Instagram has been at a forerun of highlighting (pun intended) trends. The latest makeup trend that has everyone shooketh is Underpainting.  Are you just hearing about underpainting or curious to know how to conquer this new technique? Well, a girl got you. Keep reading to unlock your inner underpainter.

What is Underpainting ?

Soulja Boy meme where he wonders what underpainting is

Underpainting is a makeup technique when highlight, contour, sometimes liquid blush, is applied before foundation. Wild erh?

Why Underpainting ?

Believe it or not, experts say it helps your makeup appear soft and natural which is hard to do when you do the traditional layering of the highlight and contour on top of the foundation.

Also, you can hide your mistakes. Have you ever been in a situation where you have a flawless foundation base but you just mess it up when doing your highlighting and contouring routine? Well, Hallelujah, Underpainting to the rescue. You can just wipe it off without messing your foundation base.

Ghanaian based makeup artist, Lillian of @Kordeibeauty believes that it is a great way to play with makeup colors because you can just cover it all up with your foundation.

Example of underpainting on a black woman. Image via Cocoa Swatches
Courtesy of Cocoa Swatches

How to Underpaint?

Celebrity Makeup Artist, Asare Prince recommends using a shade or 2 shades lighter than your regular concealer highlight shade and a shade or 2 shades darker than your concealer contour shade.

He also adds that your foundation should be an exact match to your skin shade or closest as possible to make blending seamless. 

“… and blend as you go, you don’t have to pack on the products and blend later.”

Asare Prince Owusu

Powder goes on over the foundation. If you put it under, you’ll get cakey. You just want to blend your highlight and contour and let it dry so it doesn’t move around too much when you do your foundation and then put powder on top.


Beauties, what do you think? Is Underpainting your cup of tea or not? Have you tried it before and do you have any tips you wish to share with us? We will love to hear from you.

Love, Ibukun.