is about storage of stick or base?

If you have oily skin then you will want to use a makeup that dries to a powder or put a translucent powder on after application to set the makeup. There are over the counter foundations specifically for oily skin so try one out. You should not keep any makeup for longer than 6 months and most makeup actually has an expiration on the bottom of the bottle just like some of your food products do. Then again if you are using the makeup daily it will be empty within 6 months anyway. You should also apply the makeup with a sponge that you regularly clean because this will help with any bacteria issues.

Want to hide small yet prominent mark on leg.

I have a whitish complexion, and I am unable to wear shorts due to this white mark on my knee. Tell me the way to choose the right product and the right color to hide this mark, please.

When choosing a body coverup you will want one that does not appear yellow when applied. Also, keep in mind that your skin will darken when exposed to sunlight so you will want a few shades of coverup on hand. There are spray on tints if you are just focusing on the legs but since this is on your knee you will want to be careful to not concentrate too much there as the color will darken almost too much compared to the rest of your leg.

Can I use pancake makeup or Lakmr 9 to 5 matte compact after using Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse?

Can I use pancake makeup or lakmr 9 to 5 matte compact after using Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse? Is it right or wrong?

You could but you will want to wait at least 20 minutes for the Mousse to settle. Perhaps instead consider a translucent primer. The primer helps to set the rest of your make up for better coverage and many have a highlighting undertone for a flawless look.

How can I make my skin clear, with even skin tones?

I have combination skin, darker, then fairer, like Wheaties. My skin is not clear, but totally uneven. What is the right make-up? Even after applying a make-up, it does not show on my face, no shine. Kindly help me?

You will want to start from the beginning of your beauty routine. Use a face wash and moisturizer specifically for combination/uneven skin tones. Aveeno makes an excellent over the counter option within their beauty line for your situation. Then go to a makeup counter in a department store and request they help match a color correcting primer for your skin tone. These primers are tinted from green to lavender but do an amazing job of correcting uneven skin tone. Finally, apply your coverup. Once again choose one for combination skin. Not all foundations are made equal. One formulated for combination skin will apply the right amount of coverage and not slick away with excess oil.

How to keep make up fresh in hot summer and how to appear fair?

I am an Indian person with wheatish complexion. Please suggest me a way to keep the makeup fresh naturally in hot summer?

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