6 Creative Ways to Save Your Look If Your Makeup Looks Orange

It’s happened to the best of us and the most skilled makeup gurus alike. You spend hours in front of the mirror contouring, highlighting, and perfecting your look. You strut your stuff with confidence. But then, you catch a glimpse of yourself in a mirror at work and realize your foundation has turned an awful shade of orange. Yikes! If you’ve fallen victim to orange foundation, I feel for you. Not to worry though, we’ll explain a couple of reasons why your makeup looks orange, and what you can do to save your look!

Girl holding an orange slice over her eye looking into the camera.

Why Your Makeup Looks Orange

I know it can be utterly shocking when what you thought was a flawless look ends up entering orange territory. And not a sun-kissed just returned from vacation orange either. Foundation suddenly turning orange is often caused by a reaction between the products on your skin, and the chemicals in the foundation. Otherwise, known as oxidation. A frustrating chemical reaction.

To minimize the chances of oxidation, opt for water-based skincare products over oil-based. They run less of a risk of having your foundation change colors on you. Additionally, prepping your skin with a primer creates a nice base layer for your foundation to bind to. It adds a layer between your foundation and your skin, meaning the foundation won’t react with your skin’s natural oils.

On the other hand, orange foundation can also mean you’ve simply chosen the wrong shade, or a shade that doesn’t work for your undertone. (I’m blaming you online shopping!) If you have cool undertones, using a foundation with a warm tone (peach to yellow) can cause your makeup to look orange.

How to Save Your Look if Your Makeup Looks Orange

Alarm bells are ringing. You’ve applied a full face of makeup accompanied by the perfect winged liner and you don’t have time to remove your makeup! Take a deep breath. There are a few things you can do if your makeup looks orange to turn it into a beautifully bronzed glow.

Use Blotting Paper

The first step in fixing your foundation-gone-wrong is to use blotting papers to take away some excess foundation and oil from your skin. Don’t stress if you don’t have blotting paper handy, you can use a paper towel to blot away any excess foundation or oil. This is an important first step in saving your look and will help down the line to getting your makeup looking flawless again.

Spritz With a Face Mist

Misting your face feels incredibly relaxing and rejuvenating, and it’s beneficial too! Yay! Next, use a face mist to activate the foundation on your skin, so it’s more manageable to work with. This will help prep the skin making your foundation easy to fine tune into your perfect match. (FYI, face mists are amazing to keep handy in your bag or on your desk at work for whenever you need to refresh.)

Tap Away With a Damp Beauty Blender

The sacred beauty blender always comes to save the day! Using a damp beauty blender will help remove some excess foundation, and help your makeup appear more natural. Wet the beauty blender and squeeze out any excess water. You want it to be damp, not wet. Now comes the fun part! Gently tap the beauty blender all over your face, watching the foundation get a little less orange right before your eyes.

Complete Guide to Makeup Brushes title card, with a woman holding a fan brush

Are you using the right makeup brush for each step of your beauty routine? Check out A Big Sister’s Complete Guide to Makeup Brushes to find out!

Add Concealer

One of the best solutions for orange-looking foundation is to add a light shade of concealer to the mix and blend your heart out! Chances are, the concealer you normally use under your eyes is a lighter shade. A lighter shade of concealer will work wonders at blending with your foundation to create a custom color that suits your skin. Apply concealer under your eyes, down the center of your nose, and the middle of your forehead. And let’s not forget – across your jawline! This will help the foundation blend with your neck, so you don’t look like you had a mishap in the tanning salon!


Similar to concealer, highlighter will help lighten the foundation, allowing it to appear more natural. It will also give you a radiant finish and a just returned from the beach glow. Apply highlighter in the same areas you applied concealer as well as a little on your cheek bones to enhance your beautiful features. Not only will highlighter allow your complexion to *radiate* but it also helps set the concealer keeping it in place all night long.

Finish With a Translucent Setting Powder

Applying a translucent setting powder or finishing powder is a surefire way to fix a foundation that just doesn’t look right. It also sets in place all the wonderful work you’ve done to correct your foundation. Use a powder brush or your trusty beauty blender and apply the setting powder all over your face. Since setting powders are usually lighter than your foundation, it will help your makeup to appear less orange and more luminous!

Makeup is time-consuming and there’s nothing worse than realizing your work of art doesn’t look quite how you though it did. If you fall victim to foundation oxidation, or your makeup looks orange, try out these tips before you cancel your Friday night festivities. You might even end up looking like a bronzed goddess after your tweaks are done! If you realize that you did in fact purchase the wrong foundation shade, don’t discard it just yet. Channel your inner cosmetologist and add a few drops of a lighter foundation, or even a moisturizer to it to lighten it up!

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