Cloud Skin Makeup Is Trending. Here's Why We'll Be Living In the Look This Summer

PureWow editors select every item that appears on this page, and the company may earn compensation through affiliate links within the story. All prices are accurate upon date of publish. You can learn more about the affiliate process here.

When I was first introduced to makeup around the mid 2000s, the concept of ‘more is more’ took center stage. Caking on the wrong shade of Maybelline’s Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation until my skin was tinted orange, it was a look that could only be described as ‘definitely not cute.’ As I’ve grown—both as a human and a makeup wearer—I’ve concluded that ‘less is more’ and that’s exactly what the latest beauty trend is all about.

Meet: Cloud Skin Makeup, the lovechild of matte and dewy finishes that emphasizes pre-skin prep so it’s plump and hydrated before you apply any makeup to it.

We Compared Tatcha's Beloved Silk Canvas Primer with a $10 Alternative

Meet The Experts 

  • Elizabeth Seropian is a professional makeup artist with over a decade of experience. Some of her celebrity clients include Noah Cyrus, Delilah Belle Hamlin, Stassie Karanikolaou, Pia Mia, and more. 
  • Victoria Lyn is a YouTuber, TikTok content creator, and an avid makeup enthusiast who focuses on creative and wearable makeup looks.

What Is Cloud Skin Makeup?

Though some of these techniques have been around for quite a while, Dominic Skinner, the Director of Makeup Artistry at M.A.C. UK and judge on BBC’s ‘Glow Up,’ coined the term ‘Cloud Skin Makeup’ to describe the fluffy finish that’s created when matte foundation is softened and blurred using hydrating serums, moisturizers and primer

Makeup artist Elizabeth Seropian adores the Cloud Skin Makeup trend and has been using this concoction on her clients for years “because it’s so soft and dreamy, and it works great with every complexion.” This is partly because the look is completely customizable; you can mix your primer and matte foundation in different ratios, adding more or less of either product to suit your particular skin type and desired finish. By adding more foundation, you get greater coverage, while still maintaining the blurred effect of the primer. 

Seropian prefers to use a higher coverage foundation so she can use less product and she likes to add an iridescent, sheer highlighter to play up the high points of the face, such as the brow and cheek bones, bridge of the nose and Cupid’s bow, making sure to keep the highlighter as light-handed as possible for the muted glow. 

If you have oily/combo skin like me and usually steer clear of dewy looks, have no fear! You can rock Cloud Skin Makeup, too. To keep your makeup from sliding around on your face, simply set the look with powder. If your skin veers on the drier side, lock in moisture by applying a hydrating moisturizer and/or serum before adding the primer/foundation combo on top.

And How Do I Apply Cloud Skin Makeup?

Victoria Lyn breaks down the application of the Cloud Skin Makeup trend in her TikTok video from start to finish (she also references Dominic Skinner’s OG TikTok coining the term). To begin, you want to apply a generous amount of hydrating moisturizer or serum. Once this has been absorbed by the skin, grab your primer and matte foundation. Lyn recommends the M.A.C. Studio Fix STUDIO FIX Mattifine 12HR Shine-Control Primer and mixes it with two pumps of the YSL All Hours Foundation for a 2:1 ratio. Mixing together the products will create a fluffier, ‘cloud-like’ texture to your foundation. Next, apply the mixture to your skin using a dense foundation brush, making sure to cover the entire face.

From there, you’ll want to go in with a soft matte concealer under the eyes and blend it into your foundation with a concealer brush or sponge. If you’d like to add a little extra oomph to your look, follow in Seropian’s footsteps and apply some highlighter across the high points of your face. You can also use a soft cream bronzer and blush to emphasize the dewy radiance of the Cloud Skin Makeup look. 

Now, the most important step: Lock in the look with a setting spray and blurring powder. Lyn uses a small powder puff to set the concealer under her eyes and then goes in with a larger powder puff for the rest of her face before misting on setting spray to finish.

Once complete, you’ve got yourself a velvety, blurred and truly ethereal matte foundation look that doesn’t compromise on moisture or hydration. Already spotted on the likes of Selena Gomez, Hailey Bieber and Becky G, we expect to see cloud skin makeup everywhere this summer.

Delia Curtis Headshot

Assistant Editor, Trinket Collector, Artisanal Latte Enthusiast

Delia Curtis (they/them) is a New York City based writer and Assistant Editor at PureWow. They have eight years of print and digital media experience covering lifestyle, fashion...