The Dermatologist-Approved Contour Hack That's Going Viral On TikTok

If you're anything like us, you probably spent a lot of the 2010s checking out the latest contour hacks via makeup tutorials from your favorite OG beauty gurus on YouTube (we're looking at you, Kandee Johnson). However, that's probably since turned into hours of scouring TikTok for the latest beauty tricks instead, which brings us to a dermatologist-approved contour hack that's currently going viral — and for very good reason. 

Though many of us have seen the videos suggesting we make the hollows of our cheekbones darker and the tips lighter, or demonstrating the vertical contour hack for instance, there's a new take on contouring that you have to see. Shared on TikTok by Dr. Charles MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, his contour technique is a more feminine version of contouring that is "based on the principles of aesthetic beauty."

To create it, he draws a line using a contour stick from the edge of his nose to the middle of his ear. He then creates a second line, which connects the outer corner of his eye down to sit in line with the corner of his mouth, creating an X across the side of his face. It may look crazy, but it really does work. And the science behind it is actually pretty interesting too.

Creating the contour cross shows you exactly where to put your products

In the clip, Dr. Charles MD explains that by creating a cross over your cheek, it allows you to be able to correctly place your contour and highlight products. "This point right here where it intersects should be the point of maximal projection," he noted. That means that everything below the X should be shaded darker, to push it back and create the most flattering contour effect. Dr. Charles further elaborated that the reason creating the cross helps is because it shows you exactly the parts of your face that should be made darker when contouring. 

For most people, you may realize you can actually bring your contour higher than you usually do to really carve out and lift the face. The video has gone viral on social media with more than 3.2 million views and over 210,000 likes at the time of writing, with plenty of people giving it a go. One was TikToker @anisaomo, who tried it in her own video — and she was clearly impressed with the results. "My cheekbone [...] looks so chiseled," she acknowledged. "What I noticed and love is that it makes my cheekbones look like I'm literally going like [sucking them in]."

There are certain things to remember before using this contour technique

Dr. Charles MD's contour technique uses each person's unique face shape to create the perfect point for knowing where to shade. That means, in theory, it should work for every shape and skin tone as it can be done using any contour shade, allowing anyone to achieve a more chiseled look. But that doesn't necessarily mean everyone should employ this trick. There are certain things to consider before trying it. 

First and foremost, because contouring slims the face, it can actually end up making some people appear older. As international makeup artist Liz Pugh warned Good Housekeeping, "We lose the plumpness in the skin as we get older, and the structure of the face changes. Contouring can hollow the face out even more." So, particularly for those with naturally hollow cheekbones, a heavy contour may not be the way to go. 

Equally, the method seems to work best with a contour stick, so, if you prefer to use powders or have oily or sensitive skin that doesn't react well to cream or liquid products, you may struggle to achieve this look. Not to mention, too much contour can sometimes end up looking muddy, so it may take some trial and error to get right. With all that said, though, it's certainly worth giving it a go if you're a big contour fan.