I Tried TikTok’s Viral Vertical Contouring — And I Will Never Do My Makeup a Different Way Again

October 24, 2023
Reece Andavolgyi
By: Reece Andavolgyi | Makeup.com by L'Oréal
reece wearing her vertical contour look

Contour and I have a pretty rocky relationship; I know how to do it, but it never looks the way that I think it should. It often results in cheekbones that look more bronzed than chiseled, and when I try to use a cool-toned shade, my skin just looks gray. TikTok’s latest vertical contouring trend spotlights a new technique that aims to chisel round and Asian face shapes. As shown by creator @cczuleighka, the cream contour is applied in short, vertical strokes under the cheekbones and the result is very much slimming and snatched. With #verticalcontour at 18.4 million views and counting on the app, this simple technique has taken over BeautyTok in the best way. Like most TikTok trends, I had to try it out myself, so read on to learn about my experience with vertical contouring.

My Experience With TikTok’s Vertical Contouring 

The first time I saw vertical contouring on my for you page, the ease of it all stuck out to me. You don’t have to be a TikTok expert to know that most makeup trends on the app are gimmicky and unnecessarily complicated. Sure, sometimes they work, and even work well, but most are not realistic for everyday use. 

Vertical contouring is recommended for those with round or Asian face shapes. I lean oval but I have full cheeks, so I still have a roundness to my face, that in my opinion, normal cheekbone contour doesn’t necessarily flatter. I started off by applying my foundation and concealer. Then, I used the NYX Professional Makeup Wonder Stick Contour And Highlighter Stick, and drew three vertical lines right under my cheekbones. I used a stippling brush to blend out the lines and within seconds, I had the perfect contour. I repeated this on the other side and again, instant definition and face slimming — it’s the best my contour has ever looked.
nyx professional makeup wonder contour stick

One thing worth noting is that you must use cream contour to carry out this hack. I tried it with powder contour, and it just didn’t look as good. If you use powder contour or bronzer, I recommend layering it over the cream contour. I also recommend applying less contour than you think you need and to add more as needed. I mentioned that I drew three lines of contour, but when I previously tested five, my face looked muddy and it was clear I applied too much product. 

Hands down, this is my favorite TikTok beauty hack I’ve ever tried. I save most (like dot contouring) for special occasions, but this is the one hack that has made it into my everyday makeup routine. It’s simple, ridiculously effective, and therefore unbeatable in my opinion. I like to underpaint, and it works especially well with that, too. Overall, I can’t say enough good things and if you’ve struggled with contour in the past like I have, it is so worth a try. 

Photographer: Reece Andavolgyi

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