I’m just going to break it to you now – the “foundation in water” TikTok hack you’ve been seeing all over your FYP is not quite what you think it is.

People are trying it as a way to make their foundation less oily, and to prevent transfer. Some say it works, and some say they see no difference.

So, what’s the verdict? Let’s dive deeper into this topic.

TikTok Foundation in water hack

What Is The Foundation In Water TikTok Hack?

The problem starts with the inspiration for the TikTok hack. The original video apparently was just a girl trying to show that the foundation she sold was waterproof. She added some of the foundation to water, fished it out, and then applied it.

People were mistakenly running with this as a “hack”. So, this foundation in water TikTok hack was misinterpreted from the beginning. But like everything on TikTok, if it goes viral everyone and their mom will be trying it out within a week!

While the original video wasn’t directly encouraging others to add foundation to their water as a new makeup application technique, there is actually some benefit to doing this! Believe it or not…

Let’s look into the hack a bit more, and see what you need to do to actually make it work!

How To Do The TikTok Foundation In Water Hack

Here is how to do the hack:

Basically, makeup TikTokers are adding their foundation to a cup of water, letting it “sit” for a minute, swirl the foundation in the water onto a makeup brush. Then they apply it to their face as they usually do.


Reply to @lex.babb idk but some makeup artists do this 🤷🏻‍♀️

♬ original sound – Rachel Rigler

First up, let’s talk about what foundation to use.

Water Based Foundation

This will not work for WATER-BASED foundations. I saw a girl add her foundation to a cup of water, as everyone else did, but when she mixed it up as you are supposed to, it had just dissolved into a billion little drops of foundation.

As you could have guessed, if it is water-based, adding more water will just thin out the foundation. When you try to apply it you’ll end up with a very thin layer of makeup that might not even cover anything. (For some, they might actually like this technique if a foundation looks too heavy on them.)

Oil Based Foundation

An OIL BASED foundation is what most people are using for this hack. The whole point is to remove the oil from the foundation – so people are obviously using oil-based foundations.

When added to water, the oil and water in the foundation won’t mix. So, as seen in some of the TikTok videos, the oil separates and just collects at the top. This makes the foundation go on more pigmented and will last longer.

They then apply the foundation, and in some videos I’ve seen it does look like to goes on a lot less oily.

Transfer Resistant Foundation Hack

This hack is touted as making your foundation transfer-resistant! Some press a clean paper towel to their face to show that minimal foundation rubs off. I think this is true since with less oil, the foundation will go on more matte.

Celebrity Foundation Makeup Hack

While some seem skeptical of this newfound TikTok beauty hack, a makeup TikToker took it a step further and claims that the “foundation in water” hack is actually something that celebrity makeup artists have done all along!

She says that they do it to help hydrate the skin, give a more natural look, and to help with oiliness/transferring.

It seems like some other makeup artists in the comment section of her video backed her up.

Let’s touch on another TikTok makeup hack: creating mousse foundation.

Frothing Foundation TikTok Hack

People are frothing their foundation on TikTok. It looks like this trend was started by:

This video has almost 1 million views!

For this one, you also add foundation to a cup of water. Then you use an electric coffee frother to combine the two and make a light, dreamy mousse out of your liquid foundation.

In a few videos I saw, this technique worked for some and not others.

Some also saw no differences in application, but some did like how it felt very cloud-like, watery, and hydrating.

The original creator’s wear test said she was so amazed by the results. She experienced:

  • a whipped cream like consistency
  • waterproof foundation even after working out
  • no transfer
  • no separation or patches

The only cons with this is that it probably won’t store long term on its own – if you aren’t super careful and use distilled water, etc… you could end up with bacteria growing in your foundation.

So the bottom line?

If you are needing your foundation to be a bit more moisturizing, you could also just spritz the face with Evian spray or setting spray! You can always try this hack, but I encourage you to start with a small amount of foundation so none goes to waste.

Best, Mia

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