What Beauty Trends Are You Bad At?

Published in: Just For Fun

Wet n Wild Contouring Palette in Dulce De Leche

Wet n Wild Contouring Palette in Dulce De Leche ($4.99)

I’m an oddly curious cat when it comes to other people’s makeup habits, and one thing I’ve been wondering lately is…how does everyone out there who’s amazing at makeup learn how to do what they do?

I’ve learned most of the little bit I know from the internet — from buzzfeed lists about makeup, to blogs, to YouTube tutorials.


And what about trends? Which ones are you bad at?

Here are the main beauty trends I just can’t get behind:

  • Contouring (too complicated)
  • Strobing/over-highlighting (I look too oily)
  • Overdrawn lips (I have enough naturally)

These are just a few of the “trends” that I find really difficult. But contouring might be the most difficult one for me. Every time I see an article about how easy it is to contour, or how to copy a Kardashian style, or which products are the best ones for contouring, I immediately click.

I think I’ve been trying to figure out contouring since it first became popular!

I recently bought this duo from Wet N Wild because I wanted to see if I could master contouring with it, or get closer to mastering contouring, before I invested too much money. Since it was only $4.99, I didn’t think it would be too much of a loss if things didn’t work out…

wet n wild, contouring,

Highlight on top, contour shade on the bottom; both are completely matte

I chose this color (Dulce De Leche) because the other option at the store was much warmer, and I still don’t have a tan (the sun hasn’t completely come out here in New York yet).

For reference, here’s my non-contoured face:

what beauty trends are you bad at?

No contour (please excuse my bare shoulder)

And here’s the same side of my face after following the directions here and here (and using every other tip about contouring I know).

Using my ear as a guide, I applied the contour shade down my jawline/cheekbone with an angled brush and blended for dear life

Using my ear as a guide, I applied the contour shade down my jawline/cheekbone with an angled brush and blended for dear life

Maybe it’s just my application process, but there doesn’t seem to be that much of a difference. I can’t tell if I’m actually applying the powder in the right spots! I’m also still so confused about my face shape…

So, dear readers, what beauty trends have eluded you for one reason or another? Do you contour with powder or cream products? Or not at all? Do I need another lesson in contouring before attempting this again?

Marcella Yakalis

Marcella Yakalis is a freelance writer living and working in Brooklyn, New York, with two cats, one snake, and one very patient boyfriend. She writes about family, relationships, and oppressive retail culture. She can also be found on Twitter and Instagram.


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  1. I can’t contour very well, either — but I don’t really care much about this trend anyway, so it doesn’t matter a whole lot!

    Another trend I can’t do is super matte lips. Every true matte lipstick I’ve tried has turned out awful on me because of my dry skin, no matter how much I exfoliate. Another lipstick problem is “nude” shades — I’ve had more luck just foundationing lightly over my lips than actually using any lipstick marketed as nude because none of them seem right with my skin tone.

  2. Strobing is a trend I don’t follow, overdrawn lips as well, and I only now started contouring. No tips from me, as I am only now figuring it out and experimenting both with cream and powder.
    LindaLibraLoca recently posted … Fake to look awake – How to hide the lack of sleep

  3. Becky says:

    The whole cut-crease thing. I just can’t. I look like I’m the child who shouldn’t have been given crayons today. Way too tricky for me!!
    Becky recently posted … My Two Signature Scents: Escentric Molecules Molecule 01 and Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium

  4. pj says:

    You look lovely either way, but I definitely don’t see a difference.

  5. Megan says:

    I contour with powder and highlight with cream – and I have been contouring with bronzer for years – even before it was called contouring and was all the craze. I actually use my concealer as a highlighter – this is the newer portion of my process that i picked up a while back. The challenge is that contouring is not supposed to create visual effect from the side – it’s mostly to create visual effect straight on – so your pictures make it difficult to tell how successful you were. Additionally i would say you need a little more blending in your example pictures.

  6. Yeaaahh same here with contouring and strobing! It just looks off on me when I do it as strongly as the people in the videos and tutorials do!
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Video | Enormous fashion, beauty and chocolate haul

  7. Kellee says:

    Strobing and color correcting are two that I can’t seem to get on board with. Strobing definitely makes me look oily and I think I just don’t know what I’m doing in terms of color-correcting.

  8. Marge says:

    It took me forever to figure out contouring too! I think you might want to try placing your contour line a little higher? I found that if I followed the tricks all the magazines gave me, it never came out quite right so I moved where I contoured. Now, I follow down from the top of my ear.

  9. Adia says:

    I couldn’t contour to save my life!! I’m all the way here for strobing though ✨✨
    Adia recently posted … NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint: Review + FOTD

  10. MonicaP says:

    False eyelashes – I ruined two pairs trying to get those suckers on .. grrrr.

    MonicaP recently posted … The White Suit

  11. Chelsea says:

    I am capable of doing contouring well – I’ve done it on the bride’s whose makeup I’ve done, for the photography. But I don’t like it for myself (very freckly, it can get a little muddy) or even for anyone on an everyday basis. That said, if you love it, you do you. Your picture just looks a little stripey, maybe needs blending, but I think you look better sans contour.

    I love highlighting and strobing and it looks good on me. I haven’t done much with overlining lips!

    I can’t do dark smoky eyes. It’s super unflattering on me and I don’t like it.

  12. Erin says:

    I’m not sure if I’m bad at the process of contour or if I’m so pale not much looks natural on me. I’ve contoured my mom and sister who are NC20 and it looked nice on them. Being NW 5 to 10 finding perfect shades is tough. My sister has a diamond shaped face and so does my mom though hers is softened by weight and age. My face is oval when thin and a bit more rounded from weight currently. I’m sure all that plays into it.

    I’m not good at winged liner on myself because my eyes are deep set.
    Erin recently posted … LAGRANJA Garnacha Rosé

  13. Kwmechelle says:

    I concur. All of the above. I highlight but I don’t “strobe”. I use bronzer to contour, though I’m not sure what I do could be considered contouring. And I have naturally full lips. Personally I think these trends are just fads, here today but they’ll be gone tomorrow. At least I hope they will. If only tomorrow would hurry up and get here…lol 🙂

  14. Tatiana says:

    I pretty much skip all the trends. For me makeup is a way of enhancing and improving the contrast in my features. For most of my life I’ve had oily skin, so I don’t understand wanting to look highlighted or glossy, so no strobing. Contouring seems like too much work and would take too much blending effort to look right. I have naturally full lips, so no need to over draw them. To be honest most days it’s about evening out the skin tone, quickly doing the brows, adding mascara and a touch of moisturizing lip color and getting out the door as quickly as possible.

  15. Rachel says:

    I struggled with contouring pretty much ever since I read an article about J Lo’s makeup secrets when I was in high school… I gave up on it too until I discovered maskcara.com … She has amazing tips and now even has her own makeup line, which is the only reason I consider myself a makeup success. They are cream products that replace your foundation and also are your highlight and countour. I honestly don’t think I could go back to using anything else! Check it out!

  16. Lulle says:

    Contouring is also not something I’ve mastered, but the worst has to be bold brows. I couldn’t draw a good looking brow if my life depended on it!
    Lulle recently posted … Travel: Exploring the Japanese San Francisco

  17. Anita says:

    I can’t even master eye liner, so good for you for getting close to figuring contouring out!
    I think in the second picture your face/cheeks look a little more defined.

  18. Rachel R. says:

    I think you did a pretty decent job on your contouring!

    I learned a little bit from my mom (she was a model and a painter before getting married), but mostly I’m self taught. In the days before the internet, we copied looks from fashion magazines, movies, and music videos. And a lot of practice with both makeup and art.

    I suck at doing my eyebrows. No way can I achieve the amazing, perfect eyebrows I see everywhere. I’m just not interested in doing Kardashian-style mega-contouring, but I can do it. I prefer just to contour under my cheekbones, a little around my chin, and my nose. I’m too lazy to do the big false eyelashes trend.

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