Kim Kardashian Instagrammed a selfie of her sculpting makeup, pre-blending and buffing. It looked like a topographic map, a landscape of natural and man-made features.
“Kontour!!!! Not finished with my make up yet but wanted to share a pic of some contouring make up tricks!” she captioned.
With more than 30 million followers on social media, Kardashian has played a major part in the revival of this century-old technique. It started with screen legends like Greta Garbo in the silent-movie era, returned to the spotlight in the ’70s and ’80s (when famed makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin “invented” cheekbones), and now, thanks to stars like Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez, is back in the mainstream.
With so much iPhone-camera action, looking just OK doesn’t cut it anymore, says makeup artist Rob Scheppy, chiseler-in-chief to Kim Kardashian and “Shahs of Sunset” looker Lilly Ghalichi. “Everyone is so aware of shading techniques now, and how to enhance their features,” he says. “They’ll say, ‘I just want to look more perfect.’”
Contouring can help achieve that illusory perfection, but only if you execute well — and save it for the right setting. “Obviously a regular woman going to work wouldn’t want to wear the same makeup she wears to a special event,” says Scheppy. “But then again, I have clients for whom contouring is an everyday look. If they’re on TV or in magazines all the time, I think it’s appropriate.”