What's The TikTok Makeup Trend Underpainting All About?

With the emergence of "no makeup" makeup looks and the clean beauty obsession in recent years, it's no surprise that the latest makeup trend sweeping TikTok aims to create a stunning, yet extremely natural, look. The "underpainting" hashtag has over 38.4 million views on TikTok, and after scrolling for even a short time, it's likely you'll be sitting in front of the mirror to try it for yourself.

ln an interview with Allure, Los Angeles-based makeup artist Jill Powell revealed that underpainting is a great trend to try for those who aren't comfortable with traditional contouring: "I highly suggest you try this technique if you don't know how to contour or are [intimidated] by it."

As with learning any new makeup skill, underpainting may take a bit of trial and error, but the good news is, you're aiming for a natural look here and if you have a healthy skincare routine, you're already halfway there. Another perk of trying underpainting is that you won't need to purchase any new tools or products.

So what exactly is underpainting, and how do you do it? We've done the research so you don't have to.

What is underpainting and how do you do it?

In the technique known as underpainting, beauty aficionados are applying concealer, blush, contour, and highlighter underneath their foundation. Yep, you heard that right. And while it may seem counterintuitive, inventive, and a bit odd, this age-old technique has long been a secret beauty hack for creating a soft and natural look. It's also simple to pull off: You're really just reversing the order of your makeup application.

"All the color goes on first, and then you apply this sheer layer of complexion that softens and blends everything out," Jill Powell explained to Allure.

Once your skin has been cleansed, toned, and moisturized, apply your blush, concealer, and highlighter, as you typically would, with a gentle patting motion (via Grazia). After that, you'll apply your foundation to seamlessly blend the entire look. Be careful here though; you'll want to use less foundation than you normally do to be sure you aren't fully covering your contouring work.

According to TikTok user @meghanbstudios, lightly blending your concealer and contour is key. You'll also want to be sure that the makeup you've applied is staying in place and not shifting around. Lastly, a heavy coverage foundation that hides your underpainting really defeats the purpose of this technique, so be sure to go for your sheer coverage option.

Opt for liquid or cream products

As underpainting is all about reverse layering, mixing liquid and powder products just won't cut it for that flawlessly blended glow. You'll want to go for a cream blush and make sure the liquid foundation you top it all with isn't too thick.

"It reminds me of an oil painting almost," said celebrity makeup artist Monika Blunder, in an interview with PopSugar. "If everything you're using is a creamy product, by layering in this way you will be able to blend everything together seamlessly."

The practice of underpainting can actually be traced back to the works of master painters in the Renaissance period, where they would apply a base layer of paint to a canvas to add life, contrast, and structure to their landscapes and portraits (via Riley Street Art Supply).

We can thank TikTok for so many magical makeup hacks, both glamorous and natural. And we're here for the well of creativity, whether the trends are complex, or like underpainting, beautifully simple and easily attainable.