Bake Lead
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We’re not talking baking, as in stepping up your culinary skills. We’re talking about a highlighting technique that uses concealer and translucent powder to set makeup and give skin a smooth, creaseless finish that lasts for hours.

The Technique

Newsflash: The trend isn’t exactly new. Daniel Martin, makeup artist and Dior’s Beauty Brand Ambassador, put us up on game. “What was once a traditional and customary application has now reemerged as fascination in social media,” he explains. So how do you do it? Martin suggests after applying foundation, use a creamy concealer, like Diorskin Star Concealer ($36; over the entire t-zone and under your eyes to brighten the areas of your face you want to highlight. Then apply a banana powder, like Ben Nye Banana Powder ($12;, which is a translucent powder that tends not to clog your pores and is perfect for when a warm based highlighter is necessary. Apply the powder all over the areas you applied concealer to soak up all the oils and to brighten the areas. You can also use a translucent powder, like Make Up For Ever’s Super Matte Loose Powder ($29;, for the same effect. “Let this sit and 'cook' on your face, allowing the skin to meld with what's on top of it,” says Martin. Ten to fifteen minutes later, use a blush brush to dust away excess powder and watch your skin go from pre-baked to flawless with a poreless, matte finish. Martin doesn’t recommend this process for an everyday look because it can appear too heavy to the naked eye, so save it for a special occasion.

The Test Drive

I’m a big fan of contouring and strobing, so I couldn’t wait for the opportunity to test out this trend that claims to highlight and set makeup like no other. Last Saturday my girlfriends and I were getting ready for a fun night out to celebrate my best friend’s birthday. Not knowing what time I’d be getting back in, I thought it was the perfect occasion to bake for long-lasting coverage.

Bake 1
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After applying my foundation, I used a thick coat of NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard ($29; underneath my eyes and on my T-zone. Then I spritzed a blending sponge with setting spray and used the damp sponge to blend in my concealer all the way. Next I used the same damp beauty blender to pack on a heavy coat of Laura Mercier’s Translucent Loose Setting Powder ($37; on top of my concealer.

Bake 2
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While waiting, I applied my falsies and perfected my cat eyes. After 15 minutes, I used Dior’s Professional Finish Blush Brush ($50; coated with my foundation powder finish to dust off the powder with swift motions for a natural finish.

Does it really work? Let’s just say after hours of parlaying in the city, I was reluctant to take off my makeup at the end of the night—the flawless finish the baking created was still in place and my face didn’t have a single crease!