If, like us, you’ve been drawn into the world of TikTok, you’ll know that the app’s many beauty enthusiasts are pretty genius. In just a couple of months, they’ve convinced us to ditch eye cream, start face shaving, and use fake tan as lip liner (it works — but be careful). Right now, though, there’s one beauty hack trending above all else.
Enter: the backwards makeup routine.
What is the backwards makeup trend and why has it gone viral on TikTok?
One word: summer. Teamed with face masks, high temperatures are not the best environment for makeup. No matter how expensive your beauty stash or meticulous your routine, chances are your foundation has melted off your face. The forecast is calling for hot and humid, but the brains behind TikTok’s backwards makeup routine aim to combat all of that.
Marianna Hewitt, co-founder of skin-care brand Summer Fridays, and makeup lover Samyha are already huge fans of the trend, which consists of switching around the order of products in your routine for better, more flawless results. Hewitt promised her followers that, by adopting this trend, their makeup would “stay on 24/7” and wouldn’t crease.
How do you do the backwards makeup trend?
The technique isn’t as confusing as it sounds. Start with your favorite moisturizer and apply all over. Hewitt used Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask, but the Cloud Dew Oil-Free Gel Cream Moisturizer is also a great option for summer as it’s a lot lighter. Translucent powder and setting spray would usually be the finishing touches to set makeup in place, but here they are the second and third steps. Hewitt applied a thin veil of Maybelline Fit Me Matte & Poreless Powder in Translucent all over with a fluffy brush and spritzed a little NYX Professional Makeup Setting Spray on top before going in with a layer of makeup primer. The trick is to wait for the primer to dry completely, then follow with foundation.
The proposed result? Seamless makeup that lasts a lot better, especially in sweaty weather and under face masks.
Does the backwards makeup trend actually work to keep your makeup in place in the heat?
Surprisingly, yes. No matter what foundation I opt for lately, by the end of the day there are holes in it, especially if I’ve been wearing a mask. In hot weather, foundation also tends to collect in my eyelid creases or slip on my forehead and around my nose, so I’ve had to invest in blotting sheets in a bid to mop up oil and keep my makeup in place for longer.
I started with Caudalie Grape Water Gel Moisturizer, which hydrates skin without the greasy feel and makes a great base for makeup, then dipped a fluffy brush into Yves Saint Laurent All Hours Setting Powder Shine Control in Sheer, a pressed powder that goes on translucent. I used the Kate Somerville UncompliKated SPF 50 Soft Focus Makeup Setting Spray, which has the added benefit of SPF (I also love the Bad Habit Chill Out Hydrating Mist), before dabbing Superfluid Primer Moisturizer onto the areas where makeup slips the most: my forehead, nose, and chin.
As for foundation, I’m liking the new Valentino Beauty Very Valentino Foundation SPF 25, which launches in the US July 1. I used a dense foundation brush to buff this into my skin and I was pleasantly surprised by how seamlessly it applied. On my cheeks, my large pores were more or less nonexistent. That said, my forehead had become a little dry thanks to the layering, so blending foundation here was a bit of a chore.
I decided to put the hack through its paces by wearing my makeup all day long, donning a mask for a couple of hours and going for a long walk in the sun. While my foundation did eventually crease around my eyes, eyelids, and mouth, it stayed more intact than usual. I put it down to the layer of powder and primer soaking up any face grease or sweat before it can reach the surface of makeup, making it less likely to slip and slide. My only gripe? I usually choose one setting product, whether that’s powder, primer, or setting spray (never all three), so I was very aware of how much was on my face. It was a little heavier than usual, but not uncomfortable in the heat, and totally worth it for a more flawless finish.
What are the best long-wear makeup products for summer?
If you’re on the lookout for a mask-proof foundation that won’t budge, try Il Makiage Woke Up Like This Flawless Base Foundation. It’s matte but looks natural thanks to the light-diffusing pigments. There are plenty of shades to choose from, too. At the drugstore, try Maybelline Fit Me Matte & Poreless Liquid Foundation, which is a medium-coverage formula that makes skin look glowy (not greasy) as the day goes on. If you prefer even lighter coverage, The Ordinary Serum Foundation is a great option. It looks perfect on application, and throughout the day, the tiny color pigments settle into the skin rather than melt away.
I much prefer powder to setting spray as you can control the application better. I like Lottie London Ready Set! Go Matte Translucent Finishing Powder and Make Up For Ever ULTRA HD Pressed Powder for keeping foundation, cream blush, and bronzer intact. When it comes to lipstick, nothing beats Pat McGrath Labs LiquiLUST Matte Lipstick.
Though TikTok’s backwards makeup hack incorporates a few more steps into my typical morning beauty routine, there’s absolutely no denying it’s totally summer-proof. I have to say I’m sold.
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