People On TikTok Are Frothing Their Foundation – But Does It Do Anything?

There’s no end to the ways we can apply our makeup products, according to TikTok. We’ve seen the frozen beauty blender trend, the eyelash curler eyeshadow hack and the blush-as-undereye-concealer technique – but it’s about time for a new one, right? 

Enter, foundation frothing. TikTok’s latest makeup trick sees beauty creators whip up their foundation using a milk frother to create a thick, airy mousse – but what does it actually do?

So far, the results are a little inconclusive.

The notion of ‘frothing’ beauty products isn’t actually a new one. Before the foundation hack came Glamzilla’s July 2022 video in which she mixed two of her favourite cleansers with water, to create a foam. “Oh my gosh, am I going to start frothing my skin care?” she asks as she spreads the mixture on her face. 

Then, of course, there was the viral foundation hack which saw countless TikTokers try mixing their foundation with water, to create a glowing, hydrated look that’s transfer-proof and long-lasting.

It was beauty creator Avonna Sunshine who started the foundation frothing trend, after seeing Glamzilla’s video. Describing the technique as a ‘game changer’, she said the result felt natural and weightless, with a slightly lighter coverage than before. She added that if she used her hands to apply the product, you can get more coverage.

“Yess [Maybelline] Dream Matte Mousse in the circle container was my 1st ever foundation, I might have to try this for old time’s sake,” one follower replies, with another responding: “Omg I have to try this… it looks so good.” 

TikTok content

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Different creators have tried the trend using different techniques, but most add a few pumps of foundation to a small amount of water, before using the frother to whip it up into a mousse-like texture. 

Makeup mogul Huda Kattan also jumped on the trend, trying the whipping technique with her Faux Filter Luminous Matte foundation. Skipping the addition of water, she simply frothed a few pumps and applied it, agreeing that she felt it was airy and it was “amazing for full coverage foundations”. “Now I feel like I have to travel with a frother,” she joked.

However another TikToker, Kaitlin Brandon, revealed that it was a pretty messy process to froth her foundation – only to find that the results weren’t very different to the original. “I have foundation everywhereeeee… even on my walls,” she wrote in the caption.

GLAMOUR spoke to cosmetic scientist Sabaa Hamid about TikTok’s foundation frothing hack, to find out if it really has any merit. 

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Diluting foundation with water will most likely make the coverage lighter, she says. “As they seem to be adding quite a large volume of water, it will dilute the amount of pigment and therefore make the coverage much lighter and natural looking, while the texture will also become much more lightweight. 

“Since the frother is acting like a homogeniser (a strong mixer), initially the texture is smooth and perfect, but the water added will likely destabilise the formulation as it is an emulsion and adding this amount of extra water throws the balance completely off,” she warns.

Adding water to any product also raises contamination concerns. “Introducing extra water into the foundation formulation of course increases the chance of microbial contamination,” Sabaa adds. “So if someone really wants to do this, I would suggest doing the smallest amount, using distilled water and a sterilised frother, and disposing of the remainder after use.”

“But I personally wouldn’t recommend doing this at all – as it is completely changing a stable, preserved formulation and opening it up.”

Consider yourself informed.