Makeup trends can oscillate from extreme to extreme.
But when it comes to base makeup, it seems the pendulum has finally stopped swinging and settled on a happy medium — cloud skin.
What is cloud skin?
Cloud skin is a term that was coined by Dominic Skinner (MAC’s Director Of Makeup Artistry and a Judge on Netflix’s Glow Up) in 2020.
In an interview with Refinery29, Skinner defined the makeup look as “multidimensional”.
“It’s all about specifically placed powder, a touch of foundation and a facial oil to prime the skin,” he explained. “The technique creates an impression of a cloud because there is matte powder and then moisture from the foundation, and the combination gives a softness. It's a sort of lightness and a fluffiness.”
And while Skinner initially created the look for the runway, TikTok has breathed a second life into the trend.
Meanwhile, creator Victoria Lyn has been looking to celebrity makeup artists such as Hung Vanngo for cloud skin inspiration.
After a step-by-step to nail the look for yourself? We thought you’d never ask…
How to: the ‘cloud skin’ makeup trend
1/ A rich moisturiser
Prepping the skin with a bucket load of hydration is integral to keeping your cloud skin from looking dry or cakey.
Opt for a thick, rich face cream if you have dry skin, or strategically layer a thin hydrating serum with a lightweight gel moisturiser if you have combination or oily skin.
We recommend: Olay Niacinamide Honey Peptide Moisturiser ($59.99 at Priceline)
2/ A shine-reducing primer
A primer that smooths your skin, reduces shine and blurs imperfections is a must for nailing the cloud skin trend.
We recommend: MAKE UP FOR EVER Step 1 Shine Control Primer ($34 at Adore Beauty)
3/ A lightweight base
Cloud skin only works when you apply thin layers of makeup on top of each other, so before you reach for a high coverage foundation, we suggest you stick to serum foundations and skin tints.
A lightweight base product is easier to layer and is less likely to get cakey when you apply powder products on top of it.
We recommend: Summer Fridays Sheer Skin Tint ($70 at MECCA)
4/ A sheer layer of concealer
Add some concealer to the back of your hand or an artist’s palette, and pick up a little bit of product at a time.
Buff and work the concealer into the bristles of your brush, and gently tap the product into the natural shadows under your eyes. Use any leftover concealer to minimise redness, blemishes and around the nose.
We recommend: Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Radiant Concealer ($49 at Charlotte Tilbury)
5/ Cream cheek products
Apply your cream bronzer to the parts of the face where the sun naturally hits.
A word of advice: apply your cream blush with a heavy hand — all the powder products you’re going to layer over the top will diffuse the colour payoff.
We recommend: MILK MAKEUP Bionic Liquid Blush ($36 at Sephora)
6/ Set it all with powder
After powdering, your skin should have a velvet appearance, but the luminosity of all those cream makeup products should still shine through.
However, when it comes to selecting a powder to set your makeup with, it’s all about personal preference.
A thin layer of translucent powder pressed into the skin with a powder puff may be all you need if you have dry skin. But oilier skin types might benefit from a combination of powder foundation and setting powder, concentrated through the T-zone.
We recommend: innisfree Matte Mineral Setting Powder ($13 at Adore Beauty)
7/ Powder blush
Enhance your underpainting and amp up the vibrance of your cheek colour by applying a powder blush.
Layering powder blush over cream blush is also a great trick if you struggle to get your cheek colour to last all day.
We recommend: Dior Backstage Rosy Glow Blush ($69 at Dior)
8/ Set with a matte finishing mist
If you’re happy with your skin after following the first seven steps, you’re welcome to stop here.
But if you need a final step to mesh all the layers of your makeup, lightly mist your face with a matte finish setting spray and lock everything in.
We recommend: M.A.C COSMETICS Prep + Prime Fix+ Mattifying Mist ($45 at Adore Beauty)
Briar is the Beauty Editor at BEAUTYcrew. Her 'down for anything' attitude has resulted in more than a handful of hair transformations, and she doesn't mind being used as a guinea pig for the industry's most unusual products and treatments. Her work has also appeared on Refinery29, Girlfriend and beautyheaven.