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By Stacey Caruso Makeup


Adeladies, unless you have been living under a rock you are probably well aware of the craze that is the new “it” thing in the makeup world – Contouring. You might not exactly understand what it’s all about or how to do it correctly but you have probably stumbled across a few YouTube clips and Instagram posts showing you step by step how to achieve higher cheekbones, a more slender nose or even how to make your face appear thinner. And I’m sure you are familiar with those people with the last name Kardashian?? The women who seem to be headlining the world of celebrity, who have (scarily) become role models for young girls everywhere and lead this make up trend.

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So lets just be upfront and honest here. I am totally AGAINST the trend of contouring. That being said I do believe there is a way in which to contour that can still look natural and fresh and doesn’t require you to layer up your face with product! (see my blog on bronzers) I’m sorry but who likes that caked on makeup look?! Certainly not me! I’m a firm believer that your makeup/foundation should look like skin, and if it at all appears as though you need a shovel to scrape it off then you have applied wayyyyyyy too much!

Contouring is essentially a makeup technique that uses different colours of foundation, concealer and/or bronzer to change the natural shape of your face. As mentioned earlier, a thinner nose, more pronounced cheekbones or a different shaped face entirely are the desired results that people achieve when attempting this technique. People are using darker toned foundations around the outer area of their face, down the sides of their nose and in stripes in the hollow of their cheek, blending it out with a sponge, then layering foundation, concealer, powder, bronzer and highlighter… and that’s just their base!

Who has that kinda time?!!! I have seen many videos on Instagram where people are literally using 4 or more different coloured products on their face (I’ve even seen pink, orange and green products used… what the???) just to achieve their base… It’s shocking to me! It seriously is like Colour by Numbers except instead of using pencils in a colouring book for children, women all over are using their faces as the canvas!

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What disturbs me most about this phenomenon is that it is basically encouraging young girls and women worldwide to change the way they look, and saying that to be beautiful you have to change your features instead of embracing them. We should be celebrating individual beauty instead of all trying to look like carbon copies of each other. I was with my best friend a few weeks ago and saw Khloe Kardashian on the Jimmy Fallon show and I could not get over how much makeup and how “dirty” her skin looked. Granted I had to give him a quick education on what he was looking at and why I was getting so fired up but he saw it too… Is this what’s considered beautiful today?! Well shame on society if that’s the case!

The other problem I have with it is that the contouring technique can look so wrong when not done by a professional artist. And I hate to say it but even then I’ve seen some shocking contouring done on women! To me, it ends up looking like dirt on women’s cheeks and even worse when it’s just bronzer and a tonne of highlighter. What’s natural looking about that?! I can’t understand how that can be considered more appealing than a nice pop of colour on the cheek with a bit of highlighter (love my Bobbi Shimmerbricks and MAC Soft and Gentle Highlighter), giving the effect of a more natural flush. I feel as though it’s a very Americanised ideal of beauty and it horrifies me when I see Australian makeup artists and women in general doing look after look like this.

To me, Australian beauty is fresh faced, sun kissed and has a natural glow and radiance to it. I am inspired by artists who can achieve a flawless looking skin and apply makeup so you can actually see the skin, instead of covering it up with layers and layers of product. Anyone can apply fuller coverage foundation, a heap of bronzer and concealer and call that ‘flawless skin” but using the right skincare and face products to achieve that glow and that radiance, well to me that takes skill and that is art.

IMG_8820Image: An example of my work, with no contouring

I cant wait for the day when we look back at this trend and go, “What were we/they thinking?!!” To the day when individuality is popular and fresh faced skin has made a comeback and is what is considered to be “flawless skin.”

If this is what’s “on trend” or “what everyone wants” these days then I guess I’m not the right makeup artist for you. And that’s ok. I like to celebrate what makes a women unique, help them discover their own beauty and make them feel beautiful and confident in the skin that they’re in.

Stacey XX


Hayley Pearson

Hayley Pearson

Co-Creator and Writer for Adelady, she still gets goosebumps that she’s combined her creative passion with sharing the best of her stunning home state.


  • Hear, hear Stacey!

    I 100% agree with everything you say. I am all about woman feeling confident in the skin that they are in and looking within, rather than hiding behind a thick face of makeup.

    I don’t feel comfortable going out without makeup on (I never have), but as I have gotten older I find less is more. I focus on the best features in order to disguise those that I am not so happy with but have no desire to try the extreme contouring and highlighting.

    And, don’t get me started on the Ínstagram’ brows!

    • Stacey says:

      Hey Kate ☺️ Thanks for your comments and I agree, less is more. Have fun with makeup sure, play with colours on eyes and lips but skin should look like skin and I love that fresh faced look rather than a tonne of makeup! Getting the skin right so you don’t feel like you need to wear a lot is so important to me

  • faiza says:

    Love your post, I 100% agree with you on contouring. Being south Asian, I also find contouring, a bit racist trend, why we need to sharp our noses while we have it in wide shape naturally. Contouring is all about western beauty concepts, while beauty is different in east and other part of the world.

    • Stacey says:

      So true Faiza and thanks for your comments. Embrace who you are, your natural beauty and celebrate what makes you beautiful!

  • Iris says:

    I have been looking all over the internet and you are the only person who seems to understand exactly how I feel, too! Don’t get me wrong: I find Instagram makeup cool to look at as an art form, and I like the “natural” looks, but this “Instagram” caked-on makeup trend is really not my thing. It makes me sad as well because women who wear less/no makeup get compared to this on a daily basis, which is completely unfair! A. it’s tonnes of makeup, B. tonnes of Photoshop, and C. a lot of it is good lighting/posing as well. We are basically being compared to something that is just not real! I see women around me all the time who look like completely different people without makeup and it makes me incredibly sad because they are actually so beautiful without it! Of course, they can do what they like, and wear all the makeup they want, I think it just hurts when us “regular” folk get our looks judged because we choose to look like ourselves, not paint a thick mask on. It’s hard to say this without sounding harsh, because of course these women are still beautiful, I just don’t agree with the comparison side of things, and telling someone natural they are less beautiful than someone “fake”. This is just my opinion, and we live in a free world where we can do what we like with our looks. I just don’t think insta/Victoria’s Secret models are the be-all-end-all, or 10/10, of this world. Beauty comes in all different shapes and sizes, natural included.

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