‘Cloud skin’ is the modern way to wear to matte foundation – here’s what you need

‘Cloud skin’ is the modern way to wear to matte foundation – here’s what you need

01/18/2023

Just as dreamy as it sounds, the best thing about cloud skin is that it’s super easy to achieve. Here’s how. 

For too long dewy, glowy, glass skin has been the centre of attention – and as much as we love it, it’s time that there was something more suitable for the oily-skinned among us. And finally, that time has arrived. Enter: cloud skin.

Coined by Dominic Skinner, global senior make-up artist at Mac Cosmetics, cloud skin is a trend that’s not only sweeping social media, but it’s also as dreamy as it sounds. “Cloud skin is about trying to take the description of a cloud when creating a skin look. It’s focusing on lightweight, soft textures that have transparent coverage,” Skinner tells Stylist

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“It’s keeping the skin matte, without it looking flat, but also adding a glow without any of the glitz,” he explains. “Essentially, it’s finding the perfect balance – and it really isn’t that hard to achieve.”

A truly universal finish, Skinner says that the semi-matte, soft glow works to simultaneously hydrate and mattify all skin types, so it really does provide the best of both worlds. “It’s not heavy or harsh. Instead, it’s soft and lightweight, feels comfortable and makes skin look subtly enhanced – think of it as maximum effect with minimal effort.” Consider us sold.

How to get cloud skin

“When creating cloud skin, the key products are a matte foundation and a blurring primer in equal amounts – that’s how you’ll achieve the idea of transparent coverage. Then, when you’re applying the mixture, it’s important to focus on the areas that need a little more coverage first,” he says. “My advice is to slowly build the look using a fluffy brush, which will help keep everything light with a sort of ‘whipped’ finish.”

As with any make-up look, skincare is vital – especially when it’s the focus. The more you concentrate on making it look as good as possible without make-up, the less you need to wear. So, in the case of cloud skin, prep is essential. “Hydrating with Mac Cosmetics’ Hyper Real Serumizer followed by SkinCanvas Balm creates a flawless, smooth surface for foundation to glide onto and stay put all day,” Skinner adds.

So, if cloud skin sounds right up your street, keep reading to discover the essentials to help you achieve it.

  • My Kit Co 0.18 My Stippling Foundation Brush

    Cloud skin: My Kit Co 0.18 My Stippling Foundation Brush

    Super lightweight and made with duo synthetic fibres, this brush is perfect for applying foundation wherever it’s needed most.

    Shop My Kit Co 0.18 My Stippling Foundation Brush at My Kit Co, £19

    buy now

  • NYX Professional Makeup Pro Dual Fiber Powder Brush

    Cloud skin: NYX Professional Makeup Pro Dual Fiber Powder Brush

    Despite being for p0wder, trust us when we tell you that this dual fibre brush is just as good for lightly stippling foundation on.

    Shop NYX Professional Makeup Pro Dual Fiber Powder Brush at LookFantastic, £12

    buy now

  • Caudalie Beauty Elixir

    Cloud skin: Caudalie Beauty Elixir

    Add hydration to skin pre- or post-foundation with this mist, which is infused with soothing orange blossom and grape extract.

    Shop Caudalie Beauty Elixir at LookFantastic, £12

    buy now

  • Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Ultra-Fine Mist

    Cloud skin: Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Ultra-Fine Mist

    The super-fine misting mechanism makes this satisfying to apply, plus the fact it’s made with 84% watermelon alongside hyaluronic acid means it really does pack a hydrating punch.

    Shop Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Ultra-Fine Mist at Cult Beauty, £25

    buy now

  • Mac Cosmetics Hyper Real Serumizer

    Cloud skin: Mac Hyper Real Serumizer

    New in from Mac Cosmetics, apply this serum – which doubles as a primer – before foundation to plump skin with moisture and create a perfectly nourishing canvas.

    Shop Mac Cosmetics Hyper Real Serumizer at LookFantastic, £48

    buy now

  • Mac Hyper Real SkinCanvas Balm

    Cloud skin: Mac Hyper Real Skin Canvas Balm

    Richer in texture than the serum, Mac’s SkinCanvas Balm promises up to 24 hours of hydration, and the blend of niacinamide and ceramides helps visibly smooth and protect skin.

    Shop Mac Hyper Real SkinCanvas Balm at LookFantastic, £44

    buy now

  • Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base

    Cloud skin: Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base

    A longtime bestseller, Bobbi Brown’s cult make-up primer is packed with hyaluronic acid, shea butter and vitamins to help prep skin for make-up while preventing greasy residue. A good choice for oily skin types.

    Shop Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base at LookFantastic, £48.50

    buy now

  • Maybelline Fit Me! Matte and Poreless Primer

    Cloud skin: Maybelline Fit Me! Matte and Poreless Primer

    Not only does this primer help control excess shine, but the lightweight, creamy texture is ideal for mixing with foundation without clogging pores. 

    Shop Maybelline Fit Me! Matte and Poreless Primer at Sephora UK, £8.99

    buy now

  • Rimmel London Lasting Matte Primer

    Cloud skin: Rimmel London Lasting Perfection Matte Primer

    Hydrating yet mattifying, this primer controls shine for up to nine hours, ensuring skin stays looking velvety and smooth all day long.

    Shop Rimmel London Lasting Matte Primer at Boots, £7.99

    buy now

  • Sculpted By Aimee Second Skin Matte Foundation

    Cloud skin: Sculpted by Aimee Second Skin Matte Foundation

    One of our favourite matte foundations, this mineral-based formula is kind to skin and has buildable coverage – perfect for the cloud skin trend. 

    Shop Sculpted By Aimee Second Skin Matte Foundation at Boots, £25

    buy now

  • L’Oréal Paris 24hr Matte Cover Foundation

    Cloud skin: L’Oreal Paris 24h Matte Cover Foundation

    A lightweight but blendable formula, this foundation promises to brighten tired-looking skin, while oil-absorbing minerals help ensure it stays put all day. 

    Shop L’Oréal Paris 24hr Matte Cover Foundation at LookFantastic, £9.99

    buy now

Main image: Getty/courtesy of brands

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