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How to Bake Makeup Undereyes So Dark Circles and Fine Lines Disappear Fast + the Powder You’ll Want to Avoid

Baking is involved in a lot of really great things: A good dinner, a delicious dessert and, last but not least, perfect undereye makeup. But for that last one, you don’t even need an oven! Makeup baking is a technique in which a layer of powder is used to set concealer, typically under your eyes, for a smooth, lasting finish that diminishes fine lines and brightens dark circles. What’s the secret to pulling it off? Read on to find out how to bake makeup undereyes, what baking is and what products make it foolproof.

What is makeup baking?

Mature woman using powder on face to bake makeup

“Baking is a new word for the old-fashioned makeup technique of piling up a lot of loose powder to set face makeup and also to catch eyeshadows that might fall during application,” explains Emmy-award-winning celebrity makeup artist Andrew Sotomayor. “After all your makeup is finished, you sweep away the excess powder.”

However, he warns, “baking is only needed if you’re applying a lot of oily or very moisturizing concealer. If you’re using a matte or oil-free concealer — or just applying a light amount of makeup — skip this step.”

What does makeup baking do?

Besides setting your makeup for longer wear, Sotomayor says, “baking can absorb excess oil in your concealer or foundation and give you a more matte finish.” It can also catch any fallen eye makeup on the days you’re going for a full glam look so it can be easily brushed away. And Los Angeles-based makeup artist Maribel Valeria Sanchez points out that baking powder has a brightening and blurring effect, which can help visually smooth any fine lines or puffiness in the undereye area.

Is makeup baking good for mature skin?

Yes, baking your makeup can help set your under-eye concealer at any age, but there’s a catch!It can sometimes emphasize lines because the excess may settle into creases,” says Massiel, the New Jersey-based makeup artist behind the M.I.A. By MASSIEL line of brushes. The key is to choose a lightweight powder with very fine particles, so it simply sits on top of the skin and doesn’t get cakey.

Further, Sanchez says how you apply it matters for aging skin as well. She says she only uses a thin layer for her clients with mature skin to prevent the powder from creasing. “Sometimes less is more!”

How to bake makeup undereyes

According to our experts, here are the basic steps on how to bake makeup undereyes:

  1. Apply eye cream to the undereye area and allow it to fully absorb.
  2. Apply your undereye concealer and foundation of your choice as usual. Blend well.
  3. Apply a thick layer of finely milled powder using a slightly damp makeup sponge. “Don’t press the powder into your makeup,” says Sotomayor. “You want it sitting on top of the skin so that the extra can be gently swept away.”
  4. Wait 5-10 minutes. The idea is that your body heat can “bake” the makeup, which helps eliminate creasing.
  5. Brush away the excess powder with a brush or makeup sponge.
  6. Spray on a facial mist to boost hydration, combat tired, dull-looking skin and add a luminous finish. One to try: Pixi SkinTreats Hydrating Milky Mist (Buy from Ulta, $15).

Sotomayor’s bonus tip: While baking is most often done under the eyes, “you can also do the nose, chin and forehead if they’re prone to getting very shiny.”

To see these steps in action, watch the video below from @NinaUbhi1 on YouTube.

What should you look for in a makeup baking powder?

Close up of loose powder and hand holding makeup brush

When choosing a powder for mature skin to bake your makeup, look for a very finely milled product that’s incredibly lightweight. Definitely avoid setting powders that have ingredients like silica, which can cause flashback,” says Massiel. And Miami-based makeup artist and educator Meily Avila suggests specifically looking for products that are not labeled as HD (as in high-definition). Why? She says, “HD setting powders tend to have a different consistency and bounce light when taking pics with flash photography.”

The best powders and tools for baking makeup undereyes

Now that you’ve learned how to bake makeup undereyes, baking perfection comes via the powder you choose. So finding the right formula that isn’t cakey and blends into skin invisibly is key, especially for mature skin. But don’t worry — our experts have picked out a few of the best that won’t break the bank.

Best baking powder for those with sensitive skin

CoverGirl Clean Invisible Loose Powder

CoverGirl Clean Invisible Loose Powder (Buy from Ulta, $8.99)

Great for sensitive skin, this lightweight powder is great for anyone with eyes that tend to react to makeup. Sotomayor calls it “a great budget friendly option, which is great because baking uses a lot of loose powder!”

Best foolproof powder for baking makeup undereyes

Danessa Myricks Beauty Evolution Setting & Blurring Loose Powder
Danessa Myricks

Danessa Myricks Beauty Evolution Setting & Blurring Loose Powder (Buy from Sephora, $25)

Both Sotomayor and Sanchez sing this formula’s praises thanks to its ultra-fine texture. “The colors are perfect for every skin tone, says Sotomayor. “And the jar has a mesh softer to help prevent spillage.”

Best invisible powder for baking makeup undereyes

Airspun Coty Loose Face Powder

Airspun Coty Loose Face Powder (Buy from Amazon, $6.74)

This old makeup artist favorite is still a go-to today — including for both Maisel and Avila. Introduced in 1935, it’s been touted for decades for its ultra-smooth finish thanks to its special microspun formula. And the translucent version of this powder gets extra love for working for all skin tones.

Best brightening powder for baking makeup undereyes

e.l.f. Halo Glow Setting Powder

e.l.f. Halo Glow Setting Powder (Buy from Amazon, $8)

How does a powder with finely milled sapphire particles to reflect the light sound? Great? Well It is! That’s why Sanchez recommends this powder for anyone with dark circles looking for a good baking session.

Best mineral baking powder

Maybelline Fit Me Loose Powder

Maybelline Fit Me Loose Powder (Buy from Walmart, $7.98)

Available in eight shades, this mineral-based formula is a must, according to Maisel. It provides a smooth finish and blends well to hide any and all imperfections.

Best applicator for baking makeup

Ashunta Sheriff Beauty Black Diamond Makeup Sponges
Ashunta Sheriff Beauty

Ashunta Sheriff Beauty Black Diamond Makeup Sponges (Buy from Ashunta Beauty, $20)

This latex-free sponge makes baking easier than ever. Sotomayor says, “the broad side gives you a lot of control and the pointy side allows you to get right underneath the eyes.”

For more of our favorite makeup tips, click through these stories:

The 9 Best Makeup Products for Rosacea to Avoid Further Irritation and Inflammation

Celeb Makeup Artists: These Are the Best CC Creams for Even, Glowing Skin All Day

*This* Lipstick Look Reverses Years for Women Over 50: Celebrity Makeup Artists

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