What is “Baking” Your Makeup, and When Should You Do It?

If you’re dialed into the beauty world, chances are you’ve heard the term “baking.” It’s been a popular thing for the past few years, but it still seems to be a source of confusion if you’re not sure of the why and how.

So, who is baking right for? If you’re someone who has trouble with your concealer creasing or foundation sliding, or you need to set your makeup for a long time, be it a summer day out, a wedding (or both), this is a great technique for keeping your makeup in place.

Baking is a time-honored technique in the drag community (we have stolen SO MANY drag methods in modern makeup—contouring/highlighting among them—so, thank you, queens!!!), and sets makeup for a long night of dancing and sweating under hot lights. This method of setting uses a translucent powder to trap your body heat for 5-10 minutes and set your makeup in the most amazing way—hence the name “baking.” You’ll notice a difference as soon as you wipe away the excess powder that your makeup is matte, smooth and silky, and it’s not going anywhere.

How to bake:

All you need to bake is a translucent powder, your favorite foundation, and concealer.

First, make sure your under eye area is hydrated—I’m using this.

Next, apply your favorite concealer and foundation. I love this concealer from W3ll People, and apply it in kind of a triangle with the first point being my inner corner next to my eye, down to about halfway down my nose, and up to where the top of my ear meets my face. Then, I apply my foundation. I like to do foundation as a second step because I think it’s easier to make it really blend with the concealer.

After you’ve got your concealer and foundation applied, dip a damp makeup sponge into your translucent powder and apply it where your makeup tends to slide or come off first. I do my undereye area, my chin, and a little in the middle of my brows, blending up to the forehead just slightly since that’s where I tend to lose my base first. Leave the powder on your face for about 5-7 minutes.

The last step is gently brushing off the translucent powder. Be sure to brush off as much as you can so you can avoid harsh lines or white spots. Sometimes I take a photo of my face with the flash on if I’m unsure of whether I got everything! You’ll be able to feel a difference immediately if you gently tap where you baked. xo, Keely

P.S. This beauty trend can look intimidating, but you get the hang of it after a few tries and it’s truly pretty easy and perfect for warm weather or long days.

Credits // Author and Photography: Keely Rust. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.
  • Thanks for sharing this post.i always looking this type posts.but your post is too good.

  • In theater, you alway apply the concealer first, and a,white highlighter penciil, a dot in the corner of your eyes. Plus, power is always last, to seal the makeup. And. Bakeing is not a new process.

  • That’s great! A good tutorial will guide us to look younger and more beautiful!

  • This is the perfect step by step tutorial! I’ve been looking for one forever.


  • I am in the class with Claire’s grandmother. We always used loose powder to cover the foundation, you did not want shiny nose or cheeks. It lasted all day. But of course, we also carried our compac with loose powder. At intermission, off to the powder room to add more powder,( powder room is now called ladies lounge or plain old bathroom) touch up the lipstick etc. Marta has a great idea of using concealer before foundation. Thanks ladies, you brought back old memories.

  • Baking makeup is an awesome idea for getting it to stay even in heat and humidity. Any ideas on how to make it look less matte? I’ve never tried using my concealer before my foundation. I’m going to try this because I always seem to have some sort of issue blending it out.

  • Hello! Thought this might be worth saying: baking, highlighting and contouring has been around much longer… but has gone by different names draping, sculpting, etc. It all stems from silent films, “talkies,” and the theater/dance. Drag queens are not the inventors by a long shot but definitely have helped bring it back into the spotlight with plenty of social media knockouts!

    My grandmother practiced what we now call “baking” because makeup of her time was much more oil based and heavy and thus requiring powders to absorb the excess oils before being gently brushed and blended. Take a quick look at the pop stars and rockers of the 80s to see how blushes (and shimmers) were used to contour the face and shape cheekbones!

    Saying baking has been stolen from the drag community? Well no. They definitely helped make it popular again.

    • I think the general point is that credit is given where it’s due; were it not for queens, these methods may not have risen to prominence again. I don’t think that anyone is arguing that they invented it, per se. I appreciated the acknowledgment on the part of the authors and the effort to be inclusive on the blog.

  • I’ve never heard of baking, but it sounds like a genius idea! Thanks for the clear tutorial! Can’t wait to try it. 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  • I’ve never baked before cause i get scared for some reason. but i think I’m definitely giving it a go.


    xoxo <3

  • When baking first came up as trend I tried it out and loved it but now I rarely do it anymore because I like my makeup to be dewier now and baking makes it very matte which I’d still want if I was going to a wedding or something like that but I don’t have any of those kinds of events happening for years so I don’t really do it. And I like to apply my concealer before my foundation too, I used to do it the opposite way for years and always wondered why certain areas looked cakey and now I see that if I apply concealer first, it’s easier to blend the foundation and not apply too much in certain spots because the concealer is already there, if that makes sense.

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