Despite contour – the laborious process of using creams, powders and colour correctors to sculpt with shade and soften with light – long holding fort as the beauty trend of the decade, it seems we’re moving away from the over-the-top technique in favour of a more natural look.
Enter: anti-contour: the technique of making your skin looking like, well, skin.
The new beauty term was coined by Bobbi Brown, the beauty maverick, founder of Jones Road and champion of anti-contour – and it involves accepting and embracing your skin just the way it is. We’re here for it.
“There is a lot of negative content on social media that’s about covering up your flaws, accentuating features and always looking perfect, whatever the cost,” explains Bobbi. “That’s just not my philosophy. I always focus on the positive and celebrate the differences in peoples’ faces. If you want to know how to contour or de-emphasise any feature you see as a flaw, you can just go to YouTube and you’ll find ways to cover it up. But that’s not how I teach people to use makeup. Every single thing I make in Jones Road is to make your skin look like skin. Just your best skin. I know the women buying it will be women who want ease, simplicity, to look like better versions of themselves.”
Bobbi believes the empowering new beauty trend is thanks to the pandemic, explaining: “As many of us have been working from home during the pandemic, one of the implications of our new normal is that our relationship with beauty has changed. We’ve all learned how to live with less and to accept things as they are, including the way we look. The truth is that if you’re eating well and taking care of yourself, you really don’t need a lot of makeup. I’m wearing less makeup today than I ever did, and so are the models who I’m making up in my chair. That transparent, naturally beautiful look just feels more modern right now than a full face of makeup.”
So how can we achieve the anti-contour look? It really is as simple as using one product, according to Bobbi. The beauty guru is encouraging her followers to ditch their 10-step long makeup routines in favour of using a few trusty products to give themselves a bit of a glow, enhance their natural features and feel damn good about it. “Stop contouring your nose. You don’t need it,” she says.
The anti-contour ethos is one that inspired her beauty line, Jones Road. “My ethos has always been about learning to love yourself and using makeup to enhance your natural features. When I created Jones Road, I set out to make the makeup equivalent of a Swiss Army Knife – products that were clean, easy to use and multi-purpose that worked for any skin type or skin tone. It’s about creating a makeup kit of fewer, better clean products that help create the ultimate no makeup, makeup look and then going out into the world feeling confident and comfortable in your own skin.”
Want to try anti-contour at home? Bobbi suggests plumping for a multi-purpose balm (handily she has her own called the Miracle Balm) but we reckon any multipurpose balm or even coconut oil could do the trick. Use your fingers to dig into the balm, rub your fingers together and then pat it onto your cheeks for a subtle glow and to add luminosity. “I guarantee you’ll look instantly better,” she promises. “Plus, if you have extra balm on your fingers, dab some on your eyelids and lips for little extra moisturising glow.”
Sorry, Kim K.