Okay, okay before you strike, put down your loaded Lush bath bombs and hear me out. I am such a hypocrite of this topic that it almost hurts to type, but something has got to be said before more innocent faces are ruined by learning the hard way. Contouring has gotten completely out of control and it’s time we do something about it. Long gone are the days of dewy skin and freshly pinched cheeks. Instead, it’s been replaced with swipes of glittery “natural” highlighter and dark brown contour smeared under the cheek bones, replicating that of war paint. Since when did having “on fleek” makeup (I hate that I just used that phrase) turn into this? Where did we as a society go wrong? How could Sephora line their shelves with 27 different versions of contour kits? Let’s put an end to all the madness.
The meaning of a contour is to accentuate the silhouette of an already existing formation. If you don’t have the facial structure of a supermodel with colossal hallows under your cheek bones, adding a muddy brown line isn’t going to make that appear; it’s just going to add well, a muddy brown line. The unfortunate truth is that real life and photoshoots are two completely separate entities. Contouring is used to manipulate light and create shadows that aren’t naturally there, which works wonders for the camera with professional lighting. When cameras and the perfect natural lighting aren’t present, you’re contour won’t show up as shadows and depth in real life it’ll just look like you forgot to match your foundation.
Don’t get me wrong. Contouring can look lovely when achieved under the proper circumstances. It’s wonderful for evening events, but never should be part of your makeup regime for anything before the hours of 6pm. Football games and brunching don’t make the cut. The only rule of thumb for applying contour is for when you know you’ll be heavily photographed (read: wedding day). Contouring should be applied with a light hand in a slightly cool toned shade. Opt out of warmer shades as they’ll make your face look heavy and weighed down.
A few celebs that have it nailed? Jennifer Garner, Lauren Conrad, Blake Lively, Natalie Portman, Alexa Chung, and Keira Knightley are all great examples of not going overboard when it comes to their daily makeup routines and really only busting out the contour on red carpet events.
Moral of the story is to ditch contouring from your daily routine and save it for the special occasions. It can greatly help when applied properly but for the most part, you’re better off leaving the house with a dash of creme blush applied on the apples of your cheekbones for a lively fresh-faced finish.