Vertical Contouring Is the Latest Makeup Hack You'll Want to Try
You may think you've come across every contouring tip out there — from using self-tanner for a semipermanent glow to the three-finger method that makes applying your cheek makeup feel like a breeze — but there's a relatively new hack making its rounds on TikTok that's worth adding to your collection of makeup tricks.
Popularized by TikTok user Chloe Paredes, vertical contouring is hailed as a great way to define the facial features of rounder face shapes. "The hack is popular in Asian countries like Taiwan," makeup artist Jonet Williamson tells POPSUGAR. "It's a great technique that essentially creates that hollow area for you if your face shape doesn't naturally have it."
Whether you have a round face that you'd like to contour or are a makeup artist who works with numerous face shapes daily, this is a handy hack to have in your back pocket. Ahead, Williamson explains how vertical contouring can work across any skin tone.
What Is Vertical Contouring?
As the name suggests, vertical contouring is where you go below your cheekbone and vertically contour the hollow area between it and your jawline. This is quite different from traditional contouring, which typically involves a horizontal line across your cheekbone that goes up to your temple. "You'll want to use something that is more of a neutral tone rather than extremely cool, as the 'shadow' spans a larger area than it would when using a traditional contouring technique," Williamson says. "This way, it'll look as natural as possible."
While there are technically no rules to makeup, you'll likely not get the full benefits of this hack if you have a heart-shaped face, as it is best for people with fuller cheeks or cheekbones that protrude more sideways than forward.
How to Vertically Contour
"The look is a great way to get that model-off-duty look," Williamson says. "It's also pretty straightforward to achieve."
If you're not sure whether or not you have a round face, compare yours to celebrities who do, like Chrissy Teigen, Selena Gomez, or Jennifer Lawrence. After determining your face shape, you'll want to gather your products. "I would use a cream contour versus a powder, particularly for lighter skin tones," Williamson says. "Though you can set with the latter, I find it infinitely easier to place and blend with the cream."
Williamson recommends the opposite for deeper skin, due to the way darker skin tones look under light. "People with deep skin tones reflect light in a way that their counterparts do not," she says. "So when doing this hack you'll want something that goes on matte to lessen that effect." She recommends the Nyx Cosmetics Wonder Stick ($14), the Em Cosmetics So Soft Multi Faceplay Bronze + Sculpt ($30), and the Patrick Ta Major Sculpt Crème Contour & Powder Bronzer Duo ($40).
While some hacks deserve your attention more than others, vertical contouring is makeup-artist-approved. While we can all be guilty of falling into the generic techniques that everyone is using on social media, this is a great way to remind yourself that makeup should be used in a way that best suits your specific face shape and preferences, not the other way around.