Foundation is the makeup product that cures all. Breaking out that day? Swipe on some foundation. Skin looking extra uneven? Foundation will fix that right up. It’s like the magic eraser we all need in our lives, and with all the different makeup brands out there, there’s a foundation that works for everybody.

But there’s nothing more frustrating than when your foundation doesn’t look right. You’re using the same one you always have, but for some reason, it’s making your skin look cakey and extra dry. While our skin tends to get dehydrated in the winter, often, our face is the first to show it- especially when foundation and dry skin don’t go hand in hand. Avoid those unfortunate days when your foundation doesn’t seem to stick with these simple tips:

Apply to clean skin
Wash and do your skincare routine before putting your foundation on. Makeup applies best to clean skin and will look more natural. Even if you’re placing foundation on later in the day after you’ve done your morning skincare, do a quick refresh with a face wash and moisturize, so you guarantee your makeup with apply smoothly.

In the harsh winter months, exfoliating will be your best friend. That is as long as you don’t over-exfoliate. Use a gentle exfoliator a few times a week to scrub away dry skin and leave your face looking and feeling extra smooth. You can use an exfoliating face wash, toner, or mask- just whatever you choose, make sure it contains gentle ingredients, so it doesn’t damage your skin.

Moisturize- a lot
Keeping your skin moisturized is the key to avoiding dry and flaky skin. Especially in the colder months, you want to choose a moisturizer that’s thick and super hydrating. Apply on a thick layer before putting on a foundation to ensure you’re smoothing away any of those pesky dry spots.

Apply a primer
Applying a primer underneath your foundation is an absolute necessity. Not only does primer help your makeup stay longer, but it can also help smooth the texture of your skin and reduce uneven skin tones. It also guarantees a smoother application of foundation, making your makeup look natural and glowy.

Pick a good foundation
You might want to wear a different foundation in the winter than you wear in the summer. Mattifying foundations might work better in the summer, while a more hydrating and glowy foundation will help in the winter. Choose one that works for your skin tone and the type and let the makeup work its magic!