Is Makeup Baking Still a Thing in 2020?

August 21, 2020
Alanna Martine Kilkeary
By: Alanna Martine Kilkeary | by L'Oréal

To bake or not to bake — that is the question. The makeup baking technique gained popularity in the mid 2010s thanks to celeb makeup artists, the Kardashians and, of course, beauty YouTubers and Instagram stars. The baking technique involves letting a thick layer of loose powder sit on the high points of your face for about 15 minutes after applying your foundation. Once it’s set, you simply brush off the excess to reveal a more contoured, highlighted and sculpted complexion. But is baking makeup still a thing, especially with the dewy, more minimalist approach to face makeup in 2020? Two editors share their opinions below. 

The Case for Baking It Til Ya Make It 

“As someone who generally tries to avoid harsh contouring, baking was the perfect technique for me when it came on to the beauty scene. You’re telling me all I have to do is let powder sit on my face, then wipe it off and I’ll look instantly brighter? Yes, please. Listen, I get it –– a dewy glow is all the rage right now, but as someone with a chronically tired look, I’d be hard-pressed to let go of any technique that instantly brightens my face. I tend to keep both a translucent powder and a banana powder on rotation in my routine at all times. The Maybelline New York Lasting Fix Banana Powder neutralizes my darker under-eye area, while e.l.f. Cosmetics’ Halo Glow Setting Powder gives me a silky complexion that’s just as good as any dewy look. The best part about baking is that you can control how much powder you put on and how long it sits there, so I tend to only keep it on for a few minutes, so I don’t get too bright. Top that off with a dewy setting spray, and I’m looking refreshed and ready to go. To any of my 2010s icons out there: I see you, I hear you, I’m baking right there with you.” Jillian, Senior Social Media Editor

RMS Beauty “Un” Powder, KOSAS Sun Show Bronzer, Maybelline New York Masterchrome Jelly Highlighter

The Case for Kissing Baking Goodbye

“I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but makeup baking is so yesterday. I never thought of myself as a baking fanatic to begin with because I could just never see myself incorporating it into my routine, and I still feel the same way to this day. I understand that baking gives you a more sculpted finish to your makeup, but I find that it actually makes me end up looking a little too harsh and cakey. And as someone with already very defined features, I don’t feel the technique is for me. Instead, I like to set with a light, loose powder like the RMS Beauty “Un” Powder, and I focus my contour on a very specific highlighting and bronzing technique, using the Maybelline New York Masterchrome Jelly Highlighter and the KOSAS Sun Show Bronzer. I’m able to mimic the *lewk* of the light catching all the high points of my faces without committing to the extra 15-minute baking process in my routine!” Alanna, Associate Editor

Design: Hannah Packer

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