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Makeup was always a special event kind of thing (partially because it’s only been two years or so since I started feeling confident wearing it). But then quarantine happened, and suddenly, there was never an occasion for me to get ready. Which was disappointing—because I was craving the chance to try out new looks (and actually have people see them).
Then masks became the norm, and the idea of putting on a full face of makeup was squashed completely. The last thing I needed was to waste foundation and a perfectly good mask. Plus, I didn’t want to put in all that effort only to look like an abstract painting the second I took it off. But one day, after spending hours scrolling through TikTok (as one does), I found this video from Youtuber and beauty guru Jackie Aina.
In the quick video, she insists there’s a hack for wearing makeup without worrying about smudging your look or staining a mask. At first, I wasn’t convinced. Is it really possible and can I, a fairly new makeup enthusiast, achieve the same results as a professional? I watched her end results with skepticism, but then I read the comments. And, surprisingly, I saw a flood of people with similar outcomes. I knew then and there I had to try it.
Before she started her makeup, she emphasized that the hack can only work if you use long-wearing, matte products (so say goodbye to your dewy faves). While I chose to complete a whole look, really the main items you need to achieve this technique are a matte primer, foundation, translucent powder and setting spray.
I applied Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser all over my face before going in with the Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Setting Powder in Cashew. Aina mentions in the video that “every layer you add in this technique is going to make your makeup more bulletproof,” so I made sure to layer up (with a heavy focus on where the mask touches your face: cheeks, chin and nose area).
Based on the constraints of TikTok, the video jumped to her already applying concealer and contour so I did my own thing and added Kosas Revealer Concealer in 05, Essence High Beauty Under Eye Brightening Concealer and Fenty Beauty Match Stix Mattee Contour Skinstick in Mocha.
The next step was crucial, and according to the beauty guru, it was going to “change my life.” Instead of applying foundation and spraying my face afterwards, I had to mix the foundation with my setting spray. Interesting, but I rolled with it. It was also important to put foundation on the brush before applying it onto my face.
Now, the real key is the specific setting spray that brings everything together. Aina recommends Ben Nye Final Seal Matte Makeup Sealer to get the job done, so I bought it. At this point, I was still unsure if this would really work, but I was sold the second she mentioned that Disney princesses (the ones from Disney World and such) actually use this spray to make their makeup last all day. (Her comments also mentioned Broadway stars and drag queens using this holy grail as well.)
Once I applied the setting spray on the brush, I began working the It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Foundation in Tan Warm 41 on my face like normal. As soon as I was finished, I continued her steps by spraying my face again, applying translucent powder (again) and spraying one more time. Oh, BTW, the spray is strong…I wasn’t expecting it to smell so potent the smell is— it reminded me a bit of Witch Hazel (so be prepared).
She did the rest of her eye makeup off-camera, but she completed her look with a liquid lipstick (sticking to the matte, budge-free products). I used Hip Dot Tapatio Eyeshadow Set, Doe Really Really Lowkey Lashes, Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara and Milani Statement Lipstick in I Am Positive. I did a final spritz of the setting spray before admiring my improvised eye-lip combo.
The look was complete. However, putting on the mask and revealing no ounce of makeup was the ultimate test. I hooked it over my ears and began pressing it against my skin to really test it out. It took me a while to realize I was holding my breath (seriously, this was my first ever ‘TikTok Made Me Do It’ moment and I didn’t want to be disappointed). I took the mask off slowly, then I saw it. This TikTok hack actually works. No gimmicks here. I even grabbed another mask and repeated the same steps just to see if I wasn’t hallucinating. (Spoiler alert, it was still stain-free.)
I decided to rub the mask against spots that I didn’t focus the powder and setting spray on, places that the mask doesn’t touch normally, just to see if the hack truly works. I saw stains immediately, so really, the hack seems to be mostly about the setting spray, and I wonder if all of those layers of makeup are really worth it. But either way, it makes sense—if Belle can use this setting spray to rock a full face in the Florida sun, then my mask can withhold the 2021 makeup looks I now have in store.
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