Forget Contouring - Nontouring is the Trend We’ve All Been Waiting For

Forget Contouring – Nontouring is the Trend We’ve All Been Waiting For

Why you should care

Forget contouring – nontouring is this year’s biggest makeup look, and it’s super easy to achieve.

It sucks when you’ve mastered a trend just in time for a new one to come along and replace it. Luckily, this is one trend we’re happy to see – say hello to the unbelievably easy magic of nontouring.

Contouring – good contouring – is hard. It requires a keen awareness of the planes and angles of your face, and the ability to highlight, shade, and blend till you’ve sculpted your face into a work of art. It looks amazing! Just, you know, hard to do.

gigi hadid makeup


Which is why we love nontouring, this summer’s hottest makeup trend which we’ve seen on Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Zendaya, Blake Lively, and even Kim K.

nontouring makeup zendaya


Like strobing, this technique uses highlighters to illuminate and enhance your natural features without relying on the shadows you get from contouring.

Unlike strobing, which is more of a strobe lights at the club kind of look, nontouring aims to create a fresh, dewy, I-woke-up-like-this glow that’s perfect for a warm summer day. Or every day in a tropical country.

Before You Begin

The light, dewy finish that comes with nontouring tends to highlight (hah) underlying flaws, so make sure your skin looks good underneath! In addition to your usual skincare routine, address breakouts with spot treatments like B.Liv by Cellnique’s Spots Got Shot (shop on Lazada) which minimise pimples overnight.

bliv spots got shot serum


Clay masks like Elizavecca’s Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask (shop on Althea) are also great for tightening pores and reducing oiliness.

korean bubbles clay mask


Get the Look

The best thing about nontouring is that it only takes three steps.

First things first: know your undertones to find the right highlighter for your skin. Here’s a handy cheat list:

skin tone types


  • Fair skin with pink undertones: a pearly, pink, or silver-tinged sheen is best; stay away from bronzy tones that can look fake.
  • Warm or olive skin tones: look for highlighters with a hint of colour; not too much but not too little either. Champagne, peach, and beige work great!
  • Dark brown skin tones: a pink or silver-tinged sheen can make your skin look ashy, so opt for bronze or gold highlighters with heavier pigments that will show up on your skin.
  • Deep dark skin tones: if you’re a dusky skinned maiden, opt for terracotta or copper hues that will highlight without an unnatural contrast. Alternatively, skip colour altogether and use a clear product like Make Cosmetics Face Gloss (available on 11 Street).
make cosmetics face gloss highlighter


Step 1: Prime

This look is all about the glow, so start from the very beginning. Create a smooth base with A luminous primer that will give you a dewy shimmer. We like NYX Born to Glow Illuminating Primer (shop on Asos) for a lightweight natural finish, as well as YSL Touche Eclat Blur Primer (shop on Lazada) which diminishes pores and evens out skin tone – plus it has subtle gold flecks that lend light to even the dullest skin.

nyx born to glow primer


ysl touche eclat blur


To apply, gently dab the primer all over your face. Focus on areas like your nose, forehead, and cheeks where pores and fine lines are visible and gently rub in to fill them. Wait for your application to dry and set before moving on to the next step.

Step 2: Light Coverage

Next, keep to the light theme with tinted moisturiser or BB cream that’ll give you a dewy finish. Laura Mercier’s Illuminating Tinted Moisturiser (shop on Lazada) is a frontrunner, but we especially love CC creams from South Korea where the fresh-faced, dewy look is all the rage – try Skin79’s Super Plus Beblesh Balm (shop on Skin79 Malaysia’s online store).

laura mercier tinted moisturiser


skin79 super plus bb


Apply BB cream the way you would foundation: dab five dots on your forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin. Then use your fingers or a Beautyblender to blend.

Step 3: Highlight

You want a radiant, dewy glow not shiny, sparkly C-3PO. Go easy.

makeup highlight chart


Grab your highlighter and go where the light hits naturally: above your cheekbones, down your nose, under your brow, and on your cupid’s bow. Use your fingers or a Beautyblender for cream products, or sweep gently with a fan brush for powdery products. Use smaller brushes or a highlighter pencil for a more precise application on smaller areas.

Finish the look with your favourite lip and eye colours!

Cheat The Look
Find Your Perfect Blend

Light on light on light can be a lot of look. If the overall effect is too much, tone it down by substituting your primer, BB cream, or both with products that give you a semi-matte finishes.

To Contour Or Not to Contour

We’re all for embracing #naturalbeauty but sometimes you just want those pretty cheekbones, okay? Good highlighting can create the illusion of shadows but if this too fails, a wee bit of bronzer in the hollows of your cheek will do the trick.

Cover image from

Why you should care

Forget contouring – nontouring is this year’s biggest makeup look, and it’s super easy to achieve.

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