When contouring goes horribly wrong

19:00, Aug 11 2014
Kim Kardashian
ALL MADE UP: Kim Kardashian West is the undisputed queen of contouring.

The art of contouring is some complicated beauty business. The best jobs we've seen have involved a makeup artist expertly using product, shadows and light to emphasise bone structure and create the appearance of prosthetic cheekbones.

Go overboard, however, and the results can be downright disastrous. Women are drawing on stripes willy-nilly, taking liberties with bronzer and slapping on blush like a second-rate drag queen. We blame you, Kim Kardashian West.

With contouring (or 'kontouring'), there's a fine line between just right and too much. You either end up looking like a more enhanced version of yourself or like you stumbled into some bad lighting a la Jerry Seinfeld's two-face girlfriend.

Remember, 'perma-Photoshopped', 'Maleficent' and 'war paint' are not looks you ought to be aiming for.

This is definitely not the domain of amateurs. Despite what the magazines tell you, the technique is much more complex than your average cat-eye flick or smoky eye.

Requiring an algorithm of shading and highlighting to basically reconstruct your face, even the most talented of beauty vloggers struggled with it in the past.


Buzzfeed recently posted a video where they had three brave volunteers and one poor kidnapped dude subject their faces to the makeup artist's blending brush.

We watched the results unfold in real time and their expressions from mid- to post-contour run a gamut from 'shocked' and 'fearful' to 'recoiling in terror' and 'pleasantly surprised'.

One even asked, 'This is going to hurt, right?' A valid question indeed. One takeout from the video? Do not look at the mirror prior to buffing and blending as it will give you nightmares.

The results look great by the end of it, sure, but this is a professional at work. We can't emphasise that enough.

Without the right light, right products, right technique and right hand guiding the ship, contouring can veer horrifically off course.

You don't want to navigate those shark-infested waters without an experienced captain so perhaps leave the contouring - at weddings, formals or any other occasion that requires you show your face in public - to a makeup artist you can trust.

- Daily Life