Welcome to Beauty In A Tik, where each week we put TikTok's viral beauty hacks and innovative trends to the test.
If, like us, you've been drawn into the world of TikTok, you'll know that the app's many beauty enthusiasts are pretty genius. In just a couple of months, they've convinced us to ditch eye cream, start face shaving and use fake tan as lip liner (seriously, it works). Right now, though, there's one beauty hack trending above all else.
Enter: the backwards makeup routine.
What is the backwards makeup trend and why has it gone viral on TikTok?
One word: summer. Temperatures in England have reached almost 30 degrees and, teamed with mandatory face masks, it's not the best environment for makeup. No matter how expensive your beauty stash or meticulous your routine, chances are your makeup has melted off your face – especially this past week. With rain set to arrive, it's going to get hot and humid, but the brains behind TikTok's backwards makeup routine aim to combat all of that.
Marianna Hewitt, cofounder of skincare brand Summer Fridays, and makeup lover Samyha are huge fans of the trend, which consists of switching around a handful of products in your routine for better, more flawless results. Marianna promised her followers that by adopting this trend, their makeup would "stay on 24/7" and wouldn't crease.
How do you do the backwards makeup trend?
The technique isn't as fiddly or confusing as it sounds. Start with your favourite moisturiser and apply all over. Marianna used Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask, £22.50, but the Cloud Dew Oil-Free Gel Cream Moisturizer, £39, is probably a better alternative for summer as it's a lot lighter. Translucent powder and setting spray would usually be the finishing touches to set makeup in place but here they are the second and third steps. Marianna applied a thin veil of Maybelline Fit Me Matte & Poreless Powder in Translucent, £5.99, all over with a fluffy brush and spritzed a little NYX Professional Makeup Setting Spray, £8, on top before going in with a layer of makeup primer. The trick is to wait for the primer to dry completely, then follow with foundation.
The result? Supposedly seamless makeup that lasts a lot better, especially in sweaty weather and under face masks.
Does the backwards makeup trend actually work to keep your makeup in place in the heat?
Surprisingly, yes! No matter which foundation I opt for lately, by the end of the day there are holes in it, especially if I've been wearing a mask. In hot weather, foundation also tends to collect in my eyelid creases or slip on my forehead and around my nose, so I've had to invest in blotting sheets in a bid to mop up oil and keep my makeup in place for longer.
I started with Caudalie's Grape Water Gel Moisturizer, £24.90, which hydrates skin without the greasy feel and makes a great Velcro base for makeup, then dipped a fluffy brush into Yves Saint Laurent's All Hours Setting Powder Shine Control in Sheer, £39. This is a pressed powder but it goes on translucent. I used the Kate Somerville UncompliKated SPF50 Soft Focus Makeup Setting Spray, £34, which has the added benefit of SPF (I also love the Bad Habit Hydrating Mist, £19) before dabbing Superfluid Primer Moisturiser, £23, onto the areas where makeup slips the most: my forehead, nose and chin.
As for foundation, I'm impressed by the new Valentino Beauty Very Valentino Foundation SPF 25, £46. I used a dense foundation brush to buff this into my skin and I was pleasantly surprised by how seamlessly it applied. On my cheeks, my large pores were more or less nonexistent! That said, my forehead had become a little dry thanks to the layering, so blending foundation here was a bit of a chore.
I decided to put the hack through its paces by wearing my makeup all day long, donning a mask for a couple of hours and going for a long walk in the sun. While my foundation did eventually crease around my eyes, eyelids and mouth, it stayed more intact than usual. I put it down to the layer of powder and primer soaking up any face grease or sweat before it can reach the surface of makeup, making it less likely to slip and slide. My only gripe? I usually choose one setting product, whether powder, primer or setting spray (never all three), so I was very aware of how much was on my face. It was a little heavier than usual but not uncomfortable in the heat and totally worth it for a more flawless finish.
What are the best long-wear makeup products for summer?
If you're on the lookout for a mask-proof foundation that won't budge, try Il Makiage Woke Up Like This Flawless Base Foundation, £36. It's matte but looks natural thanks to the light-diffusing pigments. There are plenty of shades to choose from, too. On the high street, there is a handful of alternatives which are just as good. Try Maybelline Fit Me Matte & Poreless Liquid Foundation, £5.99, which is medium coverage. It makes skin look glowy (not greasy) as the day goes on. If you prefer even lighter coverage, The Ordinary's Serum Foundation, £5.70, is a great option. It looks perfect on application and throughout the day the tiny colour pigments settle into the skin rather than melt away.
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I much prefer powder to setting spray as you can control the application better. I rate Lottie London Ready Set! Go Matte Translucent Finishing Powder, £5.45, and Make Up For Ever ULTRA HD Pressed Powder, £20.54, for keeping foundation, cream blush and bronzer intact. When it comes to lipstick, nothing beats Pat McGrath Labs LiquiLUST Matte Lipstick, £28.
Though TikTok's backwards makeup hack incorporates a few more steps into my typical morning beauty routine, there's absolutely no denying it's totally summer-proof. I have to say I'm sold.
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