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Sculpting, strobing, baking, oh my! A handful of beauty buzzwords keep springing up on Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube tutorials everywhere, claiming to be the biggest of-the-moment method. To help start your mastery of the makeup world, we’ve broken down the top three makeup techniques that you should start incorporating into your makeup vocabulary, stat.


You came, you saw, you contoured – this technique isn’t particularly new but it’s one worth repeating. Contouring is a sculpting and highlighting technique that, via lighter and dark makeup shades, gives shape to an area of your face creating the illusion of defined peaks and valleys. It can refine a jawline, whittle down a nose, and chisel cheekbones and when properly applied (less is more, ladies!), can pretty much make you look like a perpetually filtered, better version of yourself.

To start, apply your foundation and powder as normal, then use an angled brush to apply a darker matte powder or cream along the side of your temples, in the hollows of your cheekbones, and under your jawline. Buff out the colour with a fluffy brush or blending sponge to avoid any demarcation lines. Then add blush to the apples of the cheeks and highlighter along your forehead, cheekbones and bridge of your nose. And, voila! Your #flawless complexion is ready!


Dubbed “the anti-contour,” strobing focuses on highlighting prominent points of your face to make features pop without the heavy use of bronzer or shading powder. Simply apply a shimmery highlighter on the highest points of your face: cheekbones, bridge of your nose, and cupid’s bow. The key to pulling off this technique is using a light hand. Apply a little bit of product at a time and gradually build coverage if you want to amp up the shine—and steer clear of any products laced with glitter to avoid being mistaken for a human disco ball.


If you want an illuminated glow under your eyes, this technique is your best bet. Baking or “cooking” your makeup involves letting translucent powder sit on your face for up to 30 minutes, allowing the heat from your face to set your base foundation and concealer, and then dusting it off your face, leaving you with a creaseless, flawless finish. If your concealer is always creasing underneath your eyes, this helps to keep it firmly in place.

To get the look, begin by applying a blendable concealer over the entirety of your T-zone, as well as under your eyes, and follow with a loose translucent powder directly over the top. Allow the mixture to “bake” on your face for at least 10 minutes, then use a fluffy brush to sweep away any excess powder. You can use a wet sponge to blur and soften any edges, or tone down the intensity if needed.

Now that you’re armed with this newfound knowledge, go forth and try using them in a sentence – if not your face – today.