tiktok
Photograph courtesy of Chanel

Is TikTok’s Viral Makeup Application Hack Worth Trying?

We spoke to makeup artist Susana Hong to find out.

Oh, TikTok. Bringer of Justin & Hailey Bieber dance duets and generally fun content we all need a little of in our lives right now. TikTok has also exploded with beauty hacks since its launch, too. And one in particular caught the attention of just about everyone earlier this month. A user by the name of Jarida took to the social media platform to share (and sing the praises of) a makeup hack she’d learned for perfect-looking skin.

“If you wear makeup, watch, change your whole routine and try this instead,” she began, before instructing users to use their base products in reverse. Yep, you read that right. After moisturizing, Jarida suggests applying translucent powder first – “don’t use too much,” she cautions – followed by a setting spray. Once the spray is dry, apply your primer and then your foundation, instructs Jarida. “Just see what happens, and how amazing your f***ing makeup is going to look.”

Jarida shared that this wasn’t her own idea, rather something that has been around for a long time but is her own personal favourite technique. It received rave reviews from other users who tested it out which left us curious as to what a professional makes of all of this. So, we spoke with Toronto-based makeup artist Susana Hong, who has worked with the likes of Kate Upton, Jane Fonda and Shania Twain, to find out more.

What are your thoughts on this technique that’s gone viral?

It’s great if you have normal-oily skin and want a fuller coverage. Adding the powder first absorbs excess moisture so you have a nice dry base to begin with. This also allows the foundation to adhere to the skin at its maximum coverage capabilities, giving a velvety-matte finish. I am not a fan of a full coverage myself – I always love a little natural glow to show through no matter the condition of the skin. Rather than adding a powder artificial glow after (highlighters) why not have it there in the first place and enhance if need be?

Have you tried the technique before?

I actually did try this technique once on a model who has problematic and very oily skin. It works pretty well, but not better than having a full coverage foundation that would do all of the above for you without the extra steps. I found it harder to blend because the foundation gripped almost too well, whereas fuller coverage foundation gives you a bit more time before setting. And I did find the finish too cakey for my liking.

What are some of the potential issues that will arise from this technique? You mentioned it gave a cakey finish.

This is something that I would not advise for those that have dry skin, or those that have concerns with fine lines and wrinkles. This technique will definitely settle into those lines throughout the day, as will a lot of products that give you so much coverage. When your skin is dry or mature, you really want to achieve that natural luminosity that you can get with a lot of good skin care. Then, just add a little on top of that to make it flawless. I really think we need to steer away from this flawless “beat” that has been trending with makeup for the last few years.

What’s your advice as a makeup artist for achieving a flawless base?

Number one: Good skin. I know that sounds redundant, but that really is the key. Have a tight skincare routine, and exfoliate regularly. Then it really doesn’t matter as much what foundation you put on top….because you’re already radiant. As for specifics, I am a huge fan of cushion foundations and tinted moisturizers. They really even out any discolouration, and keep the skin supple. I really think the base foundation should be the least of your coverage concerns. I always challenge those who have decent skin texture but love medium-full coverage foundation to try something lighter and more skincare-based. By the time you add your concealer, eye makeup, blush, etc. you really can’t see that much of a difference to your look. Except you don’t look dry or matte, and you won’t have heavy pigmented makeup settling into your lines and creases.