Skip to main content


Your new foundation was a perfect match just two days ago, and now suddenly it's too orange -- or wait, too pink -- wtf? Hey, what did you have for breakfast?
  • Author:
  • Updated:
We know diet affects our complexion. But can what we eat or drink affect how our makeup performs that very same day? Lise Watier makeup artist David Vincent says yes. Photo: Marcel Vandervlugt.

We know diet affects our complexion. But can what we eat or drink affect how our makeup performs that very same day? Lise Watier makeup artist David Vincent says yes. Photo: Marcel Vandervlugt.

Sometimes, my face just flat-out rejects makeup. My foundation, which usually makes my skin look glowy and smooth, inexplicably decides to hunker down in suddenly visible pores large enough to collect small change. Or my favourite lipstick shade looks wrong against my skin. Lise Watier makeup artist David Vincent says it may be what I've recently eaten or had to drink. As in that very day, or maybe the day before. (Might be lack of sleep, too.)

does breakfast affect how makeup performs?

"If you eat spicy food, or you haven't had enough water, or you had an extra coffee today, that could affect the balance of your complexion," David says. "We ask models to avoid spicy meals the day before a photoshoot, or skip orange juice in the morning -- orange juice is too acidic. What you eat, how much you sleep, and of course we know how much water you drink affects how makeup works for your face too." 

Have you ever found that your foundation, normally a perfect match, is suddenly a little out of whack against your skin, maybe a hint too warm or just -- weird? Or you notice your skin is oilier than usual, or more flushed, yet it was totally fine just yesterday? Perhaps it's time to start a food-face journal?

plan your makeup according to your menu

If you do notice a correlation between your diet and how your makeup performs on your skin, you can plan ahead, says David. "Say you go for Thai food every Thursday at lunch with your colleagues, and a couple of hours later your skin gets super-shiny. Maybe that day you switch your liquid foundation for a powder foundation that controls oil a little more," he suggests.

"Or maybe you regularly go for Happy Hour. And last week, you saw a picture of your red nose on Instagram, and you don't want it to happen again. This week on Happy Hour day, wear a foundation with higher coverage, or use a colour corrector in the areas that tend to flush."

You don't have to change your entire routine, but be aware of what works better for you under different circumstances, and be prepared to tweak a little to get the results you want.

"Especially when you try a new product, just do a quick check a couple of times throughout the day to see how it's holding up," says David. "Makeup is like dressing for the weather. Sometimes you need a jacket, or maybe a light sweater, and sometimes you want sleeveless. You don't go into a clothing store and ask 'what's The Coat for me?' -- there isn't just one coat. It's the same with cosmetics. 'What is my foundation, what is my lipstick colour?' There is no one formula, no one lipstick shade. It depends on many different elements. 

"Something can meet most of your requirements, but there are times it will fail you. Maybe you leave your comfort zone -- change your hair colour, or use self-tanner, or change your moisturizer, or change your diet... so much can affect how your complexion looks."

I asked a few other makeup artists whether they'd ever encountered cases in which something a model had eaten or had to drink the day before or even hours before affected how the makeup went on their skin. But although some had heard that bit about telling models what to avoid before a shoot, none had experienced changes in the way the makeup performs.

Still, as I said earlier, I've definitely had days on which everything that usually gets compliments for my skin can't seem to do anything right. Usually it's related to lack of sleep. But I don't know whether my diet choices mess things up. I'm off for a glass of OJ before I put on today's face to see what happens.

What about you?