The Trend: Countouring
What it is: A shading technique that makes bone structure look especially sculpted. It can chisel round cheeks, slim a wide nose or define a weak jaw. Previously, this method was reserved for highly trained makeup artists, but Kim Kardashian made a legion of followers believe in 50-step makeup for all.
Pro’s POV: “Heavy contouring works on Instagram if you throw a filter on it,” says New York–based celebrity makeup artist Nick Barose. “But harsh lines in dark colours will never look right in daylight. Contour gently; it should still look like your face.”
The Trend: Tontouring
What it is: Contouring with self-tanner instead of wash off powders or creams. Since you only need to “tontour” once a week, it’s (supposedly) more low maintenance. Oh, and you can honestly say you #wokeuplikethis.
Pro’s POV: “Your blending has to be so on point,” says Toronto-based makeup artist Vanessa Jarman. “I’d be concerned about streaks and jagged edges, which you’ll then have to cover with foundation or concealer. You’re only creating more work.”
The Trend: Strobing
What it is: Highlighting, basically (also dubbed reverse contouring). It mimics the way light naturally bounces off the high planes of your face (the tops of your cheekbones, the bridge of your nose and your Cupid’s bow) to define features without any dark streaks.
Pro’s POV: “Strobing should mimic a natural sheen so your skin looks radiant and healthy rather than sparkly,” says Barose. “Shimmer is fine—if you’re going to be dancing for Beyoncé. Plus, if you go overboard, it brings out pores and wrinkles.”
The Trend: Baking
What it is: A way of setting your makeup (no, not in the oven) so it lasts longer. The process involves spreading on a thick—like load-up-a-sponge-and-don’t-shake-it-off thick—layer of light-coloured loose powder over your foundation, and then leaving it to “cook” into the skin using your natural body heat. After 30 minutes, you sweep most of it away with a brush.
Pro’s POV: “Who has the time?” says Barose. “It’s an old drag queen technique, but if you’re not onstage, it’s wasteful. Powder is your friend, but nobody needs to bake.”
The Trend: Clowning
What it is: A combo of extreme highlighting, contouring and colour correction, invented by YouTuber BellaDeLune (her video is at three million hits and counting). It involves painting beige, pink and lilac shapes (circles, stripes, triangles) all over your face before blending them out to look totally #flawless (albeit with a full face of paint).
Pro’s POV: “People want makeup to give them a smaller nose, bigger lips or new cheeks, but it’s an unrealistic beauty greed,” says Barose. “Instead of trying to correct everything, it’s so much more exciting to approach makeup as a way to have fun, express yourself and be original.”