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How to Bake Your Makeup for a Long-Lasting Look

It’s great for brightening the skin and avoiding creasing.
September 29, 2023

If you were obsessed with beauty vloggers and YouTube tutorials in the mid 2010s, then you definitely remember the matte, full glam looks many creators sported with the help of the baking makeup technique. If you need a little refresh, when one bakes, a thick layer of powder is applied to the under-eyes (and left on for 10 minutes) to absorb shine and oils and set the makeup. 

Since 2015, makeup trends have shifted towards a more dewy finish (ahem, glazed donut skin), but there’s something to be said for a matte makeup look that will last all day long without smudging and creasing. Truthfully, there aren’t many other makeup techniques that can take the place of baking, and if you’re looking for ways to make your makeup last, we think you should try it. Plus, as we gear up for Halloween and the holidays, we think this makeup technique is perfect for keeping your glam locked in place for extended periods of time. 

So, take notes as we share how to bake makeup, specifically your foundation and concealer, in four simple steps for a long-lasting makeup look

What Is Makeup Baking?

Baking is the process of applying setting powder on your foundation in a visible layer and leaving it on for five to ten minutes to set the face. It’s called "baking" because your body heat allows for the concealer and foundation to essentially melt into the skin while the powder soaks up the excess oils. As a result, this makes the makeup smudge-proof, crease-free and very long-lasting. 

Do You Bake Before or After Foundation?

A little context: Baking is a longtime mainstay in drag makeup because it expertly sets the foundation for a long lasting finish and brightens the under-eyes. When you use the baking technique for your makeup, first you apply primer, then foundation, then concealer and finally powder to bake. While you could argue that makeup doesn’t have any rules, when you bake your face, foundation is always applied prior to baking.


What Products Do You Use to Bake Makeup?

To properly bake, first you’ll need to apply makeup primer, foundation and concealer (and contour). Once your base is complete, then you can use loose translucent powder to bake and set your makeup — this is easily the most important product to have on hand because you cannot bake without it. Typically, baking works best with full-coverage and matte makeup looks so keep that in mind.

How to Bake Makeup for a Long-Lasting Look 

Baking your makeup will help minimize creases, smudging and settling makeup. Once you know how to do it, the process is very easy to complete. Here’s how to complete the technique in four simple steps. 

1. Prime the Face

First, prep your face with a makeup primer for your skin type. If you need some recs, try the L’Oréal Paris Prime Lab line, they have options, like Pore Minimizer, Matte Setter, Redness Eraser and Dullness Reducer, for various skin concerns.  

2. Apply Foundation

Once you’ve primed your face, then you can apply foundation. Before baking, it’s best to apply a liquid foundation like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible 24 Hour Fresh Wear Foundation. This one provides 24 hour wear with medium to full coverage that camouflages dark circles, blemishes and dark spots. Use a stippling brush or a damp makeup sponge to apply it. 


3. Add Concealer and Contour

Once you’ve applied foundation, next you can use concealer to add more coverage or highlight and contour. We suggest the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Full Wear Concealer up to 24H Full Coverage — it has a matte finish with 24 hour, sweatproof wear. Choose your skin tone shade to conceal, choose two shades lighter to highlight and choose two shades darker to contour. Again, use a stippling brush or a damp makeup sponge to blend it in.

4. Apply Setting Powder and Bake

After your base is complete, it’s baking time. Take your favorite translucent loose powder and a damp makeup sponge, and dip the sponge into the powder. Apply it to your under-eyes in a thick, visible layer. You can also use powder on the sides of your nose to bake your nose contour and under the cheekbones to make your cheek contour sharper. 

Set your phone timer for 10 minutes to let the powder “bake.” Typically, people use this time to finish their eye makeup or apply their lipstick. Once the timer goes off, use a large fluffy brush to gently sweep the powder off the skin. The result should be a silky-smooth, bright complexion. 

Once you’ve dusted off the baking powder, you can proceed with the rest of your face makeup, like applying bronzer and blush. Since you’ve already baked your face, it’s best to use powder products, like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Up to 24H Fresh Wear Soft Matte Blush and L’Oréal Paris Infallible Up to 24H Fresh Wear Soft Matte Bronzer. Avoid cream and liquid formulas as they are best applied before powder and can lead to pilling and blotchiness when applied over powder. 

What’s the Difference Between Baking and Setting Powder?

Baking is a technique while setting powder is a product that you use to bake and set the face. Baking differs from just setting for face with powder because more powder is used and it’s left on the skin for five to ten minutes to use the heat from your body to set your makeup for a long-lasting, crease-free finish. 

Next: 8 White Eyeliner Looks That We’re Obsessed With

Photo Credit: Michal IG@/by_michalsuissa, Photo Design: Sarah Duvivier

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