Home Skincare Mixing Foundation With Moisturizer (What To Know)

Mixing Foundation With Moisturizer (What To Know)

by Gabbi

Finding the right foundation shade is hard enough. We’ve spent $100s over our lifetimes buying different foundations only to find that the color doesn’t match, the texture is too cakey, or that it oxidizes on your face into a dreaded orange shade. 

The worst part about it is that many retailers won’t let you return the foundation once it’s been used. So you can get stuck with a pricey product that just isn’t a good fit. 

But what if we told you there’s a beauty hack that can fix the shade, coverage, and texture of your foundation without you having to throw it out? We’re talking about moisturizer, of course.

What does mixing foundation with moisturizer do? We’re so glad you asked. It can do a lot – from giving you a more dewy look to correcting the tone of your foundation, and everything in between. When mixed in the right proportions, moisturizer can be a very effective tool for enhancing and improving the look of your foundation.

So, don’t throw away those liquid foundations yet – you might be able to use them still. In this post, we will go over everything you need to know about mixing your foundation with moisturizer to achieve different effects on your skin.

Why Mix Foundation With Moisturizer?

We touched on this a bit, but let’s get into the details of why you might want to mix your foundation with moisturizer. There are a few ways that moisturizer can enhance your foundation:

Add Hydration

The most obvious reason is that moisturizer (we love this moisturizing cream from CeraVe that melts right into your skin) can add hydration to your foundation, making it more moisturizing for your skin.

This is especially important for those of you who have dry skin. Some foundations work fine on dry skin, but many can make your skin even drier.

If you got a new foundation and you are noticing that it makes your skin more flaky and textured, it is likely that it’s drying out your skin.

Some ingredients in a foundation can be quite drying, such as fragrances, parabens, and alcohol. Unfortunately, most foundations contain one or all of those. 

If you are worried about your foundation making your skin drier, adding a little bit of moisturizer can really help! However, you can also find hydrating foundations (like this one from Neutrogena).

If you’re happy with the shade and tone of your foundation, make sure to only add a little bit of moisturizer – about a pea-size amount to each pump – so that you get the hydrating benefits without affecting the color.

To Make Your Complexion Dewier

Matte skin looks are out, and natural, dewy complexions are in! 

If your foundation makes your skin look flat and dimensionless, an easy hack you can use is to add a little bit of moisturizer to the mix to achieve just a little bit of healthy shine.

For best results, incorporate one part moisturizer to two parts of foundation to achieve the prettiest dewy look. 

The best part about this method is that you can customize it to your skin type. If you have naturally oily and acne-prone skin, simply use an oil-free non-comedogenic moisturizer. If your skin is naturally dry, you can use a moisturizer that contains hyaluronic acid or other hydrating ingredients.

Regardless of what type of moisturizer you opt for, the results will be glowing. 

The only thing to keep in mind when you do this is that your foundation will have slightly less coverage than before, but that’s perfect for that “natural” look you’re going for.

To Lighten The Foundation Color 

If you bought your foundation in the summer when you had a gorgeous tan but now wearing it in the winter you’re noticing that the color is too dark, don’t fret – adding moisturizer can lighten the tone of your foundation!

This also works on foundations that seem to be the right color at first but tend to oxidize while you wear them, adopting a freaky orange tint.

Simply mix in a few pea-sized dollops of moisturizer to the amount of foundation you’d normally use, and mix them up with your palms, allowing the mixture to warm up a tad before you apply it to your face.

This can lighten your foundation by a shade or two. You may have to experiment with the moisturizer amount to achieve the perfect color. 

This is especially effective if your skin gets lighter during the winter months – you can continue using the same foundation you use in the summer, with the added bonus of moisture for the colder months.

To Get Lighter Coverage

Sometimes you just want your foundation to have lighter coverage. For example, when you’re heading to a fun day outdoors or just running some errands, wearing a full face of makeup can seem excessive.

We love this hack to achieve a “tinted moisturizer” look – just use two parts moisturizer to one part foundation.

You’ll end up with light coverage, tons of hydration, and a dewy complexion. The amount of foundation in this formula is enough to cover some minor blemishes and to even out your skin tone, without making you look overdone or unnatural.

If you use a moisturizer with SPF, it’s even better. You end up with a 3-in-1 product that protects you from the sun’s UV rays, provides hydration, and evens out your skin tone. 

How To Mix Foundation With Moisturizer

When it comes to mixing your foundation with a moisturizer, there are a few different ways you could go about it.

Mix In Your Hands

Mixing the two products right in the palm of your hand is one of the best ways to do it. Right before you are ready to apply the products to your face, pump them both onto your palm in whatever proportion you want, and gently rub them between your palms.

The heat and friction from your hands allow for the best mixing of ingredients – resulting in a smooth and natural-looking finish. 

Use A Makeup Blender

If you are someone who likes using a makeup sponge or applicator brush to apply your foundation, you can still do that after you have mixed the two products in your hands.

Now that they’re well mixed and blended together in the palm of your hand, you can dip your makeup applicator into the mixture and apply as usual.

You may need to use more product than you normally use because there is more surface area on your hands, and some of the product might get “lost” there. But since you’re already mixing your foundation with a moisturizer, you probably won’t be using that much more of it in the end.

Use Your Fingers

If you’re not too keen on using a foundation brush or a Beauty Blender, no worries! With moisturizer added to your foundation, it’s even easier to spread it on your face without needing a special applicator.

The moisturizer tends to make the foundation softer and more malleable. The heat from your fingers also makes it easier to blend on your face.

Another benefit of using your fingers is that you won’t waste any product. You can easily transfer everything that’s on your hands onto your face by gently applying it with your fingers.

Use The Right Proportions 

We already discussed what proportions you should use when mixing your foundation with a moisturizer, but here’s a quick summary:

  • To add hydration to your foundation, add a pea-sized amount of moisturizer to the regular amount of foundation you use on your face.
  • To make your complexion dewier, mix one-part moisturizer with two parts of the foundation.
  • To lighten your foundation color, experiment with adding a few pea-size dollops of moisturizer to your foundation. Your individual needs may vary depending on how dark your foundation tone is to start.
  • To get lighter coverage, or the “tinted moisturizer” effect, mix two parts of moisturizer with one-part foundation.

Of course, your individual needs may be different. If your foundation contains hydrating ingredients, to begin with, you may not need to add as much moisturizer. 

The best advice we can give you is to rely on trial and error. You can always build coverage if you mix too much moisturizer into your foundation by adding another layer of foundation on top with less moisturizer.

Try it out a few times and keep a record of what works. You can refer to it next time, and eventually, you’ll have this down to a science!

For a visual tutorial, take a look at this video from Melissa Van Dijk on YouTube.

Things To Consider When Mixing Foundation With Moisturizer

Moisturize First

Don’t forget to use your moisturizer on its own before applying any makeup. Even though you’re mixing some moisturizer into your foundation, you should still be using it as part of your morning skincare routine, just like before.

You likely won’t have to change anything about the way you moisturize, even though you’ll be adding the product to your makeup routine later.

Consider Ingredients

Before you begin mixing, take a look at the ingredients list for your foundation and moisturizer. Make sure that there are no conflicting ingredients that can cause separation and streaking when mixed together.

For example, if you have a silicone-based foundation, you don’t want to mix it with a water-based moisturizer.

Other conflicting ingredients include oil and water or silicones and oil.

To figure out what base your foundation has, pay attention to the first few ingredients in the list on the back of your product. Ingredients listed in the beginning of the ingredient list make up the base of the product.

Once you are sure your moisturizer and foundation can be mixed without any ill effects, it’s time to start mixing!


Another thing you should keep in mind is the amount of coverage you’ll get from your foundation when it’s mixed with moisturizer.

A good rule of thumb is the more moisturizer you add, the lighter the coverage will be. 

Light coverage is still buildable, so if you feel like you don’t have enough pigment to even out your skin tone, you can always build it up. 

If, on the other hand, you are looking for less coverage and a more natural finish, simply add more moisturizer to your foundation to “thin” it out.

Can You Mix Powder Foundation With Moisturizer?

An important factor to consider is what type of foundation you are using. When writing this article, we focused primarily on liquid foundations because liquid mixes well with most moisturizers.

But what if you have a foundation that isn’t liquid? Powder foundations are common, and cream or mousse foundations are also pretty popular. Can they be mixed with a moisturizer?

That depends on what your foundation is made of. 

Powder foundations can be made of mineral powders such as talc, kaolin, titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide, and non-mineral pressed powders that contain ingredients like silicone, wax, oil, and dye. 

Mineral powder foundation tends to mix very well with a moisturizer, and there are many recipes that can show you how to achieve the right amount of coverage and texture.

Regular non-mineral powders, however, tend to interact poorly with the ingredients in moisturizers. They are more likely to end up in a clumpy mess and leave streaks on your face, so we wouldn’t recommend mixing them with a moisturizer.

As far as cream foundations and mousse foundations go – most of them are safe to mix with a moisturizer, but you might have to experiment with the proportions. Cream and mousse foundations are more pigmented than liquid foundations, so a little bit will go a long way.

Is It A Good Idea To Mix Foundation With Moisturizer?

Mixing foundation with a moisturizer is a good idea if you feel like you need it. It gives you more control over how your foundation looks at different points in your life.

If it’s dry and cold out, add moisturizer to keep your foundation from drying you out. If the color is slightly off, add moisturizer to correct it. If you want a more glowy complexion, you guessed it, add moisturizer!

You get the picture. Depending on the day and on your skin, you can utilize the power of moisturizer to alter your foundation as needed.

It can also save you money. Mixing foundation with a moisturizer eliminates the need for you to get multiple separate products like a tinted moisturizer or BB and CC creams. A good moisturizer mixed in with your foundation has the same exact effect as those other products. 

Not to mention the money you’re saving by not tossing out every foundation you buy because of a slight tone mismatch or texture issues.

All in all, it’s perfectly safe to mix your foundation with a moisturizer. 

The only downside is that it might take you a few tries to get the proportions right, but once you figure them out – it’s smooth sailing from there.

Final Thoughts

Using a moisturizer in your skincare routine is paramount and you should be doing it daily. But even if you’re moisturizing religiously, adding a little more moisturizer into your foundation won’t hurt. 

Beauty gurus have been mixing moisturizer into their foundations for years because of the versatility and control that it gives them, allowing them to achieve the right texture and complexion. 

Trust us, your skin will thank you for the added hydration. You’ll notice your complexion start glowing and your makeup blending better than ever before. 

We hope you find this article helpful as you experiment with this awesome beauty hack. Use our recommended foundation to moisturizer proportions as a guide, but don’t be afraid to experiment to find your perfect coverage recipe through trial and error. 

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