We know that when we first saw the now viral screen caps of clown contouring, a form of sculpting your facial features by way of extreme color correcting, we let out a collective WTF. From the pink oversized outline around the lips of the gal who developed the technique, YouTube beauty blogger BellaDeLune, to a poop emoji scribbled on her forehead, the layers of multi-hued concealer look more like the kind of face we’d paint on for Halloween, not what we’d apply for everyday wear — but it’s no joke.
According to the caption on Instagram, BellaDeLune originally posted this transformative tutorial as a big FU to her haters. “Idk how many times I’ve been called a clown. Well, I’ll show you what a real payasa looks like,” she wrote, using the Spanish word for clown. But the empowering statement isn’t just making the rounds as the latest creative way to deal with hurtful comments, it’s already being billed as the next big makeup trend. So, we asked a Nikki Wilson, a Bay Area hair and makeup artist with seven years of beautifying under her belt, to weigh in on the latest offbeat makeup technique to break the Internet.
First things first: Nikki is not a contour hater. “I contour every day,” she said. “I use a powder to just lightly contour to make it more ‘everyday’ and not look as heavy but still sculpts the face.” That being said, her initial reaction to the posts was similar to ours. “To be honest, it’s a little bit exhausting,” she said. “It can really confuse people who are not doing makeup every day. So now they think, ‘Do I need all these products? Now do I have to do all of this in order to look acceptable to society?’ No, you don’t. Makeup is amazing, it’s fun and creative and a way that you can express yourself, but for an everyday look you don’t need to use 5,000 pounds of makeup.” That being said, Nikki says the technique holds some merit. “There is some theory behind it — there is color correcting behind it — so it does work. But it’s a lot more work than you need to achieve the look.”
We asked Nikki to give us a quick breakdown of color correcting, which basically uses opposite colors found on the color wheel — yep, the one you learned about in grade school art class — to neutralize certain hues. “If you have a lot of redness, you’re gonna want to get [a concealer] that’s green. I know that sounds crazy, but that is the old-school way of color correcting redness. What you’d do is put that on whatever’s red and you take the actual color of your skin — your foundation or powder — and apply that over it.” And it doesn’t stop there: there are a circus of products out there to cut out skin imperfections. You can use yellow to mask bruises or veins, peach to hide dark under-eye circles and lavender to beat any yellows skin spots, but you don’t have to cake it on.
To get the same results as the clown concealer tutorial without all the fuss, Nikki recommends using a busy girl-friendly CC Cream, or Color Correcting Cream, to streamline the process. “It’s very similar in texture to a BB Cream, the difference is that they’re tinted a different color. I really like MAC’s Prep + Prime CC Creams ($30 each). They’re really awesome — they have a wide variety of colors, they’re very lightweight on the skin, you can layer things on top of it and it doesn’t get sticky, you can wear it by itself and it just gives a really nice luminous radiant finish.” And no, you don’t need to apply it as drastically as you see in the vid. “You put it only wherever you want to color correct. I don’t put it over my entire face like a mask. Usually, I have a little redness on my cheek, so I will put it right on the cheek, let it kind of sit in there, and then I’ll put my foundation on top.” Now that sounds like something we can fit into our 5-minute makeup routines.
Do you contour on the reg? What did you think when you saw this tutorial? Share below!