Kardashian Contouring By The Numbers

No Makeup
Kontoured Like A Kardashian
Makeup Removing Wipes

Let me begin first by saying that I fully support anyone in her (or his) personal-style voyage. If that means wearing layer upon layer of heavily applied makeup every day, by all means, you do your thang. For me, though, whether it be because of my lack of technical skills, or just my personal taste, I appreciate a lighter touch when it comes to makeup application. I would say that the Kardashians are a perfect foil to my everyday routine, which is why the idea of attempting to replicate their signature look feels completely ludicrous.

But when we have a week of contouring posts, and a new Vogue cover girl who is the de facto expert on the matter, why not give it a go? Being a writer with almost zero knowledge on the subject (I apologize for my ignorance—it is a truly frightening technique to which I’ve consciously steered clear from; I imagine several of you can relate), I turned to Wayne Goss and his always-helpful instruction for guidance on my journey to glam land.

The result? I think I look a bit like an ‘80s/'90s makeup/hair model, or a mom trying to upstage her daughter at a country club cotillion, but maybe that works for some people. I did pick up some helpful tips along the way (I now know at least one variation of contouring), some products that I’ll incorporate into my daily routine (particularly the NARS Gaiety Blush and Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash Mascara), and, if nothing else, it was an interesting way to spend a morning. All in all, I can’t believe this photo of me exists on the internet, but it’s all in the name of beauty, right?

Number of products used: 17+ (when factoring in my morning moisturizers)

Number of brushes needed: 10 + eyelash curler

Number of wipes needed to remove complete look: 4 Neutrogena Wipes + 5 Bioderma Créaline-soaked cotton pads

Number of attempts I made: 2 (5, if you count the 3 times I gave up half way)

Total Time (for a single attempt): About 30 minutes

—Elizabeth Brockway

Photos by Emily Weiss and Elizabeth Brockway.

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • ITGLacey

    Video added!

  • Yessica

    How does that feel on your skin? I've been wearing tinted moisturizer + concealer + powder because I'm trying to hide some pretty bad breakout action right now and those three alone feel so heavy. I can't even imagine how this many layers of makeup feels on your skin.

    • ITGElizabeth

      I'm not one to wear a ton of face makeup on the reg, so it was certainly a change. I could definitely feel the makeup sitting on top of my skin and was afraid of brushing up on anything not "nude" in color, but with enough blending, the makeup became more livable.

  • ITGElizabeth

    Hi Sally!

    Check out the video for more of me in the process-- I look...interesting? Haha.

    Re: septum piercing, yes! It's pierced through the cartilage inside my nose so that you can't see the piercing itself. J Colby Smith (http://intothegloss.com/2012/07/j-colby-smith-piercer-new-york-adorned/) is the one who did it. He's amazing!

  • Maria

    I believe that NARS brush referred to as Kabuki is actually the Yachiyo. I love mine :)

    • Parisa

      Me too, the Yachiyo makes applying blush/bronzer so incredibly easy and seamless!

  • JenniferCN

    Oh my, I've been searching aeons for the perfect septum ring for myself!! But yes, great article :) My ambitious self would attempt this, but my realistic, lazy self never could.

    • a67penguin

      Right on. Too much work!

  • Jen

    I'd love to know the names/links to the brushes you used!

  • Bella

    That was quite scary, just watching made my face itch. I wish I looked like you without makeup though :).

    • ITGElizabeth

      That is so kind! Thank you :)

  • Lauren

    And for only $805.40 (yes, I added it up - correctly, I hope)! I'm impressed.

  • Missy

    What brushes were used to apply the highlight and contour colours?

  • charmystique

    Goshhhhh that's just too much work before I leave the house. i'd probably be tired once I'm done and would want to go back to bed. I must say it's a little too 'overdone' for me, but you sure look polished! Think you'd look perfect with less eye makeup and a lighter lip color. But I gotta say, you got skills girlllll!


  • Victorious_me

    holy crap! that is so much makeup!

    i cannot even imagine what it would feel like to walk through the world with that much stuff on your face and i went to theatre school and spent 4 years in stage makeup...

  • Rosie

    yes!!! 2014 is all about contouring for me, but after maybe not the kardashian 20 product banana powder routine (not in the daytime, at least)- more of the tom ford shade and illuminate variety. either way i'm obsessed with reading about contouring and this was really helpful, thanks!

  • Katie

    Omg the difference of color between her neck and face is horrifying! See it in the video-but where is it in the photo? I know this was a demo, so it's not directed towards you Elizabeth, but does anyone else find it as sad as I do that there are people out there (like the Kardashians) that feel the need to wear so much makeup? Ack my skin even felt uncomfortable just watching that amount of makeup being applied to one face!

  • Andrea

    I think it looks good, but the color on your neck is different from the color on your face… anyway, it doesn't matter since it was just a test and all. It was nice to read and nice to watch and a tiny bit disturbing how much effort, time and products a Kim K. contour takes

  • Leslie Gesini

    Nice products !

  • Alyssa Gapske

    I think it only looks '80s because of that pink eyeshadow!

  • http://www.wernerbeauty.com/ Teckie

    Man. That video stressed me out! You're lucky - you have gorgeous features that require very little makeup!

  • Guest

    Why anyone would want to go from anything to "Kardashian" is beyond me...

  • NJCathi

    Wow - that was a whole lot of products and a whole lot of work. I'm amazed that your pic at the top is so natural looking with all that makeup on.

  • http://www.clevergirlreviews.com/ Clever Girl Reviews

    WAAAAY to much work for everyday. I might consider something similar for a photo shoot for like engagement or wedding photography!

  • http://cosmoslyn.blogspot.com.au/ Ailyn Koay

    can you number your face?

  • marie

    LOVE the expression at the very end of the video. You are very cute! And gorgeous


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