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The makeup world has been drawing its inspiration from food of late, from latte makeup to tomato girl makeup, and the latest that has emerged in the Chinese beauty scene on social media platform Xiao Hong Shu: Maillard makeup!

What is Maillard makeup?

The term “Maillard” derives from a chemical reaction known as the Maillard reaction, where food undergoes a browning transformation due to the interplay of sugar and protein under the influence of heat.

In the world of makeup, Maillard makeup revolves around warm, earthy tones, primarily in various shades of brown. It exudes a cosy, retro autumn vibe for your face, a trend that has truly captivated beauty enthusiasts in China, each putting their unique spin on it.


Photo credit: dear peachie/YouTube

We’re here to guide you through the steps to achieve this enchanting look, following a simple tutorial by TikTok beauty creator, @itsjennze.

Step 1: Prepping your skin

Skin prep is vital to ensure it’s properly hydrated. Jennze begins with COSRX toner pads to exfoliate the lips before applying makeup.


Next, a touch of sunscreen is applied, followed by extra hydration with Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Dew Drops.


Finally, use a setting spray to set the stage for a flawless base.


Where to find the products she used?

Step 2: Crafting soft, feathered brows

Unlike structured and defined eyebrows, Maillard makeup calls for a softer, feathery brow look. Jennze uses Hourglass’s Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil to create a gentle, natural effect.


To soften the appearance of structured eyebrows, she uses an ashy gray colouring brow mascara to change the colour of her eyebrow hairs.


Where to find the products she used?

  • HOURGLASS Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil retails for S$64 at Sephora online.
  • Heavy rotation’s Colouring Eyebrow (Shade #08 Ash Grey) retails for S$15.50 at Watsons online.

Step 3: Creating the eye makeup with earthy browns

Before applying pigments to the eyes, it’s imperative to use an eyeshadow base if the veins beneath your eyelids are visible. Jennze opts for NARS Creamy Concealer as a base on the eyelids, ensuring even product blending with a brush.


Then, she sets the eyelids with Pat McGrath’s Sublime Perfection Blurring Under-Eye Powder.


For eyeshadow, she applies a warm golden brown shade near the lash line, gently blending it out with her fingers.


Where to find the products she used?

  • NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer retails for S$48 at Sephora online.
  • Pat McGrath’s Sublime Perfection Blurring Under-Eye Powder retails for S$50.16 at Revolve online.
  • Laura Mercier’s Shimmer Caviar Stick Eye Colour (Shade Cocoa) retails for S$49 at Sephora online.

Step 4: Enhancing eye makeup with eyeliner

She uses the same ashy brown eyebrow pencil to create a soft, smoky winged eyeliner at the outer edge of her eyes.


Use a gel eyeliner to tightline the lash line and repeat these steps for the lower lash line.


Apply gel liner to the inner corners of your eyes, and add a glittery eyeshadow up to the centre of your eyelids.


Where to find the products she used?

  • HEROINE MAKE Long Stay Sharp Gel Liner (Shade #02, Dark Brown) retails for S$17.50 at Watsons online.
  • Urban Decay’s 24/7 Moondust Eyeshadow Compact (Shade #Space Cowboy) retails for S$32.40 at Lazada Singapore.

Step 5: Achieving luscious, doll-like lashes

After curling the lashes with a lash curler, use a curling mascara to provide a natural lift.


For an enhanced look, apply manga-style false eyelashes, creating a subtle cat-eye effect.


Where to find the products she used?

  • Lancome’s LASH IDÔLE MASCARA retails for S$60 at Lancome online.
  • Spiky Japanese Anime Lashes 3D Short Fake Eyelash retails for S$18.43 at Amazon Singapore.

Step 6: Perfecting the base for a flawless look

With the eye makeup complete, it’s time to create a flawless base. She applies Shiseido Synchro Skin Foundation with a foundation brush, emphasising the importance of layering for seamless coverage.


Where to find the products she used?

  • SHISEIDO’s Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Foundation retails for S$78 at Sephora online.

Step 7: Contouring and setting the face

Vertical contouring is recommended for Asian faces, using a deep brown powder contour shade.


Next, Jennze sets the under eyes with Pat McGrath’s Under Eye Blurring Powder, and the rest of the face with Canmake’s Marshmallow Finish Powder.


Where to find the products she used?

Step 8: Nose contour and aegyosal

Using a matte contouring palette, contour the nose root and under eye area.


Contour the sides of the nose near the eyebrows and create a subtle “L” shape at the tip of the nose.


Contour your aegyosal under your eyes and highlight the raised part with a matte white shade.


Where to find the products she used?

  • JUDYDOLL Highlight & Contour Palette retails for S$16.09 at Shopee.

Step 9: Applying blush and highlight

Maillard makeup features a brown blush moment at the tip of the nose. Apply a light brownish blush shade, followed by an apricot blush on the apples of the cheeks.


Finish with a rosy brown shade over the centre of the cheeks and the low part of the bridge of the nose.


Add a touch of matte white highlighter on the nose and a glitter highlighter down the bridge.


Where to find the products she used?

  • PERIPERA Pure Blushed Sunshine Cheek (Shade #17, Rosy Brown) retails for S$9.50 at Shopee.
  • Unleashia Sisua Butter Waffle Dough Blusher (Shade #Apricot Sherbet) retails for S$15.12 at Shopee.

Step 10: Juicy lips to complete the look

Fill in your lips with a rosy brown shade lip liner for a long-lasting base.


Apply a warm orangish lip tint, mostly to the centre of the lips, to achieve that juicy look.


Where to find the products she used?

  • Make Up For Ever’s Artist Color Eye, Lip & Brow Pencil (Shade #606, Wherever Walnut) retails for S$46.65 at Amazon Singapore.
  • Rom&nd Glasting Water Tint (Shade #08, Rose Stream) retails for S$9.40 at Amazon Singapore.

With these simple steps, you can now embrace the Maillard makeup trend — a perfect concept for any day when you desire a brown, smoky eye appearance!

Featured image credits: @joyce_makeup6/TikTok, @itsjennze/TikTok