Home Tips & Trends Makeup Trend What is TikTok’s Underpainting Makeup Trick?

What is TikTok’s Underpainting Makeup Trick?

It's the secret to that 'lit-from-within glow.

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If you’ve ever scrolled through TikTok and wondered how everyone seems to have mastered the effortlessly sculpted, glow-from-within look, let me introduce you to the not-so-secret secret of the beauty world: underpainting. This technique, coined by celebrity makeup artist Mary Philips, is like the Spanx of the makeup world – it’s all about what’s underneath. It’s the reason celebrities look like they’re naturally chiseled by the gods, and not like they’ve spent hours in front of a mirror (which, let’s be honest, they probably have). Forget heavy, cakey layers; underpainting is all about subtlety and enhancing your natural beauty. So, grab your favorite cream-based products, and let’s dive into the world of underpainting, where less is definitely more, and blending is your new best friend.

@makeupbymaryphillips highly requested video showing you brushes i use for underpainting ♥️ some might be discontinued but at least you can see what they look like! #underpaintingmakeup #makeupbrushes #favoritebrushes #maryphillipsmakeup ♬ Snooze X We Belong Together - lonely xo
Benefits of Underpainting

Underpainting is like the secret sauce in makeup – it’s the trick that makes everything else look better without drawing attention to itself. Think of it as the understated elegance in the world of contouring. Instead of the obvious, sometimes harsh lines we see with traditional contouring, underpainting gives you that ‘I woke up like this’ glow. It’s like your face but subtly sculpted, where everything seems naturally more defined.

What’s more, underpainting is a trooper when it comes to lasting through your day. Whether it’s a long workday or a night out, this technique ensures your makeup doesn’t call it quits before you do. And the best part? It doesn’t play favorites. Dry, oily, mature, or youthful skin – it works wonders on everyone. You can dial up the drama for a night out or keep it soft and subtle for everyday wear.

After all is said and done, underpainting is all about making your makeup work smarter, not harder. It elevates your look in the most unassuming way, enhancing your natural beauty without the need for a heavy hand. It’s the kind of technique that once you try, you’ll wonder how you ever went without it.

Step-by-Step Guide to Underpainting
  1. Prep Your Skin: Start with a clean, moisturized face. Primer is optional but recommended for longer wear.
  2. Apply Cream Contour: Before foundation, apply a cream contour product to areas you want to recede or define, like under your cheekbones, along your jawline, and on the sides of your nose.
  3. Blend Thoroughly: Use a dense brush or beauty sponge to blend the contour product. Ensure no harsh lines are visible.
  4. Apply Cream Blush and/or Highlighter: Add cream blush on the apples of your cheeks and cream highlighter on the high points of your face like cheekbones, brow bones, and the bridge of your nose.
  5. Blend Again: Blend these products thoroughly, ensuring a seamless transition between contour, blush, and highlighter.
  6. Apply Foundation: Use a lightweight, liquid foundation and apply it over your face. Blend it well so that the underpainting subtly shows through.
  7. Set Your Makeup: If desired, lightly set your makeup with a translucent powder to ensure longevity.
Underpainting Product Recommendations
  1. Contour Product: Rare Beauty Contour Stick- Easy to blend and perfect for creating shadows.
  2. Blush: Fenty Beauty Cream Blush – Offers a range of shades for a natural flush.
  3. Highlighter: Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector – Provides a natural, dewy glow.
  4. Foundation:  Joah Beauty -Luminous Peptide Foundation –  Lightweight and buildable, ideal for layering over underpainting.
  5. Translucent Powder: Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder – Great for setting makeup without adding weight.
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Janene Mascarella