I tried Hailey Bieber's exact contouring method and here's what happened

The TikTokers know

January 12 2023

Have you heard the words 'backwards contour hack' in the last 72 hours? If the answer is yes, you’ll know all about TikTok’s latest viral makeup method courtesy of celebrity makeup artist, Mary Phillips.

For those who are unfamiliar, allow us to provide some insight. Phillips'
 tutorial has already amassed over one million views. Pretty decent numbers for a TikTok first-timer.

But what is it about this makeup hack that makes it stand out from the ah, billions of others? This viral moment is less about what is being used and more about how it's being used. And we’re going to attribute a large portion of its success to the two 
famous faces that Mary has been demonstrating this technique on: Kendall Jenner and Hailey Bieber.


What exactly does the Mary Phillip's contour technique involve?

In the words of Mary herself, "this technique is meant to act as if you're laying down the bones and then adding the skin." Though TikTok has brought us some wild and downright weird trends in the past, this one actually seems pretty logical. 

Up until this point, the order of our makeup routine has looked a little something like this: foundation, concealer, contour, highlight (and then of course blush, bronzer and all the rest). 

However, if your name is Mary Phillips, you're flipping this order on its head and mixing it up entirely. In the step she refers to as the "bones," Phillips begins by applying her contour in all the regular spots (hairline, cheekbones, jaw and nose), from there she adds her highlighter, her concealer and then finally finishes up by lightly buffing her foundation in over the top, using a big fluffy brush. The intention of this technique is to create definition and sculpt without looking as though you've layered on too much makeup. 

My review...

Before I share my thoughts, I have to say this: obviously this technique has some serious merit. Phillips is an incredible makeup artist. And there's no question that her clients (including Bieber and Jenner) look AMAZING every time they leave the house (albeit there are some seriously good genetics at play).

So, while I mightn't have flown off the handle with joy at my final result, I'm not trashing this technique altogether and I'm totally open to giving it another shot one day. 

Did I love my result? No. Instead of seeing the results of the sculpt and highlighting I had placed underneath as a base, I felt as though my foundation (though I opted for a sheer, lightweight formulation) covered it all up.

Perhaps it was the case of poor blending or incorrect placement but instead of a natural and sculpted finish, I felt as though my makeup looked heavy and lacked dimension. 


Not the best, not the worst.

Okay TikTok, what's next?

Main image credit: @haileybieber

Hungry for more of Hailey Bieber makeup tips? You're in luck. Here's Hailey's complete makeup routine...