Beauty trends that started on Instagram, from baking to strobing to cut crease

Find out about baking, strobing, hit pan and contouring and other Instagram cosmetic trends

Do you know OG from HG, or waterlining from tightlining? This guide will help

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 25 October, 2018, 8:04pm
UPDATED : Friday, 26 October, 2018, 10:37am

One of the most baffling things about Instagram beauty trends – other than why certain ones (nostril hair extensions? Squiggly brows?) even exist – is all those confusing terms. From baking to strobing and contouring, here’s a mini glossary of the new beauty techniques and hacks you need to know.


This is a make-up technique the online beauty crowd plucked right out of the drag community and made popular. But make no mistake: the fabulous queens did this first – ages ago. Way before, “hey guys, and welcome back to my channel!”

Baking is gently pressing a thick layer of loose setting powder over areas of your face (or all over) using a beauty sponge and then dusting it off with a big fluffy brush after 10 to 15 minutes. It helps your make-up stay on and matte for longer. Most beauty gurus bake their under eye concealer, under their cheekbone contour, on their chin, and on their forehead – where make-up is quickest to fade or skin is quickest to get oily.

The thick layer of powder traps the heat you’re generating between your skin and the translucent power. This “bakes” the foundation and concealer and sets it in a short amount of time, which helps the pigment stay where you want it for longer.

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Cut crease

This is a very precise and dramatic smoky eye look in which the lid space up to the crease is very sharply defined, and often in a contrasting colour. Typically, you’ll start with a taupe, bronze, or grey blended upwards from your crease towards your brows. Then, using a small flat brush to carve out the shade of your eyelids, you pat a layer of concealer onto your lids, and apply a contrasting shade on top of the concealer.

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I love getting my hair caught in my lip gloss (thought I’d post a pic since it’s been a minute lol) Makeup by: @alamarcosmetics @nathaliegranitz @gabyteemua Photog: @parishelena

A post shared by kathleenlights (@kathleenlights) on Jul 13, 2018 at 7:29am PDT

The cut crease has since evolved to include very bright contrasts, using every colour of the rainbow … and glitter, a lot of it.

This technique is purely #ForTheGram though. Even its most subdued version is more suitable for a night out where you pull out all the stops. It’s also not a very accessible look for many Asian features, and more suited to those with plenty of eyelid space.

Hit pan

When you’ve used a pressed powder product so much that you can see the bottom of any powder product.


This abbreviation stands for “holy grail” and means a product is the best of the best for that particular influencer in terms of performance, effect and results.


This abbreviation of “original gangsta” has, in the perfectly manicured paws of the beauty community, become another way to say “old school”, and can be used to describe a product or a person. For example, xsparkage is an OG YouTuber: one of the first to make earning a living from making YouTube videos a viable career option. Or, the original Urban Decay Naked palette is many a make-up guru’s OG palette, and the first they ever owned or used on camera.


This make-up technique creates shadows on your face to accentuate or enhance your bone structure. On those whose faces don’t have naturally prominent dimensions, contouring mimics the look of shadows, and fools the eyes into thinking there is bone structure there casting those shadows.

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Testing testing @cxchoi

A post shared by Claire Marshall (@heyclaire) on Sep 1, 2018 at 5:11pm PDT

People sometimes confuse contouring with bronzing. Here’s the difference: contouring sits in the hollow parts of your face; bronzer sits on areas of your face that’s exposed to the most sun: forehead, down the bridge of your nose, high points of your cheeks.

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Just a fancier word for highlighting, really. Similar to a bronzer, a highlight sits on the highest points of the face. The pointiest part of your cheekbones and brow bone are all natural points to highlight, and remember to soften things a little with a bit of blending.

Remember, though, a highlight is meant to be a fleeting moment of “omg!” when the light catches your face just right. It’s not meant to be visible all the time and from every angle. So skip the tip-of-the-nose highlight; it’s constantly visible and makes you look like Rudolph but with a light bulb.


Waterlining means applying eyeliner to that thin strip of skin between your eyelashes and eyeball. If you see semi-traumatic images of women seemingly poking themselves in the eye, they’re waterlining.


Tightlining fills in the space between your eyelashes with an eyeliner, and gives your eyes definition without taking up lid space, which can make eyes look smaller. So tightlining is a great technique for many Asian eyes, which are often comparatively smaller.