Beauty Female pretty portrait on the white background
Image: Shutterstock/KS Kalibri

What’s The Deal With Baking Makeup?

Maybe you’ve seen the trend floating around on Pinterest or what have you. ‘Baking makeup?’ you think. ‘Sounds messy.’ No, it doesn’t have anything to do with putting your makeup in the oven. It’s actually just a way of applying makeup to get a more flawless appearance. Below is everything you needed to know about “baking” makeup, and why you should try it.

In a nutshell, baking makeup is just letting your makeup sit under a layer of translucent powder for 5-10 minutes. This allows the natural heat from your face to set the makeup better and create a smoother finish. You use this method after you’ve put on your basic foundation.

The method is used under the eye to smooth out that whole area. This is especially helpful if you have dark areas, bags or lines under the eyes.

Here is an easy, no-nonsense guide for getting this baking makeup look:

  • Start by hydrating under the eye with a basic eye cream. That will plump up the area for a more alert appearance.
  • Apply a thick, cream-based concealer under your eyes. Ditch the stick concealers here. You’ll really want to cover a wide area: from about the middle of your cheek to right under the eye. Sweep it over covering most of your cheekbone—about an inch or two from the outer edge of the eye. You should end up with a giant patch across the top of your cheek. Blend that in with a damp makeup sponge.
  • Apply a second coat of concealer and blend that in with the makeup sponge. You can skip this step to conserve product or if you’re just wearing makeup for a short period. This step is a way to extend the life of the makeup on long days.
  • Apply translucent powder with a light, wispy eye brush over the concealer you just applied.
  • You’ll notice this process has duplicate steps for extra setting power. Spray a makeup sponge with a setting spray, dip it into the translucent powder and cover the same area with the powder. Go heavy on powder.
  • Let sit for 5-10 minutes.
  • Dip your eye brush into some basic foundation powder and tap off the excess, then use that to brush off the translucent powder. That will cover and set with the foundation powder while wiping away the translucent powder. Blend any edges.

Optional Highlighting

While you apply the second round of translucent powder, apply some on your face right about the spot where your molars meet in your mouth. Also apply some at the bridge of your nose, the middle of your forehead a little above the brow and in the middle of your chin. That will create a highlighting effect. Leave on for 5-10 minutes, and then brush off the same way you’d brush off the under eye translucent powder after baking.

The Quick Method

Trying to conserve product or simply short on time? Just apply your concealer under the eye in a single, heavy slathering, keeping to the same under eye area as above. Then brush on a heavy coat of the translucent powder. Let it sit for 5 minutes and then brush it off. Done.

When you’re finished, you should end up with a flawless under eye. The makeup will create a gorgeous, bright appearance that will highlight your face and make you look more alert and youthful. Baking makeup is a heavy, special occasion technique that will make you look great in photos.

And the funny thing about this baking makeup trend? It used to be a common way to do the under eye. We’re just rediscovering it on social media is all. Score one for old wisdom.