How to nail the ‘cloud skin’ trend for a softer look

Skin finishes have emerged as a make-up trend in their own right, with dreamy cloud skin gaining traction as the newest beauty craze to try.

If beauty forecasters stand correct, this year will see the revival of matte skin in beauty, but not in the way we remember it.

After years of glowy, dewy and “glass” skin being the go-to looks, there’s growing demand for a softer, diffused matte finish that’s been coined “cloud skin”.

“I’m definitely hoping for a resurgence of more matte complexions, so I’m in full support of cloud skin over glass skin,” beauty enthusiast and skinfluencer Sam by the Counter says.

What is cloud skin?

Unlike a traditional matte base, which can often look flat and cakey, cloud skin’s point of difference is that it’s selectively matte and blurring.

This leaves the skin with a diffused, soft-filtered finish.

Better yet, the trend can be embraced in skin care or make-up, or a combination of both for the ultimate cloud skin finish.

“I really like the cloud skin trend as a concept because skin finishes of all kinds are something to embrace,” skinfluencer Nissie Bungbrakearti says.

A defining trait of the trend is poreless, flawless skin – while you can’t completely eliminate pores, targeted skin care can help minimise them through regular chemical exfoliation, and by using retinol and other actives such as vitamin C.


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How to achieve a cloud-like application

A well-prepped base is crucial for any flawless make-up look, but particularly so when it comes to cloud skin.

Begin with a well-hydrated base followed by selective primer application, which helps to blur and mattify the skin in the specific areas you want it to.

The cloud skin look often involves using a mattifying primer on the T-zone, and a pore-filling or smoothing primer over any areas of the face where skin texture is visible.

A soft base requires equally soft, cloud-like foundation application, which helps to avoid a cakey finish.

More advanced make-up wearers can also incorporate the underpainting technique (applying your contour and concealer under your foundation or skin tint), which will further diffuse and soften your base look.

Because this look leans into matte make-up, you’ll want to set your base with a finely milled translucent powder to further soften and blur the skin without it looking heavy.

Do all skin types suit cloud skin?

Because cloud skin is so customisable, the trend can, in theory, work for all skin types – but because it’s more matte than dewy, those with particularly dry skin might struggle to achieve the trend without texture and fine lines showing through.

“Being a dry-skin gal, I try to lather myself in as much hydration as I can get and, consequently, I don’t think a heavily matte beauty trend is best suited for my skin type,” Nissie says.

One way to help combat some of the make-up issues caused by dry skin is to incorporate a hydrating primer and use a hydrating facial mist whenever the base starts feeling tight on the skin.

According to Sam, the crux of skin-finish trends is to simply not take them too seriously.

“Everyone has their own inherent preference for dewy-leaning or matte-leaning skin,” Sam says.

“I don’t think simple preferences need to be classified as trends, but having cute-sounding names can be useful for light-hearted beauty inspiration.”


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Written by Charlotte Brundrett.