Experiment: What Don’t Mix — Layering and Mixing Skin Care and Makeup

Warning: Long Post

I learned a little trick that kept my skin from looking like a molten mess of makeup and skin care products. Before giving out the info, here’s a story:

Months ago, I got the water-based Celeteque Moisturizer.

If you read many of my past entries, you would know how much I like Jason Ester-C Facial Lotion. I like it so much that I didn’t know how and when I would use Celeteque.

Pammy of J’Adore Rougit suggested that I mix it with a tinted moisturizer or a cream foundie that’s too thick for me. The idea was genius and I did try mixing it with Lush’s Colour Supplement.

See the photo:

Did you notice the marbling? It took a while before I was able to make a homogenous mix of equal parts of the two.

From being marbled it became streaky. Eventually, they mixed, but when I worked it into my skin it became white-ish and balled up.

Then it occured to me: water and oil DON’T mix.

Celeteque is water-based and Lush is oil-based. It should’ve been no surprise that the 2 didn’t mix. Anyway, after this eureka moment, I worked on a couple of experiments mixing products together for several weeks. Read the ff: if you have time. Otherwise, skip towards the end and look for: Theories, Realizations and Things I Learned.

Experiment 1: Celeteque and Myra E Tinted Moisturizer

Celeteque: water-based
Myra E: mostly water with a little silicone

Details and Result: When mixed — they meshed and applied pretty easily. On top of each other — they blended well with each other.

Since both products are water-based, it lasted on my face a good 3 hours. It will probably last even less if I wasn’t in an air-conditioned room. Raise your hand if you’re also sweaty and oily.

Experiment 2: Celeteque and Jazzy Cream Compact Foundation

Celeteque: water-based
Jazzy: combination of oil and wax

Details and Result: When mixed — it took time and effort. Over time, it balled up like it did with Celeteque and Lush. On top of each other — First try, I didn’t wait until Celeteque soaked in. It balled up and didn’t make an even canvass. Second try, I waited for Celeteque to soak in. It didn’t ball up and turned out ok-ish. But it’s way better when I used Jazzy without any moisturizer underneath (water-based or otherwise).

Experiment 3: Clinique Turnaround Concentrate Serum and Shiseido Sun Protection Stick

Clinique: water and a lot of silicone: probably has something to emulsify them
Shiseido: comibination of wax and silicone and some occlusive polymer

Details and Result: On top of each other — they apply beautifully to an almost poreless look. After around 2 hours, I began to oil up (but not to oil mine extent). Towards the end of the day, I looked somehow oily but I didn’t look like molten lava. Note: These doesn’t usually happen when I apply Shiseido alone. Thanks Argie for sending me a sample of Clinique Turnaround Concentrate.

Experiment 4: Leyende Place in The Sun and Lush Colour Supplement

Leyende: water-based with some oil emulsification
Lush: Oil-based

Details and Result:Β  When mixed — it mixed pretty easily but the mixture became whitish and opaque. Perfect for a geisha look. On top of each other — I waited for Leyende to get absorbed and worked Lush Supplement afterwards. Same thing happened: hello geisha look.

Experiment 5: Jason Ester-C Lotion and Jazzy Cream Compact / Experiment 6: Jason Ester-C Lotion and Shiseido Sun Protection Stick Foundation

Jason: Emulsion of water and oil (texture: creamy and a tad greasy)
Jazzy: combination of oil and wax
Shiseido: comibination of wax and silicone and some occlusive polymer

Details and Result: (Both experiments had the same result so I placed them together) On top of each other — they blended well but I ended up really really oily by the 2nd hour. Who knows how I’d look like by end-of-day. I washed it before I knew the answer.

Theories, Realizations, and Things I Learned:

— It is best that I layer products with the same base e.g., water-based to water-based, silicone-based to silicone-based.Based on my research, different bases will mix well and then separate over time. Like silicone and water: If you mix them together in a glass and let it stand for some time, the 2 will separate.This is probably one of the reasons why our makeup doesn’t last for the whole day and we end up looking lusaw and nahulasan ng makeup. It’s probably not even the fault of our foundation or primer. Maybe it’s because we mix incompatible ingredients together and as the day goes by, they repel each other and separate.

— What about products that are formulated with oil and water mixed together, or silicone and water mixed together? I think they are probably formulated with enough emulsifiers to mix well. But the emulsifier might not be enough to help to combine another product to layer on top of it for it to mix together. Case in point: Experiment 4.

— The “same base theory” might not work for oil-based products if you’re oily. Layering oil-based or wax-based products on top of each other is too heavy. This is common sense, but I didn’t see it, shame on me πŸ˜›

— Cream and stick foundation seems to be best applied on its own, at least for me that seems to be the case. I find it much more long lasting when I apply creams or sticks right after I towel dry my face without primer or any type of moisturizer underneath. The wax, oils, and emollients in these types of foundations seem to be enough to hydrate my oily skin.

If the “same base theory” is true, how come primers that are mostly silicone-based work well with foundations that have a different base? My theory is, these primers are probably formulated with the anticipation that a different type of base makeup will be applied on top of it. Hence, it probably has emulsifiers that can help mesh other products on top of it.Β This reminded me of shu uemura’s makeup remover. It was formulated with enough emulsifiers anticipating that it will be washed off with water.

— If you’re going to layer products that doesn’t have the same base, the best way to go is lighter-based first and heavier-based product after. For example: water-based moisturizer first, let it sink, and apply oil or wax-based foundation after. An oil-based moisturizer and water-based foundation combo might  not work.

— I realized that makeup is not just art, it’s also sciencemostly chemistry and geometry.

— I learned that I shouldn’t be quick to judge a product’s quality and performance. Its failures could’ve probably been caused by me.


I hope this beauty experiment helped in some way.

I’m not too sure how this theory applies to using both dry and wet makeup together. I don’t have much experience on that so here’s an entry by Liz of Project Vanity on how to apply wet and dry products against each other.

If you are a makeup artist or a cosmetic chemist or an expert or a beauty junkie who’s had a lot of experience on makeup and skincare, feel free to comment below and share what you think.



  1. Great post. Very informative and helpful! I also realized this a while ago when I was using a few types of different skin care and foundations. I like to premix the stuff on the back of my hand first and I noticed some separation with different combos. Pretty much came to the same conclusions.


  2. I definitely agree that make-up is also science.. πŸ™‚ I haven't personally tried mixing foundations and moisturizers though 'cause I'm a medium to full coverage kind of girl. But maybe when my blemishes and pimple marks heal completely, I'll try and make my own tinted moisturizer too πŸ™‚


  3. Thank you for the very nice words, for adding me in your blog roll, and pinning this post on Pinterest. You're too kind. πŸ™‚


  4. Hi! I discovered your blog last night while searching for ways to get rid of pimples. Btw, I added you on my blog roll and I've bookmarked this blog as well for good measure. :)Anyway, I love this post! l love layering products, and often wonder why some combo work and some don't. Now I know why. πŸ™‚ It makes a lot of sense.Β I'll pin this on Pinterest.Β 


  5. Wow, that was quite a comprehensive list! Β I used to do that, too, mix my foundation or bb cream with tinted moisturizer when I feel like I can't blend the foundation on its own. Β I sometimes also use waterbased moisturizer like Celeteque to help spread cheek tint! Great post! Β Very informative. πŸ™‚


  6. Wow, that was very informative. Next time I buy a new sunblock I'll need to take a good look at which make ups it might work… I'm trying to incorporate putting in sunblock in my make up routine, although it really is just another layer added to several other layers… oh well, maybe i need to experiment on that as well. πŸ™‚


  7. Wow! This is such an informative beauty post sis! πŸ˜€ I've never tried using water-based tinted moisturizers yet. I'm not big on tinted moisturizers too anyway since I haven't found one that doesn't make my face flaky. I haven't done a lot of mixing with my beauty products, except for adding a little Nivea creme on my Revlon ColorStay foundation.. πŸ˜€


  8. I've got a new anti-oxidant serum I'm currently testing and it's got a very strong orange tint (and it does stay on the skin for a while). This new serum is oil-based. I tried mixing it with another serum that's water-based and I ended up with tangerine maps all over my face. :|Btw, my Mom loves Wayne Goss. His videos are currently her online makeup bible.Β 


  9. This entry is very helpful and well-written. Very informative too. I still mix every once in a while but I've never gotten around to your discoveries on which ones to mix and which ones to avoid mixing together. πŸ™‚


  10. your entries are always so well thought of and written rae. πŸ™‚ i sometimes mix my sunblock with my foundation but i usually just layer products.


  11. I'm all for buying sets too. It's very probable that they were created to work with each other, sometimes it's not just because of marketing.


  12. Great experiment!!!!! I really believe like things go together, especially in moisturizers and foundations. It's fun to try things and learn on your own πŸ™‚ You save a lot of money that way instead of buying makeup sets that are catered to be used together.


  13. Super informative. I'm just using bb cream and parang yun lang yung liquid form ko na makeup> my moisturizer is gel based. So i'll look up sa stash ko kung meron ako pede i mix-mix. hehehe


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