From Madhubala to Rita Hayworth, onscreen icons from the golden age of cinema didn’t have it easy in their makeup vanities. Since scenes were shot and developed on black and white film, makeup artists had to resort to creative measures to register facial features on the camera. Fun fact, actors usually wore green lipstick and blush because red would just wash out in B&W! Another technique that performers had to resort to is ‘pancake makeup’. You apply thick layers of liquid and cream products; followed up with dusting the whole face with powder. This ensured that the makeup won’t melt under the harsh, low-lying lights. Also known as the wet-to-dry makeup technique, it sets the layers to look matte and stay on your skin for long hours. It is ideal for people who do not subscribe to the trendy ‘glass skin’ or dewy ‘dolphin skin’ popularized by the likes of Hailey Bieber.
The technique has evolved into ‘baking’, often used by drag artists. Translucent or tinted powders are used to contour their faces for a snatched look. Drag artists updated the technique to highlight, contour and set certain parts of their faces. Still, the end result remains the same – it doesn’t let your makeup move.
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Given that we are stepping into the monsoon season, where the humidity and getting caught in the rain can lead to some nasty results, this fool-proof application technique will come in handy. Here’s what you gotta do to ace it.
Steps To Getting The Wet-To-Dry Makeup Technique Right
1. Start by cleansing your skin with a creamy wash for a squeaky clean canvas. Cream cleansers will ensure you are not over-stripping your skin of moisture, avoiding cracks in your makeup application.
2. Apply your base and makeup in cream formulations – foundation, blush, eyeshadow, and lipstick. Blot your lip and finish with mascara and filling in your brows. If creme lipsticks feel too heavy for your taste, opt for buttery matte textures. We love the Guerlain Rouge G range of intense and luminous shades. They are infused with mango butter which will keep them crease-free when you finally top them with powder.
3. Dab your whole face with translucent or tinted powder. Let it stay for a couple of minutes, then dust off the excess with a fluffy brush. Really cake on the powder; use a tear-drop-shaped cushion to reach the tricky corners. Utilize a flicking action to get the powder out of the creases.
4. Once done, top up with powder products on the eyes and cheeks. Add another layer of lipstick, mascara and brow pencil to make them stand out. If you wish to apply highlighter or falsies, this is when you do it. Note, do not apply anything that will catch the powder before baking, as cleaning it off can be very tricky.
The good thing about living in the 21st century is that you can set your makeup with a setting spray instead of a hairspray (yep, that was a thing back in the 60s and 70s!). After finishing your makeup, add generous spritzes of setting spray, wait 15-20 seconds for it to dry and directly remove the makeup when you want to. A quick caveat to add here – this makeup technique relies on cream formulation and setting powders to blend harmoniously. Anyone with excessively oily and acne-prone skin, this can overwhelm your pores. So avoid using this technique daily to allow your skin to breathe. Make sure to use an oil-based makeup remover or cleanser to thoroughly remove all the cream products.