How to master the baking makeup technique once and for all

The steps to follow for a flawless base

Beauty Crew Beauty Writer / December 10 2018

If you’ve had your ear to the makeup ground in recent years, you will have heard the term ‘baking makeup’ being thrown around. But what is makeup baking exactly? Largely a technique made famous by Kim Kardashian and her makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic, baking or baking face involves using a loose makeup setting powder to set your concealer (and entire base, if you want) before dusting it off to reveal a flawless, almost-airbrushed finish. The trick, however, is leaving the loose powder on for a few minutes so the warmth of your face essentially melts it in place for that extra-perfect, creaseless result. 

GOOD TO KNOW: While great for creating a smooth, poreless base, baking is better suited to times when you want to look glam and ‘made up’, rather than an everyday look, as it does create quite a heavy makeup base.

If you want to give the technique a go for yourself, follow these foolproof steps for achieving the perfect full-coverage and long-lasting makeup look.


Prep your skin

Since the idea is to create a flawless base, you really need a smooth (read: well-hydrated) base to work with. One of the top areas to bake your face is under your eyes, so a moisturising eye cream that boosts hydration levels and reduces puffiness is a must to ensure your concealer goes on smoothly and doesn’t cling to any dry patches or crease into fine lines. If you want to bake your entire face, apply a moisturiser all over, too.

Try: Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Crème

Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Crème


Blend your base

Before using a baking powder, even out your complexion with foundation. A liquid foundation is key to baking – it has to do with the way it bonds with the setting powder, but more on that below!  

Try: Yves Saint Laurent Beauté All Hours Full Coverage Matte Foundation

Yves Saint Laurent Beauté All Hours Full Coverage Matte Foundation


Apply concealer

Swipe on a generous amount of concealer (again, it needs to be a liquid) in a triangle shape under your eyes to conceal any dark circles and brighten the area. Blend it in with either your fingers or a damp makeup sponge.

Try: Maybelline New York Fit Me Concealer and beautyblender Original


Maybelline New York Fit Me Concealer and beautyblender Original
TOP TIP: Don’t go too light with the shade of your concealer. Baking tends to have a brightening effect already, so you don’t want to make your under-eye area look too light.


Layer loose powder on top of your concealer

Here’s where the baking really begins! To start, tap a generous amount of loose translucent powder onto the lid of your compact and dip a damp makeup sponge into the powder. Then, gently press the sponge over the areas you’ve just concealed. For a really flawless finish, apply the powder liberally. You can also ‘bake’ other areas of your face, like your chin and T-zone (think oil-prone areas that hinder your makeup’s longevity).

Try: MAC Cosmetics Set Powder

MAC Cosmetics Set Powder


Leave the powder to set

Once you’ve applied your powder, let it set for at least a few minutes (the longer, the better!). What happens now is the powder will start to oxidise and melt into the oils of your foundation to create a flawless coverage (a lot like how a makeup setting spray works).




Dust off any excess powder

Simply dust off any excess powder with a fluffy makeup brush. Finish with the remainder of your face makeup steps, like blush, eyeliner and lipstick to complete your look.

Try: Real Techniques Setting Brush

Real Techniques Setting Brush

And there you have it… you’ve now officially learnt how to bake your face!

Looking to learn more makeup tips and tricks? Then check out nine of the best face makeup brushes and discover the difference contouring can make with these celebrities’ before and after pics.

Do you love to bake your makeup? Share your pick for the best baking powder makeup with us in the comments below.

Main image credit: Getty