Beauty School: How to Bake Your Face


First there was contouring. Then, we were introduced to strobing…and now, it’s all about baking. The latest viral makeup trend taking over, ’baking’ or ‘cooking’ your face is applying a very heavy dusting of translucent powder on your face, letting it sit for five to ten minutes and dusting it off. The goal is to be left with a brighter, flawless, airbrushed finish…think Kardashian. For a full step-by-step guide, product recommendations and some of the best video tutorials, keep reading.

Baking isn’t an entirely new concept, though it is new to mainstream culture. It had been a popular technique within the drag community for years before it broke out into popular culture, which is so interesting because the same goes for contouring. It virtually eliminates the appearance of pores, fine lines, creases or anything else than may make your complexion appear less-than-perfect. Generally speaking, baking is a beauty method that’s more evening-appropriate, rather than an ‘everyday’ kind of thing. It’s bold and dramatic – which is absolutely fantastic, but probably not what you’re going for on a ‘running errands’ day. If it is, all the more power to you!


1. BASE: Start your typical beauty routine. Apply primer and foundation as you usually do – with a BeautyBlender, foundation brush, whatever works for you.

2. CONCEAL: Time for concealer. Make two large triangles of concealer underneath your eyes, plus anywhere you want to conceal (dark spots) or brighten (bridge of your nose, Cupid’s bow, etc.). To achieve the full-on drama of baking, I would recommend using a heavier, full coverage concealer. Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer is a very popular option and a little goes a long way. My personal number one of the moment is IT Cosmetics’ Bye Bye Under Eye. Wow. This concealer is phenomenal – I have been getting dark circles under my eyes recently, and just a drop of this covers it up beautifully. Blend it all in with a makeup sponge.

3. CONCEAL A LITTLE MORE: Yes, for the full effect, you should apply another coat of concealer under your eyes. If the sheer idea of this terrifies you, it’s not a must. To achieve that highlighted, no-imperfection-in-sight under eye, though, a second coat is a good idea. Don’t worry about it looking cakey – if you follow every step, you will look perfectly ‘cooked,’ not overdone. Stipple it in using your makeup sponge.

4. SET YOUR FACE: Apply a sheer dusting of translucent powder over your foundation and concealer, essentially a base setting, using a fluffy powder brush (ELF’s Studio Complexion Brush is super soft and inexpensive). Try Laura Mercier’s Loose Setting Powder. It’s so lightweight, undetectable and truly works. Many powders can make your face appear cakey, but the Laura Mercier will never look like that.

5. BAKING TIME: This is the fun part: grab your makeup sponge, a setting spray (try Urban Decay’s All Nighter) and the translucent powder you used in the previous step. Spritz your sponge with the spray and dip it into your powder. Extremely generously pack the powder over the area you want to ‘bake.’ The go-to baking spot is under your eyes, but people also like to bake underneath the line of their cheek contour to sharpen and define the area. Let the powder sit for five to ten minutes. While you’re ‘cooking,’ finish other areas of your makeup. Apply mascara, style your hair…anything that won’t interfere with the setting process.

6. DUST IT OFF: Grab a fluffy brush and sweep away the remaining powder that didn’t absorb into your skin. If you want even more coverage, dip your fluffy brush into a powder foundation, like Neutrogena Mineral Sheers, before sweeping off the translucent powder. This will provide some extra coverage and blend away any harsh lines. Give a nice spritz of setting spray and you’re done!

If you’re more of a visual person, check out these two amazing baking tutorial videos by Tati of GlamLifeGuru and Heidi Hamoud, respectively.

Would you ever try baking? Let us know in the comments below!

Image via Heidi Hamoud

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