Makeup Girl About Town - Contouring


Now here’s the thing, I love my Sleek Face Contour Kit and I use it nearly all the time at work. It gives a lovely hint or a lot of hint of cheekbones in just the right shade. Lately cheekbones have been very in. Yet when beauty writer, Sali Hughes uploaded a post on Instagram a big 'No Entry' sign demanding a Contouring free zone with the remark “Remember when makeup was just fun? Faces are meant to come in lots of shapes and sizes. That’s what’s great about them.” I immediately ‘liked ‘ the post. There are so many YouTube posts on how to contour not just your cheeks, nose or chin but your lips and boobs. Are we seriously expected to cover ourselves in lines of light and shade, perfectly blended before we step out the door? Sali’s post got a huge response, some agreeing and some saying how much they loved contouring and to them, it was fun. So was I being hypocritical? After all isn’t that what makeup is all about?

Contouring your eyes in different ways with eyeshadow to create subtle or dramatic looks? A bit of blusher to emphasise the apples of the cheeks whilst highlighting those cheekbones? Its all about light and shade. So what’s my big hang up? Women of Colour have been contouring for years, we have natural highlights and shade and have been applying make up accordingly.

My first experience of contouring was watching 80s pop group, 5 Star. With scary fascination I studied pictures of them, marvelling at the sheer amount of makeup they had managed to put on. But boy they were chiselled to perfection, and not just the girls. So do we still need to make our noses appear smaller and slimmer?

Women like Beyonce, Naomi Campbell , Kerry Washington, Solange, Oprah, Rhianna and our own Sarah Jane Crawford are made up so cleverly and subtly that you would hardly notice the contouring, shading and highlighting and they are made up for the camera and to accommodate all the strong lights and flash photography. Which leads me to ask whether these days with Instagram do we feel that we also always need to be camera ready?

A colleague in the makeup industry told me that a lot of young people like to look Plastic Fantastic these days. I think this is my worry, I don’t want young people to feel they have to be perfect. I love all our different faces and I want to keep make up fun. I love the brownbeauty Goes Pink series for this very reason. Trying out different makeup, seeing which one suited me led to my love of it and a cherished career. I’m sure contouring everything is just a faze like fashion trends but I’m sure we’ll always love a great cheekbone. Don’t take away my blusher!