Tips & Tutorials

#HQHowTo: Sandbagging vs. Baking

#HQHowTo: Sandbagging vs. Baking

We’ve all seen these beauty buzzwords floating around blogs, magazines and social media over the last year or so. From contouring and strobing, to baking and now sandbagging! We’re here to fill you in on the latest tips and tricks from make-up artists and celebrities so that you can make sure your face is looking fleeky 24/7!

What is Baking?

Baking has been used by the drag community for years, and refers to packing loose translucent powder over your foundation and concealer and allowing it to sit for five or ten minutes to let the heat from your face ‘bake’ or set your base.

You then dust off the excess powder and buff out to leave smooth flawless looking skin. This is usually applied to areas you want to add highlight to, such as under the eyes, the tops of your cheeks, your jaw line and chin.

After your base has been well and truly baked, you complete the rest of your make-up as usual. Hey, if it’s good enough for Kimmy K, it’s good enough for us!

What is Sandbagging?

Sandbagging is pretty much baking, but for a different reason… If you think about how people use sandbags to create a dam and stop water flooding through, that’s pretty much what you’re trying to do with your make-up.

Sandbagging is the technique of applying loose powder over the top of your concealer under the eyes and around the lips. It’s important to get really close to the waterline of your eye for this technique! Leave the powder in a thick layer, then dust off after around 5 minutes.

This will help to hold your eye make-up in place and avoid that dreaded Kohl smudge! This is another make-up trend recently revealed by Kim Kardashian’s make-up artist, and definitely one we’ll be trying for our Sassy 17th Party!

HQhair How To Sandbagging and Baking

What Is The Difference Between Sandbagging and Baking?

To be honest, there isn’t a massive difference. The technique is basically the same, but just has a different name depending on what you’re trying to achieve! For an added highlight to the face with a flawless and crease-less finish, you wanna be Baking. To keep eye make-up from running down from your lash line, you’re going for Sandbagging. Simple!

What Products Do I Need For Sandbagging and Baking?


The first step of these techniques is to apply your base make-up. For a smooth and flawless base, we recommend Illamasqua’s Skin Base Foundation – a lightweight, high coverage foundation with a natural finish, and packed full of skin quenching vitamins, this is our new must have foundation! Another favourite of ours is the EX1 Cosmetics Invisiwear Liquid Foundation – perfect for more olive skin tones.

For an extra flawless photo ready finish, we can’t get enough of NIOD’s Photography Fluid, formulated to minimise the appearance of imperfections, blur the skin and leave skin with an even tone.


The next step is to conceal and brighten the under-eyes or the area we want to highlight, so we’re reaching for a slightly lighter concealer shade than our skin tone. theBalm’s timeBalm Anti Wrinkle Concealer deeply nourishes and hydrates your skin, whilst at the same time protecting delicate skin like your under-eyes from environmental aggressors. It blurs imperfections and delivers full coverage, and even comes with a sponge for application!

If you prefer a liquid concealer, Bourjois’ Radiance Reveal Concealer is perfect for you. It is super hydrating and it’s doe-foot applicator wand delivers the creamy textured concealer to blend effortlessly.

Make-up Sponge

We are yet to find a make-up sponge that rivals the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge! We love the 2 pack as it means that we don’t need to worry about cleaning and drying our sponge in time for our next use, and we can mix up which shades and products we apply.

For packing on the powder, we also love Lord & Berry’s Velvet Powder Puff Duo, perfect for carrying around on a compact too for any touch ups later in the day… not that you should need them with this technique!

Translucent Powder

The main ingredient for this baking/sandbagging bonanza – Translucent Powder. The Youngblood Hi-Definition Powder absorbs excess oil and creates a flawless HD complexion. This compact comes with a sponge to apply and a mirror, perfect for on the go touch ups.

We’re also loving theBalm’s Sexy Mama Anti-Shine Translucent Powder and the Pixi Quick Fix Powder for a soft, matte-finish.

Powder Brush

After leaving the loose powder to set for five to ten minutes, you’ll need a powder brush to dust off any excess. The Real Techniques Arched Powder Brush is perfect for this, and as part of the Bold Metals collection, it will look amazing on your dressing table too.

For those happy to spend a little more, Sigma’s F20 Large Powder Brush is a must. The soft and fluffy brush head created with SigmaTech hypoallergenic bristles is ideal for creating a flawless finish without collecting too much product.

If you’re on a tighter budget, Lottie London’s Powder Power Brush has ultra soft bristles which deliver an even coat onto the skin, making dusting excess powder away a simple task!

Will you be baking and sandbagging this weekend? What are your tips for a flawless finish?




I’ve always loved anything artistic and creative, and experimenting with makeup is no exception! Bold and bright lip colours are my vice. When I’m not trying out new make-up products, you can usually find me scrolling through Instagram, laughing at the latest snapchat filter, or catching up with friends over a few cocktails. Long Island Iced Tea is my staple.

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