how to get foundation to stick to your nose

If your foundation melts off of your nose throughout the day, you might want to follow these tips. Having combination skin myself, this is an issue I’ve struggled with, and I know I’m not the only one! I’ve found a few simple tricks that really work to make foundation to stick to your nose — or any oily areas, be it your forehead or chin — all day long.

1. Use a primer

If you want your makeup to last longer, applying a primer under your foundation is a no-brainer. Since foundation doesn’t stick to my nose, I personally only apply a primer to that area and it’s all I need. You may apply it to oily areas only or to your whole face for a flawless finish; it’s up to you. One thing I’m careful about when picking a good primer is making sure it won’t break me out. In my experience, primers can be pretty clogging. This is the best cruelty-free primer I’ve found. It’s silicone-based, which brings us to number 2…


2. Make sure your foundation matches your primer

If you’re already using a primer, make sure it matches your foundation. By this I mean: make sure they’re both EITHER water-based OR silicone-based. Silicone and water don’t mix well, just like oil and water. A silicone-based primer under a water-based foundation is a sure way for your foundation to melt right off. This foundation is a great silicone-based pairing for the primer I just mentioned, and you can read my review on it here. Note that the first ingredient in this foundation is water, but the second one is a silicone. This means it’s silicone-based, as water will often be the first ingredient in a liquid foundation regardless. You have to look at first few ingredients: if silicones are present, it’s silicone-based.


3. Pick a good, high quality powder

Another crucial step to making foundation last longer is powdering. The powder itself as well as the application method are important. Not all setting powders are meant for oily skin! Pick the best possible powder that’s both translucent and matte. The more finely-milled, the better. I highly suggest Primed and Poreless (below) as it matches that exact description. It also comes with a puff, which is better for application than a brush: you want to push the powder into the skin and make sure it’s pressed in and won’t budge, not swirl it around lightly.


4. Try applying powder under foundation

If all else fails, try applying setting powder UNDER your foundation. It might sound completely counter-intuitive, but it’s a method that works for a lot of oily-skinned people. You’ll need a loose setting powder and a powder brush to apply it. Put on moisturizer or primer first, then powder, then apply your foundation, then powder again over oily areas only. Your foundation will last longer.


5. Use concealer on your nose

I wouldn’t recommend doing this on a daily basis, but it’s something I’ve done on long-haul flights to avoid nose foundation melt-off. It’s pretty drastic, but a good concealer will still look natural as long as the shade is a perfect match. NARS’s creamy radiant concealer is particularly good for this because it feels like a very thick creamy foundation and won’t flake or settle in creases.


  • These are great tips! I usually have a foundation meltdown in the summer so I’ll definitely be putting these steps to use.

    • Yay, glad this was helpful! 🙂

  • Zoe Belucci

    I will definitely try this, however you don’t mention anything about comodegenic ingredients (ingredients that settle into and clog pores)… I’m yet to find a cruelty free foundation or BB cream that is non-comodegenic and suitable for oily skin so I would be so grateful to hear if you ever find one! 🙂