• “Underpainting” is a makeup hack that’s getting attention on TikTok.
  • It’s an old-school layering technique with concealer, blush, bronzer, and foundation.
  • Learn how to “underpaint” from two pro makeup artists, and the best products to use.

TikTok is bursting with beauty hacks. Some are newer discoveries, like the concept of “skin cyling” and the many, many claw clip hacks that made the rounds, while other tips and tricks have been around for years but are now finally getting their time to shine in the spotlight. “Underpainting” falls into the latter category.

Ask any makeup artist and they’d tell you “underpainting” is an old-school technique, but many people on Beauty-Tok are just now discovering its magic. Ahead, two professional makeup artists dive deeper into what exactly underpainting is, how to do it in your own daily makeup routine, and the best products for it.

What Is Underpainting?

While it might not seem obvious at first glance, the name of this trend is pretty self-explanatory. “Underpainting is basically painting your concealer, contour, blush, and sometimes even highlight under your foundation,” says celebrity makeup artist Monika Blunder. The reason for this unconventional order is simple: it gives an uber-natural look.

“The benefit is that you can create a very natural, blended, makeup look,” says Allison Kaye. You’ll end up with a skin-like finish, making it look like you’re hardly wearing any makeup at all.


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♬ original sound – Katiejanehughes

How to Underpaint Your Makeup

As far as beauty hacks go, “underpainting” is easy. To start, prep your face as you normally would with good skin care and primer. “Prepping your skin correctly is going to be key for making this trend look its best,” says Kaye. Then, you’re ready for makeup.

“I like to start first with concealer by pinpoint-concealing any blemishes, redness, or dark circles,” says Blunder. You can then blend that in with a brush or your damp makeup sponge. After that, apply your bronzer, blush, and highlighter to your face as you normally would, and blend each of those products in with a different brush or your fingertips. Don’t worry about it looking perfect – that’s where the foundation comes in.

To allow the “underpainted” products to show through, it’s best to pick a sheer foundation. Anything too opaque will cover your first layer of products. To apply this final layer, use a brush or sponge to blend everything together. Keep in mind that using dabbing motions as opposed to sweeping will help keep the different pigments in place and not smear them.

The Best Products For Underpainting

Given the nature of this makeup hack, cream and liquid products work best. “It reminds me of an oil painting almost,” says Blunder. “If everything you’re using is a creamy product, by layering in this way you will be able to blend everything together seamlessly.”

For the concealer, Blunder says she prefers a product that can be built up to “quite full coverage just in areas I need it.” For this, she loves the Blunder Cover ($52), which layers beautifully under the eyes, around the nose, and anywhere else you need it.

Moving on to the cream blush, bronzer, and highlighter, Kaye recommends the Charlotte Tilbury Blush Wand in “Pinkgasm” ($40) and the Saie Dew Blush Liquid Cheek Blush in “Chilly” ($25). Great cream bronzers include the Armani Neo Nude A-Contour ($36), and Tower 28 Bronzino Illuminating Cream Bronzer ($20).

Last but not least, your foundation should be thin and lightweight with a sheer finish. We like the Fenty Beauty Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint ($32), Nars Sheer Glow Foundation ($47), and the Westman Atelier Vital Skincare Dewy Foundation Drops ($68). And that’s it, you’ve achieved an “underpainted” makeup look.