You’ve probably suffered from or witnessed makeup flashback at some point or another and don’t even know it!
Have you ever been out with your friends having fun, you know, take a few photos, you think your popping, and then the next day you’re like oh my god I need to post a photo from last night. That’s when it happens… you start flipping through your photos, and in every single one you look like… A GHOST! No you do not have demon living inside of you, and no you’re camera is not f’d up. It’s your makeup.
I consistently suffered from makeup flashback for awhile when I first started doing makeup. I had no idea about the dangers of flashback, why those white spots appeared or how to prevent it from happening. Thank god, a little research and some trial and error helped me live flashback free for about a year now. Now, I am about to show you some old photo’s that include me, suffering from makeup flashback, DON’T MAKE FUN, and don’t judge, I have elevated my makeup games LEVELS since then I swear. Lol.
Not to mention, us mere common folk aren’t the only ones who suffer. Celbrities suffer as well!
The main causes of makeup flashback are products that contain an ingredient called silica. Silica is an ingredient that has a large surface area, and diffuses light. The benefits of using products that contain large amounts of silica are that the silica gives a blurred, often poreless affect giving you that I’m ready for my television debut kind of look. The down side to silica often reveals itself when it’s time to break the flash out during your photo session. Flash is rather unflattering at times anyway, and definitely picks up on, and brightens imperfections on your face without any added help from your makeup. Basically, with the addition of silica to flash it’s basically just one big recipe for a white out.
Other ingredients that can cause the same ghost like white spots in photos are often found in moisturizers and makeup products that contain SPF. Titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide can have the same affect as silica, but are a bit less extreme.
Now the most obvious solution to this frustrating conundrum would be, uh, don’t use flash. That’s way easier said than done though right? Especially when you aren’t the one taking the photo, or in control of the lighting, or the sun. So my suggestion to you is, well, study your makeup! Check the ingredients list on your products, and be wary of those that contain silica, and cautious with those that contain SPF. The most common product that contains high amounts of silica are translucent powders, especially those that are labeled as HD. Silica allows the powder to blur the surface of your skin, hence giving it an “HD” look. Looking back this makes total sense as to why the E.L.F. HD translucent powder I used to use in a pinch because it was super cheap, would make me super ghost like when I baked with it. As I take a look the ingredients, sure enough it contains silica, and mica which is a light reflecting ingredient as well. For the past year or so I have been using RCMA No Color Powder to set my face (note I have removed baking from my makeup regimen) and I have had no issues with makeup flashback. Taking a look at the ingredients from the RCMA No Color Powder, it does NOT contain silica, but does contain small amounts of titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide. The lack of silica, and the fact that I have discontinued the “baking” method are two factors that have helped diminish makeup flashback.
Now I am not saying that you shouldn’t ever use powders that are labeled HD, or that contain silica. Silica is an ingredient for a reason, it definitely helps to control oil, and give you that flawless airbrushed look. I do however recommend that if your main intention for using the powder is to control oiliness that you apply your powder underneath your foundation. A MAC artist I once purchased makeup from taught me that little trick, and it does in fact work without running the risk of makeup flashback.
Weigh the pro’s and con’s of baking. The baking method is a sure fire way to bring the wrath of makeup flashback upon yourself. As I said I have eliminated baking for not only said reason but multiple other reasons. I still set my concealer, and my entire face but since I began skipping the baking I have had no issue with flashback.
RCMA No Color Powder is my holy grail, as I said it does not contain silica, which is the main ingredient we are attempting to avoid, but does contain small amounts of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. I have no flashback issues with this powder, and even without the presence of silica, it keeps my very oily face matte all day long, and gives me that “HD” quality finish look. This is by far my favorite powder, the amount you get for the price is totally amazing, overall it’s a great bargain. I have been using this powder for over a year and I have no plans to switch to anything else, like ever.
As I said the E.L.F. gave me major flashback issues, and it does contain silica, but I wouldn’t necessarily completely right it off, simply because it’s so cheap. If you are in a pinch, and can’t get your hands on anything else I would recommend using it under your foundation for oiliness, and then maybe just setting your concealer with it, but definitely NO baking with it. With the elimination of baking I would say that the flashback probably wouldn’t be as awful.
Another powder I have used is the MAC translucent powder, I bought that particular powder back when I still thought in order to have good makeup you had to buy designer makeup. Thank God I finally came to my senses. I could not find the ingredients for this powder online, and I do not have the box from it anymore, so I am not sure if it does in fact contain silica but I will say that I suffered from some makeup flashback issues with this particular powder as well.
If you are still suffering from makeup flashback and you either don’t use a translucent powder, or your powder does not contain any of these ingredients maybe turn to your foundation and concealers. As I said products that contain SPF can also be the culprit of makeup flashback, so you may want to do some investigating into that.