Celebrity makeup artist Mary Phillips has worked with a few names you might recognize, like Kendall Jenner, Hailey Bieber, Jennifer Lopez and Salma Hayek. Your favorite celebrities are already obsessed with her technique, and now TikTok is too. The Mary Phillips’ technique, which she refers to as underpainting, is the key to the perfect natural-looking contour.
Phillips recently hopped on TikTok to share, step-by-step, how she contours herself and her celebrity clients. In her very first video, which has racked up 2.8 million views in five days, she says, “I’m loving everyone’s videos recreating my technique. I thought, why not join TikTok and make my own.”
The technique involves applying contour and highlighter before applying a light hand of foundation (and then blush), and 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.” 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 Phillips Technique Step-by-Step
In a follow-up video, Phillips gets a bit more into the nitty gritty, sharing each step and the products she uses. She begins by applying 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 uses Chanel Vitalumiere Radiant Foundation ($65), which is currently sold out, using 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.
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