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I miss the good old days when I was younger and the only problem I had with makeup foundation was that I couldn’t afford one. Then I grew up and started stashing all kinds of foundations but I couldn’t wear one. Because whenever I tried wearing foundation, it would settle into my smile lines and crease, basically making my face look unnatural and cakey. If this sounds familiar, listen to me carefully. It’s not you, so stop blaming yourself for laughing comfortably and having those laugh lines. Small tweaks in the way you apply your foundation and getting a little help from a few makeup products can help you achieve a smooth base. Keep reading to learn how to stop your foundation from creasing in smile lines.
Smile lines or laugh lines are the creases that start from the sides of the nose and extend toward the sides of your mouth. These lines are also called nasolabial folds. When you apply your foundation, it usually settles into these lines and ends up making those creases more noticeable and giving you an uneven skin texture.
Smile lines are unavoidable. We just make facial expressions throughout the day. So even if you don’t have deep-set smile lines due to age, your foundation can still crease and look cracked simply because of the fact that you talk and move your mouth.
So below are the best ways to stop your foundation from creasing in smile lines and settling into wrinkles.
1. Start with a Good Skin Care
As a rule of thumb, the better you prep your skin with skincare, the better your makeup looks. For that reason, make sure you properly cleanse your face and do your skincare routine.
If you don’t exfoliate, incorporate an exfoliating toner into your routine, which actually can help you soften the appearance of smile lines.
A good moisturizer goes a long way because hydrated skin holds makeup better. So hydrate and moisturize your skin with a moisturizer suitable for your skin type.
If you skip your skincare routine, know that your foundation can look flaky, and cakey no matter how good it is.
2. Use a Blurring Primer to Fill in Smile Lines
There are different types of makeup primers to help your foundation. Some help control oil and others make your foundation look luminous.
But the best primers for smoothing out smile lines are blurring primers, which are usually silicone-based primers. These primers work like wrinkle fillers and kind of fill in those skin creases to give you a smoother base.
By using a blurring makeup primer, you can prevent your foundation from settling into smile lines and creasing to a great extent. Just get a small amount and apply the primer only on the areas that tend to crease.
If you’ve never used one before, I can swear by Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch. It’s super light but at the same time, perfectly smooths any creases and folds.
3. Use a Lightweight Foundation
Your choice of foundation is incredibly important. It can do what it’s supposed to do if you pick the right texture. On the flip side, it can magnify what you’re trying to hide with it.
And if you don’t want your foundation creasing in your smile lines and making them more noticeable, avoid heavy, thick foundations.
Go for very liquidy, lightweight foundations. These types of foundations may not always be full coverage. But they look very natural and they’re more flexible. And because they’re very runny and liquidy, they usually don’t settle into smile lines.
Also, avoid foundations that are waterproof and transfer-proof. They have their own place but they tend to dry down and settle fast. Because of that, it’s difficult to fix something after you apply them.
I love Estee Lauder Double Wear Sheer Long-Wear Foundation for covering up smile lines. As you can see below, it’s very runny. So it’s easier to apply, especially if you have mature skin. Because of its thin consistency, it doesn’t crease in my smile lines.
If you want to learn more about different formulas, read our guide on silicone-based vs. water-based foundations and how to choose one.
4. Go For Dewy Finish Foundations
This is something people usually overlook but the finish of your foundation can in fact affect the visibility of wrinkles and fine lines. So it’s not just about looking grease-free or dewy or matte or natural.
Dewy finish foundations reflect light and give you a radiant base. Because of that, your overall complexion looks more natural.
They draw attention to the high points of the face such as the cheeks, the tip of the nose, and the chin. There are no creases in these areas!
Matte foundations, on the other hand, can give you a completely flat base and draw attention to every single imperfection.
So when choosing a foundation, be more open-minded and don’t just focus on matte foundations. If you have oily skin and dewy foundations don’t work for you, try a natural finish foundation.
5. Apply Very Little Foundation on Smile Lines
Another way to avoid foundation creasing in smile lines is to apply less foundation on problem areas. The more product you put on there, the easier for it to crease. You don’t need to apply foundation all over your face.
Just focus on the mid-face, such as your cheeks, the nose, the center of the forehead, and the chin. Then blend your foundation evenly. You’ll see that your face looks seamless.
6. Try Foundation Alternatives
If nothing else works, and your foundation still creases in your smile lines, know that you have other options. Personally, I’ve been enjoying CC creams, tinted moisturizers, and BB creams.
These types of products are easier to apply. They give you an even skin tone but don’t bear the unpleasant side effects of a foundation like a cakey-looking face.
If you can let go of your foundation I can confidently say that Erborian’s products are the best foundation alternatives you can use for smile lines. CC Dull Correct is a color-correcting multi-purpose product. It’s purple but once you apply it, it adapts to your skin tone. And it gives you a very healthy-looking, fresh base with minimally visible lines.
7. Apply Setting Powder
If you want to be able to apply as much foundation as you like but don’t want to deal with foundation creases in smile lines, then try the baking method by using a makeup setting powder.
A setting powder is for setting your makeup in place and giving your skin a flawless look. And baking is applying a setting powder on areas that tend to crease, such as smile lines and under-eye wrinkles.
And baking is one of the most effective ways to prevent your foundation from creasing in smile lines. Here’s how to do it.
After you apply your foundation, use your sponge or brush and get a little bit of powder and apply it on your smile lines. Tap and press the powder into smile lines. Use little amount or it can look heavy later on.
Let it ‘bake’ for a few minutes and then dust the powder off with a brush. You’ll see that your skin is smooth and looks airbrushed.
The trick with baking is to apply the powder immediately after you apply your foundation. Also, go for loose powders as opposed to compact ones. Loose setting powders that are finely milled work better for baking.
I love Fenty’s Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Setting Powder. Mine is mini, so it’s more budget-friendly. It’s very fine so it doesn’t make my face look heavy. I only use it to stop creasing. But it’s actually helpful in summer when makeup tends to get greasy.
8. Set Your Makeup with a Setting Spray
A setting spray sets your makeup in place so that your foundation doesn’t move or crease later on. You can take advantage of makeup setting sprays to prevent your makeup from creasing.
You just apply it after you’re done with your makeup. But another advantage of a setting spray is that it also refreshes your makeup.
So a few hours after you do your makeup, you can use your setting spray to revive your complexion and fix any foundation mistakes.
For example, let’s say you started to see some creasing later in the day. Use your spray to kind of dampen your skin. Then use a clean brush or a sponge to buff away the excess foundation that has settled into smile lines.
This way, you can reset your makeup and fix those creases without removing any makeup.
So, these are the easiest ways you can prevent your foundation from creasing in smile lines. Again, always start with a fresh, clean base and follow a proper skincare routine. And remember to go for lightweight foundations which are more forgiving on texture irregularities. And lastly, make use of helpful makeup products like primers and setting powders to prevent creasing.
If you are unhappy about nasolabial folds, here’s our complete guide to getting rid of smile lines.