'The one extra step that revolutionised my makeup routine.'

Once upon a time, I was a victim to mascara.

I’d look in the mirror, almost scream at my racoon appearance, and wonder why no one told me I had black mascara smudges sitting underneath my eyes.

Until, one sweet pretty day, I came across one of the many beauty vloggers on YouTube and saw them ‘bake’ – that is, applying an extremely thick coat of setting powder and leaving it for up to 10 minutes before dusting it away – to their whole face.

THEIR WHOLE FACE?! All I could do was watch on in horror as all the wasted powder swirled in the air around them. But then I started listening to what they were saying about ‘baking’ — and how it prevents mascara from smudging.

I started to wonder… Does baking your makeup work? 

And, well, let’s just say I wish I listened to the fad a few years ago when it blew up.

I don’t necessarily do it to contour either. I mean, it’s just an added bonus that baking happens to highlight and brighten the important parts of your face.

You only need five simple things to bake, and they are all probably lying in the bottom of your make up bag: concealer that’s a shade lighter than your normal skin tone, translucent loose powder, a big fluffy powder brush, and some type of makeup sponge that you don’t mind getting a copious amount of powder on.

Here's a basic way of going about it:

  • Conceal any bags or under eye darkness with your concealer, blending it out with a makeup sponge until you look less like a zombie and more like a living human again.
  • Then take another sponge of some sort — I highly recommend a plain old makeup wedge to get into the nooks and crannies — and pack on loose translucent powder on areas you want to set. This could be under your eyes, your T-zone, or your chin.
  • Now... Ready, steady, cook!

Some people let it simmer for a few minutes, others for up to 20. I find myself sitting in the five-minute mark, allowing enough time for me to tame my eyebrows and lightly contour to save time. When you finally feel like you're done and ready to be taken out of the oven, brush away the excess powder and behold the sight in front of you.


Suddenly, you have an under eye glow you never knew existed.

If you're a budget beauty addict like myself, take a trip to Big W and invest in Face of Australia's translucent loose powder. It's only $12. That's $50 less than its rival despite both including a lot of identical ingredients.

The likes of Kim Kardashian (ahem, her makeup artist) swears by Laura Mercier's setting powder, using it for all her beauty show stopping looks. Now, I'm not a member of the Kardashian/Jenner clan, but as an owner of both products, Face of Australia's product is just as good if not better than Laura Mercier's cult product. Both reach the same desired result.

Baking has quite simply changed the outcome of my makeup routine, and it isn't going to be thrown out the window anytime soon.

Gone are my concealer creases. I have those tiny little lines underneath my eyes that always seem to collect product, and I never see one over-emphasised wrinkle after I bake. I stay relatively airbrushed all day.

Do you contour a little wonkily? I do. For some reason one of my real (read: totally contoured) cheeks always manages to look higher than the other. To make my cheeks look more like sisters rather than very distant cousins, I bake just underneath where I contour to clean up the lines.

And I finally don't see a raccoon staring back at me every time I look into the mirror.

Goodbye makeup grievances.

Zoe Foster-Blake’s beauty advice for busy women.