We know freshman congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — skin-care hobbyist, regular wearer of Stila Stay All Day, and appreciator of a good press-on nail — is openly into beauty. Thanks to the first minute and a half of the new Netflix documentary Knock Down the House, which follows four women in the 2018 race for Congress, we get to see what happens after the sunscreen and before the liquid lip, and it’s baking.
What is baking, other than “cooking (food) by dry heat without direct exposure to a flame, typically in an oven or on a hot surface?” Baking is also a longwear makeup technique used in the drag community wherein translucent powder is left to sit upon layers of concealer and foundation for 5, 10, or even 15 minutes, allowing one’s own body temperature to “bake” and set the concealer or foundation underneath.
The end result is an invincible, super-matte, opaque, almost Facetuned finish that Kim Kardashian West was super into for a long time, so much so that she created a concealer with its very own baking powder, but now she’s over it because she wants to keep things “simple.” That kind of makes sense because baking is definitely not an everyday situation; it’s more of an Instagram or public appearance or drag performance situation, so it’s not surprising that AOC is executing the technique while a camera crew is following her around, you know?
“Getting ready, for women, it involves so many decisions about how you’re going to present yourself to the world,” she says as she fills in a brow. “‘Cause there’s kind of standard protocol for how a man running for office ‘should dress.’ You either put on a suit, or you put on a light color shirt, slacks, and you roll up the sleeves. Or … I mean, those are pretty much your two options,” she smiles before dampening a makeup sponge.
This is where the baking begins, and the first two steps are filmed: First, you apply concealer, and blend it with a damp makeup sponge. Great. Then, you put on more concealer and blend it again with the damp makeup sponge. Lovely. Then, apply some translucent powder on top. Then use a damp sponge to pack on more translucent powder. Then, do something else for like ten minutes. Great, now gently dust any remaining powder away with a fluffy brush and you’re done.
It’s highly beneficial for viewers that the baking scene kicks off the documentary because, according to Twitter, many people have been “crying their eyes out,” with “literal tears” in their eyes, while watching it. Reported tears range from sweaty eyes, old man eye leaks, huge tears, and “bawling eyes out.” So if you have somewhere important to be immediately after watching it, baking your concealer beforehand like AOC so you don’t cry it off is probably your best bet.