By: Irisdian Mayares
Painstakingly mapping your face with foundation for upwards of an hour to look like Kim Kardashian everyday sounds difficult. Which is likely why few people do it. According to Elle magazine, there’s four steps to contouring, each with it’s own process within. Videos and magazine articles dedicated to the art have thousands of views, but those don’t translate to practicing contour-ers.
When you google contouring, 17 million results will come up with the top results, as far as I can see, being about makeup and not maps. Then, searching it up on Youtube will bring up approximately 470,000 results (last checked), the first few videos have more than a million views. The effect celebrities have on everything from fashion to makeup is apparent.
“I feel it’s good to have a role model but at a certain point there’s limits to follow that role model,” says Brenda Montes, Junior, about celebrities affecting common people. Contouring seems to be one of those limits for fans, even whilst they continue watching video after video on it.
Contouring is meant to bring out your best features and ‘hide’ those features you don’t like. In today’s society, with plenty of makeup advertisements around, it is not hard to see how most would focus on looking like superstars. Although the popularity and recognizability of contouring can’t be argued, makeup itself isn’t a top priority for everyone else to buy unless they are getting plenty attention for it on YouTube and Instagram. Kim Kardashian’s own process costs $1,200 in products according to Cosmopolitan.
Fans of contouring that aren’t makeup artists ready to buy all the makeup products they need or makeup ‘guru’s’ who gain likes via makeup end up trying to find other alternatives, like using lip balms and making the process short and sweet in contrast to Kim Kardashian’s. Like the writer for xovain, Rachel, people might simply be too lazy to do the process as it’s meant to be done.
Contouring first rose to popularity when Kim Kardashian--and later the rest of her family-- made it relevant around 2014. With this sudden rise, her makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic got to over 1.5 million followers on Instagram, and in September 2015 said he was ready to move on from the fad of contouring. Despite this, Kardashian and Dedivanovic held master classes on contouring so many others could see Kim Kardashian go through her 50-step contouring process.
Despite the Kardashian's now being the most recognized for the look, Kevyn Aucoin was the first makeup artist recognized for contouring in the 2000's.
Many people do end up trying to contour, even if they don’t all succeed, in ‘contouring for the first time’ or ‘people get contoured for the first time’ videos but most are just for fun, and not to the level of celebrities who don’t go out without some level of contouring. Celebrities do have artists to help them out, though, so that’s understandable. Even makeup experts like Dedivanovic have said it’s not for everyday use and that he appreciates a natural look more.
It tends to be more of a trend people follow because it’s interesting to see than to do, like bubble nails that were the source of humour to many but didn’t exactly leave tons of people buying nail art kits. Some people are just like the French, who focus more on accepting who you are and keeping it simple according to Violette’s comments for NYMag.com, a former International Makeup Designer and Consultant for Dior.
Keeping people interested are other trends branching out from contouring: Clown contouring, boob contouring, and lip contouring.
There’s many more where that came from and it’s part of what’s keeping the trend alive despite the relatively small amount of people actually contouring.
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