How to Bake (Your Makeup?!)

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By: Kerry Ingram, Arts & Life Editor
Kerry Ingram/ The Towerlight

Attention all Martha Stewarts, Rachael Rays and Julia Childs: there’s a new chef in town and she’s coming for your baking skills in a new way.

The art of baking, as most people know it, includes cooking food by dry heat, creating delicious and mouth-watering concoxions for all to indulge in and enjoy. However, the art of baking as those within the beauty community know it is a bit different.

“Baking” your makeup is a technique used to prolong the wear of your cosmetics while also helping to create a mattified and airbrushed finish to your face. It involves packing on a generous amount of loose setting powder to the highpoints of your face, allowing it to sit for a while to help the skin warm up the makeup. The powder is later dusted off and your face is left looking like a real-life version of a reconstructed selfie on the Facetune app.

Or at least, that’s how you’re supposed to look afterwards.

The technique originally began in the drag community, as an effort to help solidify the makeup applied to male faces and help create a more realistic allusion of them in the female form. Makeup artists eventually followed suit, with the technique becoming even more popularized as they used it on models who had oilier t-zones. However, it wasn’t until YouTube picked up that it became as big as it is today, with “beauty gurus” using the technique to mattify their oily skin and glamorously “beat” their faces.

The only problem with baking is that for as many tutorials that exist which feature this technique, barely any make the effort to point out how baking affects those of us who don’t have oily skin.

Because people with dry skin still want their makeup to last long too, ya know?

I use to hate baking with a passion, for the sole fact that my skin is more normal-to-dry. If I even dared to try to follow the techniques used by most, my skin would end up looking like the Sahara. I would try to bake my concealer beneath my eyes, and would end up looking like Betty Crocker and her crew literally baked my skin.

After much trial and error, however, I finally figured out the trick to baking dry skin successfully, and it’s not as hard as it once seemed. It’s all about using the right products for your skin type and texture.

And so behold: the magic of baking your makeup, no matter your skin type (and all without resulting in a cake-face).

Step 1: Hydrate

Make sure your skin is toned, moisturized, and prepped for the makeup application.

Step 2: Prime

Apply a hydrating primer all over the face. My favorite is Too Faced’s Hangover RX Primer.

Step 3: Apply a Hydrating Foundation/Concealer

Go about your face-makeup as you normally would. Here, I’m just applying concealer beneath my eyes (I refuse to wear foundation; sue me) and in any problem areas to brighten and even the complexion. I like the Too Faced Sculpting Concealer, which is made to hydrate the skin while providing full-coverage. Once you have your makeup wear your want it, make sure to blend.

Step 4: Apply Hydrating Powder with Damp Sponge

This step sounds weird but hear me out. A lot of brands have been creating setting powders with chemical compositions that allow them to hydrate the skin even though they’re dry. That’s the beauty of science people.

The powder I love for dry skin is Becca’s Hydra-Mist Powder, which literally feels wet once applied to the skin. Using a damp sponge, start packing it on over top of the places you applied your concealer (or on the highpoints of the face, like your cheekbones and T-zone, if you applied foundation).

Step 5: Wait

Let the powder sit on your skin for two to three minutes.

Step 6: Dust Yourself Off

Use a compact brush to dust off the excess powder.

Step 7: Finish off your makeup as per usual and get ready to floss on all your haters.

Willing to test this tutorial out? Tweet or DM us your finished faces at @TheTowerlight, either on Twitter or Instagram!

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