Today let’s talk about setting and baking. This post is my follow up on my last post, “The Dupe List: Pressed & Perfecting Powder Foundation(s)”. There are so many do’s and so many do not’s, when it comes to setting, baking, and perfecting your foundation game. And even though a lot of beauty bloggers, vlog’s, magazine articles, and tutorials, are spent focusing on the baking process, the truth is, if you don’t have a “normal” skin type, or you have oily skin, blemish prone skin, scarring, or a combination of dry/oily skin, the baking process can be frustrating. There are products that will work well for others, but there are also products that we don’t find as useful or they don’t provide enough coverage for our skin type/tone, as they do for people with “normal” skin types. And I’ve spent YEARS perfecting my face of foundation, through the trial and error process of setting, baking, finishing, and (finally) perfecting my foundation, concealing, setting powder, and foundation powder application technique. I’ve tried so many products and I’ve spent thousands of dollars on different makeup brands, so I’m hoping to pass along my secret to all day wear foundation, (especially if you struggle with oily/combination skin types) that looks smooth and clean, but conceals and perfects; without all of my beauties spending so much time and money on the “Perfect Face of Foundation” journey.
Like a lot of foundation and setting powders, you can use powder foundation to FINISH the baking process of your concealer or foundation, after you’ve locked your liquid foundation in place with SETTING POWDER. Some (actually a lot) of powder foundations aren’t good for baking, because like I mentioned in my last post, they can provide too much coverage and end up casting a grey color to your overall finish; and this “grey” color-cast isn’t something you can reverse. After applying setting powder and “baking” it, you can add extra coverage to your foundation after the “baking” process is finished. How do you do that? There are a few ways; and it all depends on your skin type, the liquid foundation/concealer you use, the setting and/or foundation powder you use, and the order of the steps of the baking process you follow. And believe me; it’s an exact science depending on your skin type, but the most common skin type, (which is also the most difficult skin type to navigate) is Oily/Combination. So I’m here to give you tips, tricks, and product suggestions, according to this skin type and the products you use…. But first, there’s a little bit you need to know about the chemistry of setting foundations with powder;
First of all, it’s honestly easier to find a good liquid foundation that mixes and blends well with your powder foundation to set your makeup, if you’re looking for extra coverage; with that being said, I need you to learn about the do’s and don’ts of setting liquid foundation with powder foundations, versus setting liquid foundation with setting powders; I’ve tried many methods of “baking”. I’ve used powder foundations, setting powders, HD (High Definition) powders, highlighting powders, strobing powders, “banana” powders, and pretty much every kind of “powder” out there, to not only set my foundation, but to add coverage, add a highlight, strobe, brighten, add glow to my foundation finish, and “bake” my foundation.
As soon as I started seeing “setting” powders at popular beauty retailers, I was definitely curious. I purchased NYX “Don’t Fret It, Set It” Setting Powder, and though it had a light, peachy-nude pigment in the powder, as soon as I applied it, it didn’t provide ANY coverage. So, I found that “setting” powders, are good for setting makeup (obviously), but they don’t add the extra coverage that I want and get from my favorite foundation powder…. So what was next? I wanted to set my makeup, but every time I used ONLY my setting powder, I wasn’t happy with my face of foundation…. I mean, the first reason I use a powder foundation, is to “set” my liquid foundation. BUT the second reason I use it, is to give my foundation some extra coverage.
Like I mentioned before, setting powder is used for one thing only- setting liquid foundation. So if the liquid foundation you’re using doesn’t provide the amount of coverage you would like, then I suggest using a foundation powder. With that being said, the foundation powder you use, needs to be silky enough to blend perfectly in to the liquid foundation, so it doesn’t cake, tug at the liquid foundation or concealer, or cause the formulas to provide too much coverage. Too much coverage= grey color casting on your skin. Which in part, does a huge dis-favor to your entire foundation finish. A grey cast to your foundation finish is almost ALWAYS un-fixable. Because once the powder mixes with the oils in your skin and the liquid in liquid foundation, that’s when it starts to “bake”. And after your foundation starts to set and “bake”, it’s almost impossible to blend it in with anything else….. aside from a highlighting powder or glow kit. And no matter how much strobing or highlighting powder you try to apply to reverse it, it STILL will look grey. ESPECIALLY in daytime natural or bright fluorescent lighting (which most of us spend our days outside and at work, which have BOTH). Even if you’ve only added foundation powder to one part of your face, and you notice a grey cast, the only option you really have is to remove it with makeup remover or makeup remover wipes; because if you try to add more liquid, the drying minerals from the powder foundation will change the formula, and make it cake even more, which means EVEN MORE grey. Plus it will create those nasty “grey” foundation lines, between your already set foundation, and your liquid foundation only. And NOBODY looks good with a grey face. TRUST ME.
Now that you’re up to speed on the chemistry of powder setting liquids, we can go over each skin type, and learn about what products work best for each skin type, including which tools to use, which concealers, liquid foundations, and powders work best. If you’re looking for a good setting powder to go over your liquid foundation, and you want something that not only sets your foundation, but gives you extra coverage, you have a few options; Find a liquid foundation and powder foundation set, that go together or come from the same beauty brand’s line of application specific products. While beauty brands create certain products that you find DO NOT mesh or mix well together, usually the reason brand’s come out with specific lines, is because that line is specific for a certain skin type; For example, It Cosmetics’ has their “Bye Bye Pores” Line, which was made specifically for people that struggle with large pores, and usually oily/combination skin, while their “Celebration Foundation” is made specifically for aging skin; that’s why the powder is “creamier” and more moisturizing. So knowing which brand’s line(s) go with which skin type, is ESSENTIAL. Here are some of my favorite beauty brand’s lines and combinations for the Oily/Combination skin type, as well as my preferred, step by step baking process instructions, for this skin tone and my favorite product combinations;
Best Beauty Brand Product Combinations For Oily/Combination Skin Types:
Having oily or a combination of oily skin with dry under-eye can be tough. Not only do you deal with having to touch up oily spots throughout the day, occasional (or frequent) acne, blemishes, dark spots from acne scarring (if you’ve struggled with occasional cystic acne or frequent cystic blemishes), AND you have to deal with dry, delicate skin under and around your eyes, which in turn, usually takes several products to control and balance your skin out, and then several makeup products to conceal and correct the problems. It’s A LOT of work. Believe me…. I know because I struggle with this skin type. But there are a few foundations, concealers, and powders that work extremely well with our skin type. And I’m SO THANKFUL that I was in the right place, at the right time, to discover these skin perfecting products.
Lorac’s “Porefection” Line of Concealers, Foundations, & Perfecting Powders:
$26 – $36 http://www.lorac.com
- The Porefection Liquid Foundation or Liquid Concealer, goes hand in hand with Lorac’s “Porefection Perfecting Powder Foundation”. The pre-baked perfecting powder goes on smooth, doesn’t cake, and melts and sets to PERFECTION over either foundation or concealer.
- The entire “Porefection” Line, goes hand in hand. It reduces the look of fine lines and wrinkles (which is perfect for dry skin around eyes) but has salicylic acid in the formula, to control oil and acne. Plus the perfecting powder can be layered on for more coverage with ease, without drying out your skin, and without having to add setting powder, because the pre-baked formula sets the liquid foundation and concealer with no extra effort to “bake” or “set” anymore than just the initial application of powder.
- It reduces the look of pores, evens out skin tone, and provides extra coverage to conceal blemishes, acne scarring, or cystic acne. It truly is the perfect combination, and eliminates the need to add even more makeup (aka setting powder) to your already blemish or oil clogged prone skin.
- Even though I don’t suggest applying powder formula under your eyes, this formula can be lightly swept under your eyes with a “Setting Powder” Brush or “Kabuki” Brush, which will finish the extremely easy “baking” process that finalizes your gorgeous face of foundation; BUT if you are using a “Porefection Perfecting Powder”, that is a bit darker than your normal skin color, DO NOT it to “bake” your concealer. It can cause a grey cast, due to the dryness around your eyes, versus the combination/oily skin type on the rest of your face. AND darker colors can and WILL accentuate fine lines. So make sure you get a color match at Sephora or Ulta when you purchase this.
Kat Von D’s “Lock It” Line of Foundations (Liquid & Powder), & Setting Powders:
$20 – $37 http://www.katvondbeauty.com
- Kat Von D’s “Lock It” Liquid Foundation and her “Lock It” Powder Foundation go hand in hand. Both formulas are full coverage, and both formulas compliment each other extremely well. The liquid foundation is great for oily/combination skin, because it masks blemishes, acne scarring, minor imperfections, as well as major imperfections, and it sets (fast) to a matte, non-budge finish. It’s non-drying, but yet, it’s not oily or greasy, which is a tough formula for most beauty brands to achieve, these days.
- If you have dry skin, this formula works well with Kat Von D’s “Hydrating Primer” underneath. And if you have extremely oily skin, you can achieve a full coverage look with the “Lock It” Foundation Powder, which can be applied with a “Beauty Blender” for best/full coverage results, and that way you can skip the extra layer of moisture that primers and liquid foundations offer.
- The liquid foundation can be set to perfection with Kat’s “Lock It” Setting Powders, which come in the shade, “Transparent”, as well as the “Lock It Brightening Powder”, which comes in shades, “Golden”; a yellow or “banana” colored powder, which brightens tan to deep skin tones. “Peach”; a “warm bisque” that brightens up and lightens medium/olive skin tones. And “Petal”; a “powder pink” which is used to brighten and highlight light skin tones. The “Lock It” Setting and Brightening Powders are both extremely silky (which is essential to setting and perfecting that gorgeous face of yours), and blendable. Because they’re so silky, that means you won’t have trouble with tugging, uneven application, or splotchy-ness. And the silky powder sets the “Lock It” Liquid Foundation to a perfect, even, fresh finish.
- If you want the extra coverage that a foundation powder gives you, versus a setting powder, both of the “Lock It” Liquid and Powder foundations blend and mix well together; With that being said, if you choose to set your liquid foundation with the powder, there are a few things you must be aware of –
- Both “Lock It” liquid and powder shades must be the EXACT SAME SHADE. I used “Lock It” Liquid Foundation in Light 44 Warm, and used “Lock It” Powder Foundation in Light 46 Cool. BIG MISTAKE. I ended up looking “grey”. No joke. And because Kat’s shades are the largest and most detailed array of shade options out there, even just ONE number difference (as well as the Warm/Neutral/Cool differences) can be EXTREMELY APPARENT.
- Because both liquid and powder formulas are extremely full coverage, DO NOT apply the powder formula over the liquid formula with a “Beauty Blender” or “Buffing Foundation” brush. That will be a little too much, and you will end up looking cake-y. Instead, use a “Setting Powder” brush, which will give the powder more room to spread and blend. And you’ll avoid putting on too much product, which in this case, is a good thing. One sweep of this, per area, and you’ll be good to go, with your foundation locked in place, the extra coverage achieved, and a perfectly “baked” face of foundation.
- Another BIGGIE; DO NOT USE THE FOUNDATION POWDER TO BAKE THE LIQUID FOUNDATION UNDER YOUR EYES. Because your eye area is (typically) dryer and more delicate than the rest of your face, AND there can be a few “fine lines” under and around your eyes, foundation powder, is a huge NO NO. Foundation Powder actually ACCENTUATES fine lines; even over a great liquid foundation. SO save your setting powder for your “under eye/concealer baking”. Because setting powders are so silky and blendable, setting powders’ fine powder “granules” won’t settle, accentuate, or “sit on top of” fine lines or wrinkles. That’s why it’s best for under eye “baking”. Plus, since your under eye area is dryer than the rest of your face, that means that whatever is working perfectly for your entire face and skin tone, probably won’t work as good for your eyes/under eye area; because it’s a different tone and has different texture. It’s a lot more delicate and sensitive. Honesty, a full coverage liquid concealer (or foundation) that is “pressed” into pores under your eyes, should be about all the coverage you need. Then stick to a brightening/highlighting, silky setting powder, like Kat Von D’s, and bake it. Then your sensitive under eye area will be good to go all day!
The Baking Process for Oily/Combination Skin:
STEP 1: Apply your foundation with a “Beauty Blender”, “Buffing Foundation Brush”, “Flat Foundation Brush”, “Edge Precision Foundation Brush”, or your hands; CLEAN, SANITIZED, FRESHLY WASHED HANDS, and dot the foundation on your forehead, cheeks, chin, and nose, until your face is ready for pressing/blending out. *NOTE* See my thoughts on primer below.
STEP 2: Press your foundation into your pores, with brush, blender, or fingers, and blend out the foundation on your face to achieve the coverage you want. Press = tapping or stippling your foundation with your finger tips or brush, to literally, PRESS the foundation into your pores to create an even, non-caked, face of foundation. (REPEAT STEPS 1 AND 2 IF YOU WANT TO ADD ANOTHER COVERAGE BUILDING LAYER OF FOUNDATION).
STEP 3: Warm up your concealer, by rubbing it in between CLEAN, SANITIZED, FRESHLY WASHED FINGERS; most full coverage concealers need to be “warmed up”, and most people don’t know that. Products like It Cosmetics’ “Bye Bye Under Eye” Full Coverage Concealer, doesn’t give you the desired effect that it promises, unless you warm it up. Also, I like to warm up Kat Von D’s “Lock It” Liquid Foundation, because once it’s warmed up, it literally will melt into your pores, and you won’t have to do so much “pressing”.
STEP 4: Dot your “warmed up” concealer under your eyes, on the sides of your eyes, eyelids, and anywhere you want extra coverage; *NOTE* By applying your foundation first, you eliminate the need to use so much concealer- Once foundation is applied it covers most imperfections, so concealer should only really be used under and around your eyes.
STEP 5: Use your concealer brush, “Beauty Blender”, or clean hands and fingertips, to blend concealer out, and press the concealer into your pores. AND, honestly, fingertips are the best tool(s) to apply concealer; the concealer isn’t absorbed into a blender or sponge, your sensitive eye area doesn’t have ANOTHER product to potentially irritate it, and your finger tips give you the most precise and accurate application type. Your finger tips are much easier to control than a concealer brush, or blender. And you can cover those tiny, hard to reach with a brush/blender, eye corners, that are so prone to getting makeup in them, which causes irritation.
STEP 6: Press your concealer into your foundation, (which is easy because it hasn’t been set or baked yet) and blend the concealer and foundation into each other with your fingertips or your “Beauty Blender”- this is when a “Beauty Blender” comes in handy.
STEP 7: Once your concealer and foundation are perfectly blended, pressed into pores, and you’re happy with your application/coverage, then grab your setting powder AND your favorite setting powder brush. Apply setting powder with your setting powder brush, under your eyes, and across your nose, ONLY. Be extremely generous with setting powder, because that’s what is going to “bake” your concealer.
STEP 8: NOW, take your FOUNDATION POWDER (ONLY if you’re looking for extra coverage; if you’re happy with your foundation’s coverage, keep using the SETTING POWDER to finish and “bake” your foundation on your face, then skip to STEP 10), and use a different setting powder brush (or the same one, but wipe setting powder off on a towel, etc.) , and LIGHTLY apply foundation powder to the rest of your face, (except for under your eyes and across nose), and blend it into the setting powder, but don’t cover the setting powder. The foundation powder will “bake” your liquid foundation, just like the setting powder on your nose and under your eyes, will bake your concealer.
STEP 9: Once again, switch setting powder brushes, and use your “setting powder” setting powder brush, and apply more setting powder under your eyes and across your nose, and blend it out into the foundation powder.
STEP 10: Now, wait about 5 to 6 minutes; the heat from your skin, will actually melt and “bake” the powder into your foundation and concealer, which LOCKS both the liquid foundation, and the powder foundation, as well as the concealer, for a non-budge, perfected, long wearing face of foundation.
STEP 11: After the 5 to 6 minute wait, take a large powder brush and dust off any extra setting powder. If you still want more coverage after the setting powder has been dusted off, you can apply more foundation powder AFTER THE BAKING PROCESS IS FINISHED. The silkiness of the setting powder and the already “baked” foundation powder (and liquid), is a lot more flexible and buildable, if you want to add a little extra powder foundation, for a little extra coverage; as long as it’s completely baked and finished, and there’s no liquid to tug on, cake on, or “turn grey” because of too much coverage, that foundation powders can provide, if used with certain foundations, etc.
STEP 12: AFTER YOU’VE STROBED, HIGHLIGHTED, CONTOURED, BRONZED, AND APPLIED BLUSH, (either, or) finish your foundation and freshly baked face, with a good makeup setting spray; I prefer applying all of my face makeup (even my brows, eyeshadow, and lipstick) before setting my makeup with a good setting spray. But use setting spray as you prefer.
Primer Problems For Oily/Combination Skin Types:
Sometimes “Primer” isn’t a good thing; For acne prone or oily skin types, it can cause more grief than good. Even if you’re using an oil-free primer, the result can lead to the need for more touchups during the work day, or night out. I’ve also noticed, that when I use a primer (and everyone’s skin is different, so if there’s a primer that you love and works great for you, then by all means, USE IT! AND let me know about it, so I can try it!) I seem to have a hard time with foundation “laying” on top of my skin, and not being able to “melt” or “press” my liquid foundation into my pores. Which makes for a “caked” look or an uneven foundation finish. I notice that some spots will absorb the primer, which is what it’s supposed to do, but some spots won’t. Which then makes it impossible to “press” your foundation into your pores. And I’ve found that EVERY time I put primer on, this happens. The only time it doesn’t happen is if I use a primer “water”. So here are two options if primer “water” that you can apply, before starting the foundation process;
Laura Geller’s “Spackle Mist”:
“Spackle” Priming, Setting, & Reworking Mist is great for priming your face. It isn’t heavy and you can “mist” it on evenly. It adds non-greasy moisture to your skin, as well as some antioxidants. Apply “Sparkle” before you start the foundation application process, for a perfect amount of moisture to your “clean slate”, AKA your freshly washed and prepped face. You can use this as a makeup setting mist, but it doesn’t make your makeup last any longer. I use this mainly for priming, and then “re-working” foundation if I have any problems during the day.
Smashbox “Photo Finish” Primer Water:
This is a great option for a primer “water” as well. It preps your face for foundation and adds non-greasy moisture. If you have dry skin around your eyelids and under your eyes, it’s a good idea to give your eyes (eyes closed, obviously) a few extra sprays to prep the delicate skin around your eyes for makeup application. You can also use this to set makeup. AND I actually really like this as a setting mist option, so you can get two products in one, with “Photo Finish” Primer Water.
After extensively experimenting with a number of products, application techniques, and brushes, my Oily/Combination Skin Type looks absolutely FLAWLESS, now that I’ve finally perfected my product combination and application process for “baking” and “setting” my foundation, powder, etc. I highly suggest trying these products, and perfecting your method of “baking” and “setting” foundation, with this application method. And for all of you that struggle with Oily/Combination Skin Types, I hope this helps bring some light to the “baking” trend and process. Because let’s face it; everyone has different skin types and tones, and there are NOT any beauty products that cater to “All Skin Types or Tones”, even if it’s advertised that way…. The same goes for application methods, beauty tools, tips, and tricks.
Either way, find your skin type, and find those products that make you GLOW! I can’t count how many times there have been products and application methods, promising to “make my beauty routine easier”. But if that product doesn’t mix well with yours/my skin type, you and I both, are just wasting time and money. The same goes for beauty products that people either LOVE or HATE; WE ARE ALL different in our own unique way…. So if there’s an “unpopular” or “cheap” or “drugstore” beauty product that you absolutely love, then USE IT! If there’s a way of doing your makeup that leaves you feeling confident and makes you look AND FEEL beautiful, but it’s considered “old fashioned” or it’s not “in”, KEEP DOING IT! The beauty and art of makeup is about embracing our individuality, and there’s not “ONE WAY” or “ONE PRODUCT” that everyone needs to use or do. The most important part of looking beautiful, is FEELING BEAUTIFUL. Because if you don’t feel beautiful, then your confidence isn’t going to make you glow, like it would if you were actually FEELING BEAUTIFUL AND CONFIDENT!
Have a Fresh & Fab Day, Beauties!