Is Contouring Over? See All the Facts and You Be the Judge

Kristen Bousquet
Tom Ford 2014; Jason Wu 2015; Imaxtree

Tom Ford 2014; Jason Wu 2015; Imaxtree

In the wonderful world of fashion and beauty, trends come and go as they please, but there are some trends that stick around way longer than people expect them to. In the beauty world lately, we’ve seen everyone and their mothers (literally) buying into trends like extremely bold brows, plumped up Kylie Jenner nude lips and, of course, contouring.

The only way you haven’t heard of or experimented with contouring in the past year is if you’ve been living under a rock – or well, decided you’re better off without it. Contouring is the art (yes, it’s literally an art to get this technique down without looking crazy and overdone) of using shade and light to create more depth in your face (for something more low key) or literally change your entire face shape (for something more Kim Kardashian-esque).

Speaking of this certain Kardashian, she’s one of the celebrities who really took the trend to another level—especially with the contouring of her nose. After her makeup artist started to contour her nose, Kim was constantly accused of getting a nose job but according to her, it’s all the magic of contouring.

Even YouTube beauty gurus are tapping into the contouring trend creating videos showing how to change your face shape, slim your nose and chisel those cheekbones. Some of the most popular contouring YouTube tutorials are receiving up to 22 million views, which we think is pretty darn impressive.

MORE: Tips For Contouring Your Eyes (Yes, We Said Eyes)

But like we stated earlier, trends go in and out of style all the time so we can’t help but question: Is contouring on its way out the door? On the 2014 runways of Armani Prive, Christian Siriano, Tom Ford and more we saw some seriously chiseled facial structures with the help of contouring, but in the most recent showing of collections, we can’t help but notice that the contours have been seriously toned down and beauty looks even looked pretty—gasp!—natural.

As 2015 struck, we saw designers like Rebecca Minkoff, Creatures of the Wind, and Jason Wu opting for beauty looks that featured less harsh contouring and more of a sunkissed glow that really let the models’ natural beauty shine through.

Even one of the most well-known makeup artistry brands, MAKE UP FOR EVER, took a hint from the runway’s natural and glowy looks and created their newest gel-powder bronzer, Pro Bronze Fusion, to mimic what the runways showed. The bronzer is not super pigmented on purpose. It’s meant to give you a beautiful, radiant glow that looks more like you spent a little time in the sun than you just lost five pounds in your face.

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For those who tried contouring and just couldn’t seem to get it right, you’ll be happy to hear that the trend may be moving over and making way for something new: Strobing. While it sounds like a gimmicky, dull way of decorating your face, this new beauty technique may just be the answer to getting a beautiful sculpted face shape without spending 30 minutes in front of the mirror trying to assess your face shape.

This beauty technique focuses more on highlighting and using more illuminating products than bronzing and contouring. To “strobe” correctly, you’ll dust some highlighting powder or cream on any areas where the light naturally hits your face like your cheekbones, down your nose, brow bone, center of the face and your chin.

So, we’ll let you be the judge. Are you still loving the contouring trend or can you see something like strobing taking its place? Tell us in the comments below!

MORE: Strobing: The Easy Makeup Trend That’s Taking Over