Baking, also known as “cooking”, is a make-up technique originally used in Drag, now popularised by celebrities and make-up artists. This technique includes applying a heavy amount of translucent powder under the eyes and on the high points of the face.

The cosmetic technique of baking is a “very old make-up technique” that may be traced back to times such as Ancient Egypt and the early Elizabethian era.The use of make-up can be traced back to times as early as Ancient Egypt. High class members of Egyptian society would use make-up to display their wealth, beliefs and positions within the community. Although Egyptians are renowned for heavy eye make-up, facial products were also used but were mainly focused on cheeks.This technique includes applying a heavy amount of translucent powder under the eyes and on the high points of the face, including the ‘T’ zone, to set the base make-up. This technique can be used on a variety of different skin types and shades to highlight the under eye area and high points of the face.

Baking was brought into the spotlight by celebrities such as Kim Kardashian whose make-up artist, Mario Dedivanovic uses the technique to set the famous Kardashian’s make-up for events. He argues that this practice should not be used every day and he only uses it for celebrities that like “a very dramatic, long lasting, matte finish to the face” or if he is working on stage performers.This technique was also brought into light with the increased visibility of the drag community following the popular television show RuPaul’s Drag Race. The technique of baking can be seen throughout the episodes when the queens are in the “work room” preparing for the runway. Baking is not just used for drag performers, it has been adopted by many make-up artists.

This technique was then popularised further by many bloggers and vloggers who have created videos and pages, teaching make-up enthusiasts and the general public how to bake or cook their face. This type of tutorial has taken over social media sites such as YouTube and Instagram, bringing baking into the mainstream as a new internet ‘buzzword’.These such videos have gathered thousands of views, one of the most popular tutorials, by Heidi Hamoud, managed to gain over 2 million views since its upload in April 2015.

Someone who has taken this technique directly from the drag community, into the social media and make-up tutorial scene, is Miss Fame. A season 7 contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race, who is now planning a make-up tour where she plans to teach people the art of ‘painting’, a term used in the drag community to refer to ‘making up’. Miss Fame features heavily on YouTube, not only with her own channel of tutorials and how to guides but also throughout other ‘beauty gurus’ channels where she ‘paints’ them and provides viewers with tips and tricks from the drag community.