What Is Anti-Contouring - And How Can You Achieve The Natural Look?

Contouring is a makeup trend that has come and gone numerous times. Those who used makeup in the early 2000s will remember using the technique, but it came back into style in 2022 partly because it became popular on TikTok and found a new audience (per The New York Times).

Anti-contouring is a way to make your skin look more natural than contouring does, explains makeup artist Bobbi Brown via Glamour UK. "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," she said. Anti-contouring, then, is the opposite of that. Brown adds, "Every single thing I make in Jones Road is to make your skin look like skin. Just your best skin." Luckily, for people who want to try out the new trend, it's easier, requires less product than contouring, and might even be better for your skin. 

The anti-contouring look calls for fewer products than traditional contouring

Anti-contouring uses fewer products than traditional contouring because it's supposed to bring out your natural features, Brown tells Glamour UK.

To achieve the anti-contour look, simply take some multi-purpose balm on your fingers and rub it into your cheekbones for the glow you might otherwise achieve with highlighters. Then, use any leftover balm that's still on your fingers and rub that onto your eyelids and your lips for extra glow. This process moisturizes your face and gives your features a shimmery look, much like contouring does. It skips all the bronzers and contour sticks, though, going for a much more natural look.

In a separate TikTok video, Brown tells her followers they should utilize makeup to make themselves feel more beautiful, saying, "Don't use makeup to cover, don't use makeup to change who you are. Use makeup to really enhance who you are." Nonetheless, if you want to stick to the contoured look for the nights you want a little extra glam, consider using a white highlighter to lift the parts of your face you'd like to draw attention to.

Anti-contouring could lead to healthier skin

Unfortunately, contouring your face every day can lead to clogged pores and may cause acne and other damage for certain skin types since there are so many products used in the process. After all, contouring usually means using primer and foundation as well as bronzer, highlighter, and a setting powder. Because the anti-contouring trend does not make use of multiple makeup products on a daily basis, it may be healthier for your skin than putting it through a multiple-step makeup routine to contour every part of your face.

The experts at Skinkraft recommend skipping makeup when you're working out and when your makeup is expired. "If you are applying makeup on a regular basis and leaving it on your skin for a long time, there are chances that your skin pores get clogged. This does not let your skin breathe, making it prone to acne, bumps, and other facial skin problems," they warn.