The Best Pancake Makeup

Getting the pancake foundation right is the first step to achieving a flawless look.

Photo: Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images

Sometimes occasions are just so huge that you want to look absolutely flawless. The term “pancake makeup” has some negative connotations, but it can actually be just what you need in certain situations. Sometimes less isn’t always more, and some women want a cover-up that really does its job. Pancake makeup looks great -- really! --and covers up just about all you need hidden. Although women are beautiful au naturel, sometimes getting glammed up a bit adds that extra oomph to your confidence level.

Ben Nye

So it’s about a billion degrees outside and you’re trying your best not to let your face melt. Here is where Ben Nye makeup steps in. California makeup artist, trainer and all-around beauty expert Donna Mee said she loves Ben Nye makeup. She said the makeup gives great coverage and doesn’t look as heavy as typical pancake makeup often does. She said that it can even work on sensitive skin. “Oily-skin women love it because it stays shine-free for many hours,” said Mee. The professionals at Cirque du Soleil also use this brand because of its extreme wearability and water-resistant capabilities.

Cinema Secrets, Joe Blasco and Jane Iredale

Debra Davenport of Identity IQ, Inc. in Scottsdale, Arizona, loves the pancake makeup by Cinema Secrets and Joe Blasco. She said that both products use high amounts of pigmentation that provide exceptional coverage. “Their creamy texture makes them very easy to work with, even for the less experienced,” said Davenport. She also said that one small pan of these makeups will last a long time. Davenport also said she loves Jane Iredale products. She said that because the Iredale line is mineral-based, the products contain a natural sunscreen, which is always a plus. She added that the Iredale cover-up is great for women who prefer a less opaque/full cover look.

Graftobian by Professional HD Makeup

Sometimes pancake makeup can just be too heavy for the skin and start looking like a mask. New York City makeup artist Angelique Velez recommended Graftobian by Professional HD Makeup. She said she likes it because you don’t have to apply the foundation as is. “You can sheer it out with your own moisturizer,” Velez said. She said that if by chance you do need heavy coverage, you can use it on its own. She said it is even heavy enough to cover a tattoo.

How to Apply Pancake Makeup

First-time pancake-ers beware, there are important rules for applying this kind of foundation. Mee, the California makeup artist, said that one of the secrets to applying pancake makeup is doing it with a high-quality sponge. Also, you’ve got to work quickly and make sure the sponge is damp. Mee said that a moist sponge applies color, but it can also wipe off the areas already applied, so you shouldn’t take your time. She also said that you must blend the makeup before the water evaporates because once that happens, you have a matte finish and can no longer blend edges or make it more sheer.

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Donna Mee; Makeup Artist; Costa Mesa, California Debra Davenport; Identity IQ, Inc.; Scottsdale, Arizona/Beverly Hills, California Angelique Velez; Makeup Artist; New York City, New York

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