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"Contouring" was undoubtedly the biggest beauty buzzword of the last year. If the number of tutorials, new products launched, and hand-wringing think pieces are any indication, the internet can't get enough. In the hands of the right makeup artist, contouring is a subtle technique that can potentially give even the most potato-faced among us the cheekbones of Karlie Kloss. But thanks to two of the world's most powerful forces—Kim Kardashian and Instagram, duh—the technique once reserved for red carpets and photo shoots has hit the mainstream with increasingly ridiculous results.
To wit: Yesterday popular beauty vlogger and now product maven Huda Kattan regrammed a video from makeup artist MakeupbyMeri featuring a leg contouring tutorial inspired by her son's anatomy book. It is truly something—something with over 1.5 million views. Please watch:
It's unclear how long it took her to do this, but obviously it's not time efficient, and clearly (I think? I hope?) she is not suggesting that everyone go out and try this technique (though unfortunately someone will). The biggest problem with this is that I don't even see a discernible difference between the before and after. If you're going to do all that, it had better have a great payoff.
You'd also need to adopt a bowlegged stance to prevent your legs from touching and rubbing all that makeup off, not to mention you're going to have to avoid beige furniture, and the sun, because those layers will melt. Also, get ready to have to excuse yourself midday for a knee touchup. A drag queen once told me that the best trick for toned looking legs is to use Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs spray-on product. So if your morning routine is more over-the-top than your everyday drag queen, it might be time to simplify.
I'm 100% for personal expression using makeup, but I'm really hoping this is the sign I've been waiting for—that extreme contouring has finally jumped the shark. I mean, what else can we possibly contour? We've been inspired by clowns. We've collectively done boobs. And lips. And abs. And eyes. And the back of the neck. A few weeks ago I even got a breathless PR email about how Kylie Jenner's makeup artist contours her ears. We've contoured pretty much everything except our internal organs at this point. (Possible headline for anyone thinking about trying it: "Get a Sleek Looking Liver Without Dieting!") Even Mario Dedivanovic, Kim Kardashian's long-time makeup artist, who has been a champion of contouring, seems to have contouring fatigue, if this Instagram he posted yesterday is any indication (#VeinsOnFleek):
When a Kardashian makeup artist is making fun of this technique, it's time to pull back. Step away from the palette, put down the brush, and let your real cheekbones see the light of day.