But wait! Have we been contouring wrong all this time? Are all those YouTube tutorials and TikTok how-tos leading us astray? Well, not exactly. There are a myriad of different contour placements and styles depending on the look you’re going for, and a currently trending video has all the hacks you need to create a model-esque visage in just a few steps or tweaks to your current go-to method.
The video, posted by user Sarah’s Super Spa, shows a simple technique for getting the defined cheekbones and sculpted jawline of a runway model. Her account shares makeup theory and “what mainstream beauty didn’t teach you,” making this contour correction a natural fit for her channel. If you’re interested in learning more about contour, her channel should be your first stop; she’s tackled tutorials for every type of contour under the sun.
According to Sarah, getting model-worthy cheekbones is all about the placement—changing up where you usually apply cream contour or bronzer and adding more at the jawline. “The way we’re taught, which is kind of ineffective, is to place your contour really high up and blend it upwards or in place, clean that up with concealer and bake underneath,” she explains as she demonstrates the standard technique. (Sarah uses a Fenty Match Stix Contour Stick, $28 to demonstrate.)
Instead, Sarah recommends placing your contour underneath your cheekbones, and then tracing towards the chin and on the jawline to create the hollowed-out look and sculpted cheekbones. “Pat the cheekbone bit into place so it creates a shadow in the buccal fat area, then blend the jaw area inwards so it creates a shadow, making it look like a V-shaped jawline,” she shares. “Add some highlight or concealer… to make the cheekbone area pop.”
Sarah’s video currently has nearly three million impressions, but “model contour” hacks and tips have been buzzing on TikTok since the platform caught on as a go-to beauty source. Similar videos showing contour placements for sculpted cheeks have also gained a lot of traction in the past. Her video got the seal of approval from makeup artist Scortezz Beauty, who agrees that contour should always be placed under the cheekbone; they shared the video and gave Sarah’s technique an enthusiastic thumbs up. The model contour method has also been shared by other beauty lovers trying the technique on themselves to gorgeous results.
Contour isn’t part of my daily makeup routine; on a normal day, I wear tinted moisturizer, a little concealer, powder, blush, brow gel and mascara. I do whip out my handy-dandy KKW Beauty Contour Sticks (RIP) on occasion, especially when I know I’ll be photographed, so I dug them up and got to work. Sarah’s technique isn’t too far from what I usually do when contouring; I apply mostly under my cheekbones and blend, though her technique advises blending downwards versus up toward the temples.
Similar to Sarah, I used a light hand when applying the cream contour to my face, following her instructions and adding color under my cheekbone, down my jawline and in the space between my nostrils and chin. I used my trusty fluffy IT Cosmetics Love is the Foundation Brush ($30) to blend the cheekbone contour in a downward motion, then to blend the chin and jaw contour upwards to “meet” the cheekbone contour and create that sculpted, hollow look. I added a bit of Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter Hollywood Flawless Filter ($46) to the tops of my cheekbones and blended it with my fingers, and voila! The whole process took just a few minutes and my selfies revealed a slightly more chiseled look. I won’t be walking the runway anytime soon, but this easy contouring style is a simple way to add extra depth and dimension when I need it.