Why the Over-Contoured Kardashian Look Is Damaging

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 By Afton Williams

The chiseled, hyper-contoured look is in high demand—a quick scroll through Instagram, where bloggers and makeup artists who embrace the aesthetic have followers in the millions, will prove its true. Ahead, you’ll find out why one makeup artist isn’t so thrilled with this trend.


I can’t tell you how many times a client has sat in my chair and said, “Make me look like a Kardashian.” Members of the Kardashian clan, among others, have adopted a very specific makeup look that many women, young and old, strive to emulate daily. The look: highly contoured, dramatic, skin-that-doesn’t-look-so-much-like-skin makeup. I have always admired a makeup artist’s ability to transform a face. This style of makeup application is fascinating and ultimately impressive. However, at what point does this trend begin to strip us of our individuality? Could it be that this style is actually damaging our view of beauty?

It’s my belief as an artist that the key role of makeup is to enhance the self—to make a person feel as beautiful as possible in her own skin. We don’t always need to imitate those YouTube and Instagram gurus. We shouldn’t have to paint a pie chart of browns and whites on our faces to feel beautiful—or worse yet, to feel like someone else. There’s a time and place for transformative makeup and it’s not in our daily routine. And while I love the “woke up like this” makeup trend, I’m not saying we should all go bare-faced. I’m for a bold lip and dramatic winged liner. Ultimately, I would just love to see more women embrace their own beauty: their freckles and bushy brows and quirky lips. These things are, after all, what make each of us individually beautiful.

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