IMG_6700Open up your Pinterest account and you’re sure to find one thing every time: Contouring Tutorials. The art of defining your cheekbones, giving your nose a thinner appearance, and basically trying to look like Kim Kardashian seems to be all the rage. Given the right circumstances, I think contouring is a really cool way to apply your makeup. There are certainly a lot of benefits, but there are also a lot of reasons why I don’t do it myself. Today, I want to share 3 reasons why you really don’t need to be contouring your face.



When we think of celebrities like Kim Kardashian, who is a master of contouring, we of course try to think of all the ways we can replicate her same look. The difference between Mrs. West and us is that she is constantly in front of the camera, and well, we are not. For someone who is being photographed every day and in optimal lighting, it makes sense to contour. For a gal like me who works most days in office lighting or outdoors, all you will see when you look at my face is the caked on makeup. When I meet a new person, the last thing I want them to notice is how much makeup I’m wearing.

Another thing to consider is the time it takes to apply everything. When I take the time to contour, get everything on my face, blend it in, and still put my mascara on, I’m already about 20 minutes into my makeup routine. Most of us are busy and on the go – dedicating so much time to having sharper cheekbones just isn’t going to fly.

The truth is, contouring is not realistic for every day wear. Save those tips and tricks for actual photos, or in the evening when you’ll be in dim or flattering lighting.



Contouring requires using a lot of makeup, and when I say a lot, I mean A LOT. On top of the contouring products, you are usually adding a top layer of setting powder, bronzer and blush. That’s a lot of makeup sitting on your skin for extended periods of time. Putting that much on your face everyday is not only preventing your skin from being able to breathe, it’s also clogging your pores. If you’re looking for a bit of facial definition without the layers upon layers of makeup, opt for a tinted moisturize and a dusting of bronzer and blush.


Perhaps the biggest reason to not contour is because once you do it, you don’t really look like yourself. Last week, I saw a master contour makeup artist take over a large beauty retailer’s Instagram account for a day. She showed several “how to contour” photos and videos. What was interesting about the takeover is in the majority of the comments readers mentioned one of two things: One – they thought she looked prettier without the contouring. Two – once the contouring was done she looked like a completely different person.

I am definitely a supporter of drawing attention to your more flattering features, but I am not a fan of changing your appearance all together. Heavy contouring gives you the nose you weren’t born with and the jawline you wish you had. To me, it’s a way of hiding behind makeup instead of embracing who you truly are.

As women, there’s already enough pressure on us to be perfect housekeepers, successful in our lines of work, and just have all our ducks in a row. The last thing we need is to change our appearances to fit the mold of what society says is beautiful. We are each unique and absolutely gorgeous in our own ways – and we don’t need heavy contouring to prove it. Makeup is such a wonderful tool we can use to play up our best features and have fun with, but it shouldn’t be at the cost of sacrificing who you really are. Keep in mind that less really is more. Beauty isn’t defined by makeup tutorials and hair how-to’s. It is found in the confident woman who holds her head up high and says, “this is me, take me as I am.”


breann bowman

  • Well said, Breann! I’m all for having fun with makeup (I’m a total beauty junkie and proud of it!) but taking it to such extremes, especially on a daily basis, borders on absurd. I’ve always thought of makeup as a great way to enhance your natural beauty, not transform you into a totally different person. Great post!


  • Interesting, my sister and I were just speaking about this. I agree with you in some respects, although I also think that makeup really is an art <3



  • So good! I agree with everything you said!

  • I COMPLETELY agree. I have been thinking about going full hippie lately as the amount of beauty tricks we are expected to keep up with has gotten out of hand. Women are expected to change their natural hair texture AND change the shape of their face with makeup everyday! Not only is it too much, but as you mentioned, women look better without caking on makeup anyway! There’s nothing wrong with wearing make-up, but when it becomes very time consuming, or a mask to hide behind, it’s time to stop and think. Thanks for the great read!

  • Gemma

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this!

  • Auden Swan

    You are so awesome! To be honest, I was honestly thinking about learning how to contour my face but after reading this article, why should I? Your article was very uplifting, it was something I needed to read this morning. Thank you so much and hope that all is well with you!

  • SM Jeremy

    Just saved around 40-45 Euro for a high end contour kit after reading this article. Thank you so much, we need more beauty editor like you!

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