How to Keep Your Makeup from Turning Orange

I have probably had more problems than most people with my makeup turning orange because I tend, for financial reasons, to gravitate towards cheaper brands of cosmetics. However, some of the mistakes I have made – and learned from! – can cause problems whether you’re using top-notch brands or drugstore varieties of makeup.

I am not a makeup artist. I have learned through trial and error. I cannot promise that I will solve all your color problems. But these tips should at least decrease your chance of looking like an Oompa-Loompa.

Lighten Your Shade

Your makeup may be turning orange simply because you are using too dark a shade. If you have already tried adjusting it without any luck, do what I did: take yourself down to the lightest shade available and then adjust from there. Remember that the makeup will usually dry/set a bit darker than it appears in the bottle or compact. If you are using the lightest shade available and it still looks too dark, try switching to another brand that has a wider variety of colors (e.g. Wet n Wild has a wider variety of lighter shades than Covergirl does).

Don’t Layer Too Quickly

Never, never, NEVER layer on one product before the previous one is dry! If you use a primer, wait until it dries completely before applying foundation. Wait until the foundation is dry before you put on concealer. Although it has drastically improved over the years, makeup (particularly liquid makeup) is still “face paint”. You get a blackened mess if you mix too many regular paints, and you get an orange mess if you mix too much and too quickly on your face.

Take breaks between applying each product before moving on to the next. I put on my moisturizing foundation and then I put on my lip gloss before applying the concealer. Likewise, you can start to work on your eye makeup in between layers too. This way it will not slow your routine down horribly, but will give your foundation or primer a chance to dry.

Consider also using a little less foundation and concealer. Makeup can turn orange simply because you’ve put on more than your skin can take.

Blend, Don’t Smear

Many people make the mistake of smearing their makeup on as if they were applying lotion. Both liquid and powder makeup should always be applied with a light dabbing or brushing motion rather than in bold sweeps. If you do the latter, your makeup will more than likely turn orange simply because it has not been blended in properly. Start with just a little bit and then lightly place it on your skin. You can always apply more later if your coverage isn’t good enough. But you could ruin your entire “face” if you put on too much and have to wipe it off.


I primarily use Covergirl Pressed Powder. But I have also used other similar brands as well as minerals and other finishing/setting products. This next tip applies to any powdery makeup.

There is a fine line between using powder to set your makeup and simply putting on something that will settle in your heavily covered areas and create orange spots. As has already been stated, WAIT until your previous layer of makeup is dry before applying another. When applying powder, brush it on very lightly and try not to put too much on top of areas that are heavy with concealer. Also, remember that powder is mostly used to keep your face from getting a shine. Do not use it in place of better products if you really need coverage. Otherwise you will undoubtedly turn orange.


My final tip is something which depends largely on your skin type. I have a tendency to get a little dry, depending on the season of the year. I started noticing that my makeup – particularly the powder – was settling in my dry skin and making me look orange and cracked. I solved this by regularly using a moisturizer. Mine is a foundation, but you can use anything that agrees with your skin.

© 2013 LastRoseofSummer2

Comments 2 comments

SimpleJoys profile image

SimpleJoys 3 years ago

I have a naturally pale complexion. I have learned to apply make up especially when visiting the Doctor because they love to tell me how pale I am. (They would be pale too if they had been up all night coughing up their toes with a sinus infection!) thank you for the tips. I will give it a go!

Insightful Tiger profile image

Insightful Tiger 3 years ago

Great tips in this article! Voted up, thanks.

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