Should You “Bake” Your Makeup?

By Smriti Prabhat

Once upon a time, in a land obsessed with makeup, the technique of “cooking” or “baking” makeup was introduced. It was mostly used by drag queens to set their makeup and get that flawless finish that everyone loved. Then, contouring and highlighting took over the world. Recently though, with strobing being a rage, baking your makeup is making a comeback as well, and the results are so great that ‘happily ever after” doesn’t seem far behind.

What is “Baking”?

Baking is a technique where you set your makeup over a period of time (10 to 20 minutes). Basically, you apply your moisturizer, primer, foundation and concealer. Then, the areas that you tend to highlight are coated with quite a thick layer of powder. You can also do the same under your eye. This layer is then left to bake for some amount of time. Now, the natural heat from your skin starts cooking the makeup and allows it to really set on your skin. After the 10 minute mark is over (or longer, depending on your skin type), you dust off the excess powder and blend it into your skin. The result is amazing luminosity to your skin that looks natural.


Where Should Your “Bake”?

Theoretically, you can bake any area of your face but usually, because this is such a time consuming method, baking is restricted to the areas where you highlight. The under-eye area where you apply your concealer is the most favorite part for baking because it eliminates any chances of creasing. So, after you have applied all your layers, don’t use powder all over and just use a finely milled loose powder on these areas:-


• The bridge of your nose;

• Your cheekbones;

• Sweep the powder on the area beneath the hollows of your cheek; and

• Add some on your chin as well if you have a small chin and want to make it look defined.


What Is The Correct Shade of Powder for “Baking”?

– If you have a fair complexion, then you should choose a powder that leans toward the white shade. A powder with a pink hue can look absolutely gorgeous on fair skinned people. Now, if you have a dark or medium skin tone like me, white would make you look ashy (hello, zombie!). You have this gorgeous complexion and you are ruining it with a lighter powder. Instead, go for something that has a deep orange shade to it. You can even go for shimmer because it looks lovely on medium/darker skin tones.

What Results Can You Expect from “Baking”?

After you knock off the excess powder, you would notice that the areas where you baked look lifted and perfectly smooth. The biggest and best benefit of this technique is how great you look in pictures. It is worth every extra minute of hard work when you see those selfies. So, if you have a great event, go for baking and thank me later!

Who Shouldn’t ‘Bake”?

If you are a fan of sheer finish, you might not like this technique because it doesn’t allow your skin to show through. This is definitely not a “no makeup” look. Also, if you have wrinkles or fine lines on your face, baking in those areas would look unnatural and it might accentuate those lines. So, use this technique with caution.


How Do You Set Your Face After “Baking”?

I would advise you to invest in a great setting spray after you have baked your face.


I hope you understand how baking works now and are not as confused as I was when I initially came across this technique. Honestly, when I read the title, I thought I might have to put my foundation in the oven or something. 😛 So, have you tried baking? If so, what were your results like?

Image Source: 1,2,3,4,5

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6 thoughts on “Should You “Bake” Your Makeup?

  1. Smriti before reading your article even I used to think that! That we were supposed to put our makeup products in the oven for a while to bake. 😛 I don’t think I have the mind to wrap my head around these contouring, strobing and baking. I would rather focus on keeping my skin flawless and would like to rely on makeup artists if I really need to get all dolled up.

  2. I’ve tried playing around with my concealer to ‘bake’ it and I’ve ended up looking like a ghost tbh! I think for someone with NC 15-20 flawless, pimple free skin I can see it working but for the average (busy-to-the-point-of-breaking) Indian woman this is the worst idea!!

  3. When I bake my concealer, instead of going for a lighter shade, I tend to go for something that matches my skin tone and bake it with a lighter powder. That way, it looks all natural.

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