This isn’t a brand-new makeup technique, it’s actually been around for quite some time. But recently this technique has seen a huge revival under a new name, and they’re calling it “underpainting” on many social media outlets!
So what exactly is underpainting??
It’s basically when your contour, concealer, and sometimes even blush, goes on FIRST. Then you finish it off by applying a sheer layer of your complexion product - i.e., your foundation to blend everything together. The goal is to give a soft focus effect to the skin while creating dimension.
Why is underpainting so popular?
I think this technique has become a big deal again because by applying your colored products first (like the darker bronzer and blush) then adding your foundation, this gives you a softer shadow peeking through that wouldn’t be as strong or dramatic because of the veil on top. For those intimated by the art of contouring, this could be an easier way to try it.
Today, Jennifer is sharing the hottest viral makeup technique: underpainting
Jennifer has put together an easy-to-follow, 4 step tutorial
All of Jennifer's tool and product suggestions are shoppable inline and image-widgets
Of course, you’ll need to prep your skin nicely before doing any of this. Having clean exfoliated and hydrated skin is a must. If you’d like to see some of my favorite exfoliants and moisturizer recommendations for dry mature skin, check out my recent article on no-cake foundation prep here.
Then you’ll need to grab:
And don't forget how important the application tools are going to be! I’ll be using:
Now for the fun part - let’s start underpainting!
Start with your contour first. I love this Milani face lift contour product because of its ease and small sponge applicator that you can place exactly where you want. I dot it along the sides of my nose, under my cheekbones, & temples, and around my jawline & chin. Even under my lower lip to create a shadow of a fuller lip.
Then I blend it in with my Anastasia Kabuki foundation brush, keeping the areas nice and tight.
Now onto concealing. I place my concealer where I usually do underneath my eyes, just where I see darkness and hollowness under the eyes. Then if I want to add some highlights, I stripe it down my nose, then in the center of my chin, and underneath the cheek contour. Now blend that into the skin with the Anisa Beauty concealer brush which is perfect because it’s smaller with enough fullness to blend evenly.
Let’s add the cheek color and I’m applying my Laura Mercier blush right onto the apples of my cheeks and tapping it in. You can do this with your fingers or a cream blush brush. I actually used a combo of fingers and back to the Kabuki brush. I suggest going pretty heavy here.
Now finish it off by adding your foundation and I dot it into open areas that have little contour and concealer. I used the L’Oreal Age Perfect Radiant Serum foundation in shade 35. It’s recommended to use a damp beauty blender sponge for this part and use a tapping motion into the skin to blend (instead of swiping which could get messy and disturb all of the previous placement of colors).
Once I did this, I used the damp beauty blender to add a little bit of my go-to Laura Mercier Talc free blurring loose powder, to set the concealer areas.
I like a bit more cheek color than this left me with, so I did tap a few extra dots of my liquid blush on top!
Final thoughts on this technique. It surprisingly did leave me with a soft, contoured but lifted look. It’s a super subtle approach to contouring for sure, so if that’s the look you’re going for, this technique is absolutely perfect. My skin looks luminous with a soft focus effect due to the use of all cream products as well.
What do you think? Have you done your makeup this way before or will you try it?
My gloss worn in this post at the very end look is “Ruby” by Maybelline Lifter Gloss - an all-time favorite.