Updated! Makeup Baking: A Quick How-to

Close-up of Kim Kardashian

You spend enough hours on YouTube watching beauty vlogs and you start to learn a thing or two. (We’re not obsessed…we swear, it’s all in the name of research.)

For starters, there’s a massive highlighting/contouring trend happening right now. And two, this trend relies heavily on concealing. And any beauty fiend worth her epsom salt knows that concealing can be tough on the skin.

The delicate area under the eye is often the darkest on the face and, unless you’re still a teenager, fine lines and wrinkles are additional factors to combat. So how are beauty gurus lightening, brightening and smoothing with concealer? It’s not internet magic. It’s a trendy makeup technique known as baking.

The Makeup Baking Technique

Makeup Baking -- what you need

So, why is it called baking? Well, there are some makeup layers and setting time, aka cook time, involved. This secret — like many of the other Instagram-famous trends — looks a little silly at first. But if you can get past the powdered patches and wait time in between steps, you could be looking at a flawless camouflage job that really helps the face pop in photos and IRL.

Baking, Step by Step

  1. Use your moisturizer, eye creams and primer as normal.
  2. Apply your concealer in one layer or several, to your liking. Try under the eye, and a bit on your forehead, cupid’s bow and/or chin. Smooth it out to velvety perfection with your choice of a beauty blender, brush or just your fingers.
  3. Press out all of your fine lines and wrinkles. Make sure you’re pleased with the results, because the next step seals the deal.
  4. Pack on the powder. Grab a fluffy brush and your favorite setting powder and cover up all your concealed areas. This is the one cosmetic technique where a heavy hand is best–it’s all about a thick coating of fine, loose powder.
  5. Let it sit anywhere between 10-30 minutes.
  6. Lightly flick away the remaining powder that hasn’t settled into the concealer.

Normally the heavy layer(s) of concealer put you at risk of looking caked and creased in short order. But that layer of powder gives you a smooth, plump polish.

Your Makeup Baking Toolkit

This post about makeup baking was updated in January, 2019.


Melissa is creative communications professional with 9+ years of experience writing for the beauty and fashion industries.