Sorry I’ve been MIA for the last few weeks. I’ve actually been extremely sick and spending more time on the couch than in front of my computer. More on that later, and what a downer way to start this post.
Anyway, over the years my blog has become a positive place where I try not to bash because I really do feel that largely, there’s a ‘butt for every seat’ so to speak when it comes to all of the makeup and skincare choices out there. But here’s the thing. I’m struggling with this culture of contour I see on Instagram started mostly by (you guessed it) Kim Kardashian whose MUA singlehandedly took the trend from drag only to mainstream. Men who drag actually need to contour because its part of their dramatic look and carving out the face in this extreme way feminizes features by emphasizing cheekbones and slimming the nose. It’s not subtle, but it isn’t supposed to be.
Makeup Artists, big deal ones like Pati Dubroff (whose clients are mainly A-List elite) are starting to speak out against this trend where girls are smothering their faces in layers of zebra makeup in hopes to come out looking like a reality star. Her point (applauded by Industry Expert Kevin James Bennett that I saw on my Facebook feed a few weeks back) was that this isn’t widely regarded as a professional look meaning Angelina Jolie doesn’t walk the red carpet with lines drawn down her nose. The whole idea of makeup is to simply enhance and most MUA’s would tell you that rule #1 in regard to foundation is to use only as much as you need so you can see the skin and not the makeup. If you’re looking for real makeup inspiration on Insta, follow Jennifer Aniston’s MUA Angela Levin (who’s too busy working to care that she has ‘only’ 3,000 followers), or Jake Bailey who does a ton with Katy Perry, or even Madonna’s main MUA Gina Brooke. These girls who do their own makeup well and put lots of effort into amassing (and maybe even paying for…) a large number of followers isn’t a bad thing, but it surely doesn’t make them experts. Some trends (like this God-awful one) are better left alone knowing they’ll eventually die off.
So it isn’t contouring that’s the problem because it’s a great technique and there is a time and face for it (⇠ see what I did there? ‘time and face!’ Brilliant.) But as a general rule, you (yes you!) probably don’t need to buy a contouring kit for your everyday look. This popular Contour Kit from Anastasia is a prime example of shit you don’t need for a few reasons. A. You probably work in a professional setting where looking like RuPaul holds zero value. Do you think that Sheryl Sandberg gives a shit about shading her cheekbones before heading into the office everyday to run Facebook? Hint: She doesn’t. B. You’ll get it home, use it once, look like a freak, and never use it again. Seriously, this thing will sit in your drawer until the mold grows because contouring isn’t an easy technique especially when you use a powder which is harder to blend than a cream. It also tends to fall apart after a few hours exposing the harshness of the look so you’re basically Cinderella at the ball running home before midnight so you aren’t exposed as an amateur tiger. C. You can accomplish a dynamic look without all the theatrics. MUA’s do this by applying bronzer, using an under eye concealer that’s a tad lighter, and maybe a hint of highlight to the cheekbones (my current fave) but that’s about it. In minutes you’ve added glow and warmth in a wearable way so chances are you probably won’t end up looking nuts. Simple better especially when it comes to all things beauty.
Healthy skin on a happy girl trumps any wild trend, so focus on that and leave the drama to the Queens.