“I tried the ‘filtered foundation’ TikTok hack, and it was a slightly stressful journey”

A TikTok video claims applying your foundation products out of order will give you incredible skin. So senior beauty writer Hanna Ibraheem tried it…

A few weeks ago, I finally signed up to TikTok and was exposed to its endless stream of beauty hacks. Some helpful (I was genuinely impressed when I tried bathrobe curls), some slightly questionable (I’ve seen one guy who was shocked that his face turned an Oompa Loompa-shade of orange after he applied turmeric to his face and left it on for ages) and some that leave me slightly curious. Case-in-point: the “flawless, filtered skin” hack everybody is trying.

I know, I know. Lockdown has probably seen you wearing less make-up than usual, but it’s also the perfect time to experiment with the contents of your make-up bag. So may as well give it a go now, right? 

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The premise is simple: apply your products in a different order for the best skin of your life. The idea is thought to have first come from TikTok user Jarida (@ridaaaamat) in a video that has now racked up over 3.7 million views. “If you wear make-up, watch,” she says in the video. “Change your whole routine and try this instead.”

Moisturise first, then after moisturising, take some translucent powder, not too much. Then, take some setting spray. After the setting spray, take a primer and put on your primer – also, wait for the setting spray to dry first.

“Then just put on your foundation and see what happens, and how amazing your make-up is going to look. And it’s going to stay put 24/7, and it’s not going to crease.”

Jarida does add, “It’s a make-up technique that’s probably still used by so many other people. I heard that it’s been used for a long time.”

Since it went viral, heaps of people have tried the steps and claimed it gave them a flawless, filtered finish. So, I decided to try it myself…

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Step one: Moisturise


I would say this is probably the most important step of the entire routine, considering how many layers you’re about to put on your face. After weeks of blissfully going make-up free/applying the bare minimum of concealer and mascara, I could feel my skin tensing up already.

Step two: Apply a translucent powder

Poor Halloween attempt at being Casper? Perhaps.

The key here is to apply a thin layer. If I tried this again, I would do even less than I did this time round. Once I was done, it looked like I’d dipped my face in flour…

Step three: Use a setting spray

Even though I'm spraying myself, it still seems to shock me.

How do all of those beauty influencers manage to look so calm and poised when applying setting spray? I still manage to shock myself every time I use it – and thought I’d include a picture for your entertainment. Once the setting spray was on, my skin felt nice and refreshed, and when it dried down (right), my skin actually felt really smooth.

Step four: Apply a primer


Once my setting spray was fully dry, I applied a foundation primer. It made my skin feel even smoother – which was amazing, considering this specific primer has a silicone-free formula. 

However, my skin was starting to feel the weight of all those layers. I couldn’t speak or smile without feeling like my skin was tight.

Step five: Apply your foundation

After foundation (left); after mascara, blusher and lip balm (right)

Finally, the part I was most excited for: time to put on my foundation. While all the videos I saw made this part look easy and seamless, it was actually quite difficult for me.

I dotted my foundation all over my face and began to blend it out with a beauty sponge. I could almost hear my dry cheeks screaming “no more!!” and as I continued to blend, the foundation began to get quite patchy around my nose, upper lip and cheeks. The more I blended, the more my foundation seemed to pool together into little sections, making me look blotchy. This isn’t what happened to all the girls in those videos. Typical.

Panicking slightly, I decided to bend the rules (forgive me) and spritzed a bit more setting spray on my face. Once my skin was damp, I quickly – and rather furiously – blended out the patches, in an attempt to even out the foundation across my face.



I always feel like my face looks a bit flat when I first apply a foundation. So when my base was finally blended out and even, I applied a bit of concealer, tinted lip balm and mascara. The result was actually pretty impressive.

While I wouldn’t say it gave me the ultimate “flawless, filtered skin” that everybody raves about (you could definitely still see texture on my face), it did help to make my complexion look smoother. 

However, if you don’t like applying foundation in normal circumstances, you’ll probably hate this because as much as I’d love to say you can’t feel all of the layers sitting on your face, you really, really can.

I think the biggest advantage to this trick isn’t so much that it’ll give you a smooth and “filtered” complexion, but more that by applying all of these products, your foundation will stay in place for longer. 

While I can only test it while sitting around the house, it hasn’t creased and still looks fresh. Maybe I’ll have to try it again on my first night out post-lockdown…

Images: Hanna Ibraheem