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This past weekend at Vogue UK's Vogue Festival in London, Kim Kardashian West hit the stage with makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury and announced that contouring was dead. Her new fave makeup technique? "I think right now it's more about non-touring, like real skin with less make-up on it. I'm trying to wear less...and my husband loves me without make-up," she said at the festival. (Caveat: She's still going to contour her nose.)
It's been a hot minute since the beauty world had a new gimmicky trend to focus on, and extreme contouring is overdue for its backlash. And who better to provide that backlash than the very woman who arguably made everyone obsessed with contouring in the first place?
What exactly is non-touring?
Is it different from "no-makeup makeup," that backstage runway staple that involves 30 minutes and nine products to make a model look like she just walked briskly out in the sun for ten minutes? I delved into the depths of the internet to figure out this mystery.
At the end of April, Marie Claire published an article on non-touring and spoke to makeup artist Renee Sanganoo, who called the technique "Spanx for the skin." According to her, you only need three products to non-tour: primer, tinted moisturizer, and highlighter. (If you just shouted in your own brain, "Hey, that's basically what I do every day!," you're not alone. Me too. We are so on-trend.) Essentially, it's the bare minimum of makeup topped with some strobing, that other made-up beauty trend that used to be known simply as "highlighting."
Since then, many outlets have also reported on this triad of products for non-touring, but a deeper dive into Instagram shows that the #nontouring hashtag has been around for a while, though up until a month ago it was only used sporadically. Way back in October 2015, an Irish makeup studio posted a clip from the Sunday Times Style section. The clip begins: "And so begins the contouring backlash." What follows is a brief description of some backstage runway beauty looks touting a "fresh face, concealer where needed" mantra. There was no mention of highlighter, but the blurb ends with the directive: "Get ready to nontour." And so now we are.
Kim doesn't seem to be fully aware that she should only be using three products to non-tour. Her pared down makeup bag — an eyelash curler, lipstick, mascara, foundation, kabuki brush, eye pencil, powder, blush, and bronzer – suggests she has a bit of Marie Kondo-ing to do. The rest of us, however, don't have to do a damn thing differently.