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    What Is “Baking” and Why Does It Make Your Makeup Look Airbrushed?

    You already know how to contour and highlight TF out of your face, but one technique that’ll really level up your makeup game (especially if you’re dealing with humid temps or oily skin)? Baking makeup. As a refresher, “baking”—a technique and term that has been used in the drag community for years—refers to letting a thick layer of translucent powder sit on your skin for 5 to 10 minutes, so your body heat can set or “bake” your foundation and concealer underneath, leaving you with the creaseless, flawless makeup of your dreams.

    Because this technique requires an alarming-seeming amount of powder on your face, you might be a little intimidated to give it a try yourself, but don’t worry! With the right tips, even a beginner can bake their makeup and make it look profesh. Ahead, we, along with help from this video by YouTuber and makeup artist Heidi Hamoud, break it down into a few simple steps. But first, let’s go over a few baking basics and answer any questions you most definitely have.

    Is baking your makeup necessary?

    Think of baking your makeup like setting your makeup times a million. If you’re someone who just wears a little bit of concealer here and there and generally skips full-coverage makeup, then (1) I’m jealous, and (2) no, baking is not for you. But for all those who wear full-face makeup and want to make their foundation to stay transfer-proof, budge-proof, crease-proof, and sweat-proof all day long, then baking is a super-excellent step.

    What can I use to bake my makeup?

    A finely milled, translucent, loose setting powder blends very easily into the skin, and for that reason, it would work best for baking makeup. Don’t try to substitute it with a mineral foundation or pressed powder foundation (too heavy) or an HD powder (ever heard of the dreaded flashback?). The goal is to make your makeup look seamless and filtered, not obvious and cakey, so the lighter the powder, the better. For applying the powder, you’ll need a damp makeup sponge or a wedge sponge, along with a fluffy powder makeup brush to gently sweep it away afterward.

    Do you bake before or after foundation?
    Because baking is all about setting your base makeup underneath, you’ll def want to do this after applying your foundation and concealer. Although you might’ve seen a TikTok makeup hack for applying powder before your foundation, that trick is primarily for soaking oil throughout the day, not baking your makeup underneath. If you’re looking to set your makeup so that it stays put all day long, you’ll want to go with baking instead.

    How do you bake makeup properly?
    Let’s walk through each step together, shall we? Here’s how to get skin that looks like you actually put an Instagram filter over it:


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