Mary Phillips, Makeup Artist to the Stars, Is Going Viral For Her Genius Application Trick

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When a celebrity makeup artist tests out a technique on their famous clientele, who promptly fall in love with it, it’s only a matter of time before it makes it mainstream. One of the most popular makeup trends right now comes from celebrity beuaty expert and makeup artist Mary Phillips. Your favorite celebrities are already obsessed with her contour technique—and now TikTok is too. The Mary Philips technique, which she refers to as underpainting, is the way to get the perfect natural-looking contour and flawless foundation.

Who is Mary Phillips?

Phillips is a widely beloved celebrity makeup artist. She has worked with a a lot of names you might recognize, like Kendall Jenner, Hailey Bieber, Jennifer Lopez and Camila Morrone. Phillips hopped on TikTok for her first time in January to explain her popular technique to the masses, and it’s continued to trend for months.

What is the her face contour technique?

Lucky for us, Phillips is not one to gatekeep anything. The technique involves applying contour and highlighter before applying a light hand of foundation (and then blush). To Phillips this order is a no-brainer. “To me, it makes more sense. It’s like laying down the bones under the skin. The contour and the highlight being the bones and the skin being the foundation,” says Phillips. Bieber herself has also taken to TikTok to post her own makeup-application video, captioning the clip “the Mary P contour trick forever.”


the Mary P contour trick forever. Also – my best friend sings this song 🥲✨ @justineskye

♬ Collide (Sped Up Remix) – Justine Skye

The Mary Phillips Technique Step-by-Step

In a follow-up video, Phillips gets a bit more into the nitty gritty, sharing the exact way to try the technique and the products she uses. She begins by applying a cream contour, Westman Atelier Face Trace Contour Stick in Biscuit ($48), to her cheeks, brow bone, forehead and jawline using a Shu Uemura Brush. You’ll notice that whenever Phillips uses a stick product, she applies it using a brush, which is important to note. She then applies the contour to the nose using a thinner Tweezerman Shaping Brow Brush ($12). Phillips blends that all in using a MAC brush.

Next, Phillips applies RCMA Highlighter ($23) using a Tom Ford Brush under the eyes, beneath the cheekbones and on the nose. Then comes the concealer. Phillips uses NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Crème Brûlée ($32) with a Tom Ford Concealer Brush ($68) under her eyes and blends the formula with a Beautyblender ($20).

Finally, it’s time for foundation. Phillips applies Chanel Vitalumiere Radiant Foundation ($65) with a Hakuhodo Brush. Phillips applies two layers of blush, the first being Nudestix Nudies Blush Stick ($35) using a Hakuhodo Brush on the cheeks and forehead. The final step in Phillips’ base routine is applying Westman Atelier Baby Cheeks Blush Stick in Petal ($48) to the cheeks and nose with a Hakuhodo Brush.

Although Phillips doesn’t mention a mascara in her video, we had to know what her favorite is. Phillips told Elle Armani Beauty Eyes to Kill Waterproof Mascara is a staple in her makeup routine.

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