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Imagine this: You’ve applied an evening makeup look, but once you take a selfie, you’re met with makeup flashback. How are you supposed to fix it? Should you buff the product off your face with a tissue? Wait a minute, let’s take a breather. First things first, flashback can happen to the best of us—so don’t be too hard on yourself. Makeup flashback is actually one of the most common beauty concerns, especially when using a new makeup product. Of course, that doesn’t mean you need to avoid flash photography forever—there are ways to prevent and fix flashback. Below, we’re sharing what makeup flashback is, why it happens, and beauty tips for avoiding makeup flashback so you can preserve your chic makeup look. Let’s dive into it!
Makeup flashback refers to the white cast that can appear on your skin in photos after using certain products. While your makeup may look flawless when you’re checking yourself out in the mirror, the intense light from flash photography deflects off the skin and into the camera lens, causing a whitish glow. Yeah, it’s just as embarrassing as it sounds. After all, who wants to look like a ghost?
The culprit responsible for makeup flashback is typically specific SPF ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium oxide, which may be found in your concealer or foundation. If you spot someone with under-eyes that look mysteriously white in photos, chances are their concealer contains one of those ingredients.
While SPF is undeniably a skin care essential for sun protection, the same properties that allow your sunscreen to reflect UV rays can also cause it to reflect the camera flash. Silica, which is a main ingredient in many face powders, can cause the same dreaded white glow to appear.
Ready to take selfies with confidence—without having to worry about that annoying white glow? Keep reading for our best tips on avoiding makeup flashback.
As you’ve surely heard time and time again, SPF is a product that you should wear every day to protect your skin from the sun. But, you don’t need to wear SPF all the time. If you’re switching up your look at night, you can skip wearing products with sunscreen in their formulas—you won’t need it once the sun has set. For a full coverage foundation that won’t cause a white cast, try the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Total Cover Foundation.
One of the easiest ways to leave yourself vulnerable to that annoying white cast is by using a concealer that doesn’t match your skin tone. It’s also smart to avoid formulas that are too light or thick to keep the cakey, powdery finish at bay. We recommend finding your shade of the L’Oréal Paris True Match Concealer for a natural finish.
While you may love an illuminating highlight that makes you glow like a disco ball, highlighters can play a part in makeup flashback, too. Instead of opting for frosty hues, play it safe with a highlighter that’s on the subtle side. Trust us, your selfies will thank you.
Matte foundations can be great for avoiding flashback, especially since you can typically forgo face powder if you’re wearing a long-lasting, mattifying formula. Try the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation.
Of course, no one is saying you need to skip face powder altogether. If you love completing your look with a little powder, you can still do that. Simply choose light-diffusing formulas to avoid makeup flashback. The L’Oréal Paris Hydra Perfecte Powder is a great option since it’s formulated without silica, plus it works to minimize the appearance of your pores and enhance your skin’s texture for the ultimate au naturel look!
Okay, now, what if you’ve made a mistake in your makeup routine and you’re experiencing flashback? It may be too late to prevent the white cast completely, but there are few steps you can take to save your makeup look.
If powder is the problem, you may still be able to dust some of that product off. Remove it in any areas you’re having issues, and you should see an immediate improvement. You can also use blotting sheets to try and lift away some of the problematic makeup without scrapping your full look.
Hopefully, you can get your hands on a makeup sponge! If you can—we recommend always having one in your makeup bag—use the sponge to blend out the areas where you see a white cast. This will work best with a damp sponge and a bit of patience to gradually blend.
With the help of a different powder—one that doesn’t contain silica or SPF—you can go over your makeup and hopefully mask any products that are causing issues. This step will also be key in case you disrupted your makeup during steps one and two, allowing you to touch-up with ease.
Next up: Looking to address another major makeup issue? Check out our article on How to Fix Cakey Makeup.
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