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How to Do the TikTok Underpainting Trend With Your Travel Size Makeup

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Woman trying the underpainting trend; around her are Subtl Beauty travel size makeup products like our Lip & Cheek, 4-Piece Brush Set, Bronzer, and Highlighter

How to Do the TikTok Underpainting Trend With Your Travel Size Makeup

We all love TikTok, right? It’s hard not to; it’s chock-full of useful information, news, laugh-inducing animals, and best of all – makeup trends. From cloud skin to e-girl grunge to fox eye makeup, there’s a new beauty obsession every week to fawn over. But at Subtl Beauty, the home of travel size makeup, we’re particularly interested in the TikTok underpainting trend. 

Have you heard of it? If not, check out this video:

@subtlbeauty I tried Mary Phillips inspired makeup and love how it turned out!! #underpainting #maryphillipsmakeup #haileybiebermakeup #easycontour ♬ original sound - Subtl Beauty

While underpainting is an old-school technique that many celeb MUAs swear by, people on TikTok are just now catching up to the hype. To keep you on-trend and looking flawless (as always), let’s explore what underpainting is and how to do it with your travel size makeup:

What Is Underpainting? Why Should You Try It With Your Travel Size Makeup?

Three different women showcasing the underpainting trend taking over on TikTok to try with your travel size makeup

Pictured: Try the Underpainting Trend With Your Travel Size Makeup   |   Source: Left (Who What Where), Center (Lemon-8), Right (PopSugar)

If you’re a newbie to the whole underpainting trend, then let’s go over what exactly it is. "Underpainting is basically painting your concealer, contour, blush, and sometimes even highlight under your foundation," celebrity makeup artist Monika Blunder says. Not only does underpainting cut down on product, but it gives a more diffused, natural makeup look.

Underpainting also saves you valuable minutes, which is much-needed for the moms and travelers out there. Traditionally, when you apply foundation first, every added layer needs blending to ensure you’re left with no harsh lines. Underpainting allows you to blend everything together simultaneously, contributing to its viral status and making it ultra-Subtl-approved.

@subtlbeauty I never designed the makeup stak with the goal of saving time, but an interesting by-product of having everything you need in one, compact system, is how much time you actually save when you use subtl. So if you’re looking to save time in this new year, definitely check out our makeup staks! #quickmakeup #5minmakeup #fastmakeup #easymakeup #subtl #subtlstaks #subtlstak #subtlstack #subtlstacks #subtlbeauty #subtlbeautystack ♬ original sound - Subtl Beauty

The Subtl Travel Size Makeup Products You’ll Need for the Underpainting Trend

Woman doing the Tik Tok trend of underpainting; here's what you'll need: bronzer, highlighter, concealer, blush, translucent powder, foundation (optional), multi-functional brush,

Pictured: What Travel Size Makeup Products You’ll Need for the Underpainting Trend   |   Source: Loreal

Since underpainting deals with complexion products, we want to introduce you to our new Starter Stak; it's a carefully curated experience featuring five of our best-selling stakable products that are designed for on-the-go beauty enthusiasts from all walks of life and ages

With its innovative features, including a compact design, refillable pans, and good ingredients, we've redefined the makeup experience, meaning you can do the underpainting trend anywhere, even on a crowded plane no more clutter, no more compromises — just makeup.

@subtlbeauty Replying to @junie_bodhi The starter stak is PERFECT if you don’t know where to start! #subtlstackreview #subtlstak #stackablemakeup #subtlstack ♬ original sound - Subtl Beauty

Here are the travel size makeup necessities that our Starter Stak includes:

  1. Cream Concealer (in the shade of your choice): Transformative, versatile, and long-lasting, our Cream Concealer is a lightweight formula that’ll give you great coverage without caking. Plus, it’s infused with Coffee Seed Oil to reduce puffiness. You can choose from nineteen shades and if it’s not a perfect match, we’ll replace it for free.
  2. Lip and Cheek (in Terracotta Tour Guide): Versatile and multifunctional, our Lip and Cheek is a creamy 2-in-1 product that’s sure to give you a flawless finish. It comes in four stunning shades tailored to compliment your skin tone and style. With only a few finger taps, you’ll be able to add a dash of color to your look, no matter where you are. 
  3. Bronzer (based on the Concealer you choose): With our Bronzer having an ultra-high concentration of pigment, a little will go a long way. It’s seamless to blend for a flawless finish and it’ll give you a long-lasting radiance that’ll make heads turn. The Subtl Bronzer comes in five shades to enhance your naturally beautiful features. 
  4. Pressed-Powder Highlighter (in Champagne): We totally agree that highlighter is one of the best steps of a makeup routine, which is why we made ours easy to use and beginner-friendly. The Subtl Highlighter is versatile, amazing for highlighting and adding a shimmer to your eyeshadow look, and can be built up for a glassy, celestial glow.
  5. Shine Control Pressed Powder: Our Shine Control Powder is a game-changer, especially if you’re traveling in 2024 to warmer destinations as it keeps oil at bay. Unlike a lot of other translucent powders, ours is lightweight, cake-free, sets your makeup in place, and will last nearly as long as an entire plane ride across the globe. 
The Subtl Beauty travel size makeup Starter Stak includes: bronzer, concealer, lip & cheek, hightlighter, and shine control pressed powder

In need of a brush that has all your makeup bases covered while traveling or trying trends? The Subtl Stak Brush BFF is an adjustable, multi-use brush perfect for precision use and all-over application. If you’re looking for a whole set, we also have a cruelty-free 4-Piece Brush Set.

@subtlbeauty Us 🤝 heux’s on the go💋 #subtlbeauty #onthegomakeupbrush #stockingstuffers #makeupstockingstuffers ♬ original sound - Subtl Beauty

How to Do the Underpainting Trend With Your Travel Size Makeup – A Step-by-Step Guide

Subtl Beauty Travel Size Makeup Tips: Woman showcasing no underpainting to the left, but to the right she's showing her flawless look after underpainting

Pictured: Woman Showcasing Her Look Before and After the Underpainting Trend   |    Source: Style At a Certain Age

If you watched the TikTok at the beginning of this article, you probably heard the name Mary Phillips (spoiler alert: she’s a celeb MUA responsible for the underpainting craze). To hone her craft, Phillips studied books by legendary MUA Kevyn Aucoin, noticing that he would aways contour under foundation – which was a trend pioneered by Drag culture. Interesting, right?

Now that we’ve celebrated the origins of where this trend originated from, let’s get you started on the underpainting trend using your travel size makeup; here’s a step-by-step guide for ease:

    1. Skincare Matters: Phillips swears by using hydrating skincare products that’ll prep your skin with moisture and nutrition, like the MOX Starter Set, before doing any makeup.
    2. Get Bronzed: For bronzer, Phillips says to apply it along your cheekbones, on the outer parts of your eyes, then up to your temples, and around your hairline/jawline.
    3. Highlight Where It Feels Right: Phillips advises highlighting where you want to look glassy, like the top of your cheekbones, the middle of your forehead, and the tip of your nose.
    4. Go Concealer Crazy: If you have any blemishes, hyperpigmentation, or eye bags you want to cover, now is the time to tap on your travel size makeup concealer.
    5. Blend, Blend, Blend: Need I say more? Get to blending, Subtl Beauties!
    6. Finish with Foundation (Optional): While optional, if you’re wanting to add a foundation to the mix, Phillips recommends a light, dewy formulation, like Maybelline’s Fit Me
    7. Translucent Powder for the Win: After you’re underpainted and blended, use a fluffy brush (or Subtl’s built-in one) to apply your translucent powder for a seamless look. 
    8. Spray and Set (Optional): If you have a favorite setting spray (though our Shine Control Pressed Powder will keep your makeup fresh all-day) now is the time for a little spritz. 

Are There Any Travel Size Makeup Products You Should Avoid When Underpainting?

If you’re going to give the underpainting trend a try with your travel size makeup then there’s one thing celeb MUA Alexis Oakley wants you to know:

“I would stay away from heavy, high-coverage foundations when using this technique. Since you are applying your foundation after your contour/bronzer, you want to be careful not to apply too much or anything too thick; otherwise it will completely cover up everything underneath.”

Instead, Oakley prefers to stick with tinted moistuzers, BB creams, or buildable concealers, like the Subtl Beauty one that’s featured in our Starter Stak (or can be staked separately here).

Will You Be Trying the Underpainting Trend With Your Travel Size Makeup?

The left shows the Subtl Beauty Starter Stak, a travel size makeup game-changer, and the right shows a woman holding up a Lip & Cheek smiling

Want to join over 200+ happy Subtl Beauties by grabbing a Starter Stak to try underpainting with? Click here to choose your Concealer shade, so we know how to curate your Starter Stak perfectly. If you’re unsure what shade would fit your skin tone, check out our 30-second quiz. You can even add accessories like our best-selling Dry Brush Cleaner to your Stak here

If you’re hesitant to up your makeup game to Subtl’s innovative Starter Stak, check out how easy, fun, and convenient it is to use:


Before you go – make sure to tag us on Instagram with the hashtag #SubtlBeauties to show us your underpainted looks using our travel size makeup! 

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