Debunking TikTok's latest "no makeup" hack

One brush stroke at a time

  • 14.10.2021

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If it’s on TikTok, you know it’s worth looking into. #beautytok is the ‘it’ testing ground for makeup techniques and products. Recently, a new obsession has emerged on the app: Underpainting. Contrary to popular belief, however this application style is not new — but rather, was utilised quietly amongst big-time makeup artists all over the world. Here is everything you need to know about it.

@kamgregoryTRUST the process🤍 first time underpainting what do we think? ib: @rhiathesaint #makeup #makeuptutorial #foryou #makeuptransformation♬ Brent Faiyaz – “dead man walking” – Alpha House

What is underpainting?

Surprise, underpainting was not founded by beauty gurus. It’s an actual painting technique used by artists since the renaissance era. Multiple layers of paint (typically in monochromatic colours) are applied, one at a time, to give the masterpiece more definition and detail. Although makeup isn’t exactly like painting, it is a similar art form — the face essentially acts as the canvas. Typically, you start with contour, highlighter, and blush as the base, followed by a thin layer of foundation to achieve an extremely well-blended complexion with zero lines.

Where should you begin?

First things first, prep your skin with your usual skincare routine and a primer. A smooth canvas will speed up the process and allow for the finished look to appear more seamless.

Secondly, apply contour in your usual areas – the hollows of your cheeks, your jawline, the sides of your nose bridge, as well as the top of your forehead. Once everything is mapped out, it is time to highlight. Again, apply the concealer of choice on the cheekbones, the middle of your nose bridge, the centre of your forehead, and your chin. Do not blend anything out yet.

For those aiming for the trendy sunburnt look, this would be a good time to slap on your blush as well. The foundation layer will soften it out through blending and help you get that effortless, sun-kissed look.

Last but not least, it is time to layer the foundation. Now, this is the step that could cause some frustration. Start with a small amount of foundation on a beauty blender and tap it onto your face gently. Avoid large strokes that would drag all the different products on the face — the last thing you want is a greyish patch.

The same “no makeup” look can be done with powder-based contour and blush products, but cream-based makeup blends much easier. Everything should start to look soft and flawless now, but if more coverage is needed, apply another layer of foundation with the beauty blender – there is a trial and error process if you are trying underpainting out for the first time. Voilà, there you go. Someone is looking tres magnifique.

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