Hard layer on powder blushes and bronzers

A lot of my blushes and bronzers get a hard layer on top and my brush can't pick up any product.  I end up scraping off the top layer and it's such a waste.  At first I thought maybe I wasn't cleaning my brushes often enough and the oils from my skin were causing it.  More frequent brush washing hasn't seemed to help though.  Maybe it's the cleaner I'm using (BareMinerals Well-Cared For)?  Not to mention it only happens on some blushes but not others.


Thoughts on how I can prevent this?  Easy, less wasteful ways to remove the hard layer?


Thanks in advance!

Re: Hard layer on powder blushes and bronzers

Such a helpful thread! I had given up using my Chanel powder blushes because of this very issue. Thanks everyone for so many suggestions for addressing the problem. In my case I think liquid foundation was getting on my blusher brushes and this must be why the blushes now have a hard surface and are no longer useable. I'll definitely try all suggestions offered for how to make the blushers useable again.



Re: Hard layer on powder blushes and bronzers

I just stumbled onto this thread while doing research about the same issue and thought I would add the suggestion I've discovered in a few places online: packing tape. As in, get some clear packing tape and press it down on the powder, then pull up to take away the bad layer. People swear by it, and I'm totally going to try it on a MAC blush I have thats got a hard layer. Just in case anyone was still interested. 

Re: Hard layer on powder blushes and bronzers

[ Edited ]

Thanks for all the input ladies! 


I think I'll have to start waiting longer for all my skincare to soak in before I start on my makeup.  Between the serum, moisturizer, and spf my skin is probably still tacky when I start on foundation.  I probably have never noticed because I always use a beautyblender sponge.

I'm also going to put Diana's advice into practice and regularly swipe off the top layer to prevent it from building up too much in the first place. 


Thanks again!

Re: Hard layer on powder blushes and bronzers

I think Diana said it best---its when you transfer whatever skincare (or face oils if you havent washed your face) from the brush to whatever powder product you are dipping into. Thankfully, this only happened to me once. I put on a moisturizing sunscreen that made my face look a bit oily, and I took a clean brush and dipped into a bronzer, and when I took that same brush to my face and repeated, it picked up the sunscreen and transferred it into my powder from the brush. Now I make sure that when I'm using powder products, I use a sunscreen that sets to a matte finish, and it hasnt happened since then. But you are right---its a complete waste of product. Thankfully, I used up most of my compact before I had to toss it because of that hard layer from the sunscreen, but I remember scraping and scraping and I could never again get to the same texture as before.

Re: Hard layer on powder blushes and bronzers

It's already been said but yes, its due to the oils on the face (and skincare!) that transfer from your brush to your makeups. I try to swipe a coat off every powder/blush/bronzer/pressed item I use on a daily basis, at LEAST every 2 weeks or so. This helps to keep that hard layer from happening, similar to pencil liners that sit for awhile capped and get a bit dry. Smiley Happy


I like to use a regular paper napkin and do a quick swipe, the same to eyeshadow palettes and colors I use often. (and I use paper towels for lipsticks) but its a good way to clean off debris and what not from sitting on your makeup and changing their texture and colors. Smiley Happy

Luv&Lipgloss, Diana

Re: Hard layer on powder blushes and bronzers

I was also thinking of this topic this morning, most folks have a tendancy to go back and dip a brush into product after using it on their face. Kind of a pick up product, buff it on, go back to the product, pick up some more, then reapply, building it up in a sense (be it with powder or blush), and this transfers oil from your skin from your powder and back and fourth, and since complexion/face brushes are much larger than shadow brushes, more oil is picked up and being made in contact with your product, causing larger powders to come across this issue more than smaller powders/shadows.


Though I know it would be a chore to clean off a brush everytime after it touches your skin inbetween bulding up color, if your skin tends to be super oily, maybe washing them more regularly could help. If not, it might just be something you have to keep a close eye for in your make up to see if one specific product has this happen more than another.

Re: Hard layer on powder blushes and bronzers

I agree with Lylysa that's the same thing that I was gonna say. Cleaning your brushes are important they hold bacteria and oil just like anything else. If you don't clean them your just building oil on top of your product each time you use it. Hope this helps!

Re: Hard layer on powder blushes and bronzers

Lylysa -


I wash my brushes weekly (usually).  I was trying to at least wipe them off daily for awhile there but it doesn't seem to matter.


And yeah, now that you mention it, that never happens to my eyeshadows.  Only face powders and blush or bronzers.

Re: Hard layer on powder blushes and bronzers

I do know it is oils and lingering traces of residue that can cause it, but again, I haven't noticed it enough or to as strong of a significance to pinpoint it down to a specific brand or product to avoid be it for brush cleaner, washes, or cosmetics.


Do you spray your brushes with the brush cleaner directly/mist them or do you mist a towel/tissue then run the tools over the area?

Re: Hard layer on powder blushes and bronzers

It's a combination of oils that linger and oxidize on the powder, causing it to harden. I just had this issue with a powder of mine.


The waste level isn't too level because once it is oxidized, that portion is unuseable as it won't release pigment if you rub the area even with your finger. This can also occurr more often on older products as the oil and residue from application and even exposure to air can lead to the oxidation process occurring.


I haven't found any definitive link between types of brush cleaner to specific products, but I've also seen this on testers in beauty retailers, ranging from blushes, shadow, face powder, and bronzers. I will say that I see it more often on complexion/face items as opposed to eye shadows since complexion products are applied on a larger area, thus allowing for a brush or even fingers to come in contact with more product when needing to add more.


How often do you wash your brushes?

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