TikTok Can't Get Over This "Model Cheekbones" Contour Trick—Here's How to Try It


(Image credit: @jastookes)

The whole point of contouring is to sculpt, lift, and define the face, but as anyone who's watched a makeup tutorial on YouTube, Instagram, or Tik Tock knows, there are a million and one ways to do it. Some people say you should apply contour straight from the stick. Others say you should apply it to a brush or sponge first, before blending it onto the skin. Some people are fans of a full-face (and neck) contour. Others say less is more.

Then there's the matter of placement, which just might be the most controversial contour aspect of them all. Most people choose to contour just below (if not directly on) the cheekbone to give the appearance of lift. Recently, though, that method has taken a backseat to another, called the "model cheekbones" trick. Shared by Tik Toker @sarahsuperspa, it involves placing contour lower on the cheek, and in strategic places, to create a shadow and visually carve out the cheekbones. Ahead, learn how to do it to get pronounced, supermodel-level cheekbones.

The Trick


(Image credit: @haileybieber)

Here's how it works. Start by placing your contour underneath the cheekbone, in the natural hollow of your cheek (this might be lower than you're used to placing it). Then, swipe downward by the side of the mouth. From there, move to the opposite side of your cheek and draw another line from the bottom of your ear to the edge of your jawbone. Blend it all inward to create definition in the "buccal fat area" of the cheek. 


(Image credit: @bellahadid)

This technique frames the cheek in shadow, visually carving out the cheekbones and making them look more sculpted and pronounced. In my opinion, it's so popular because it mimics the results of buccal fat removal—a trendy cosmetic procedure fueled, at least in part, by celebrities, influencers, and models. During the procedure, a doctor removes fat pads in the cheeks to create a hollow and accentuate the cheekbones. To me, this is simply a temporary and non-invasive version of that. 


(Image credit: @kendalljenner)

As someone who has naturally full, round cheeks, I was intrigued by this contour trick. Personally, I don't mind the fullness in my face, and I'd never opt for buccal fat removal, but still, that doesn't mean I'm not curious to see how I'd look with more-pronounced cheekbones. 

My Result

First things first. This is the product I used. It's actually not a contour stick. It's a makeup multi-stick that can be used on the lips and cheeks. However, the neutral brown shade really suits my skin tone, so I find myself using it for contour more often than not. 

As for the formula, it's pigmented yet creamy, so it makes blending easy. I swipe it on straight from the stick and blend out using either a Beautyblender ($20) or a dense brush. 


(Image credit: @kaitlyn_mclintock)

As I said, I have naturally fuller cheeks (or, should I say, a lot of buccal fat?), so I wasn't sure how this contour trick would turn out for me. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see that my cheekbones looked sculpted and more pronounced. Were they supermodel-level? I don't think so, but they did look more defined. 

While it doesn't look very dramatic here (I blame it on the lighting), it was definitely more visible IRL. This is something I can see myself using on a night out or whenever I'm wearing a full face of makeup and I want extra definition. Another Tik Tok trick, another success. 

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Kaitlyn McLintock
Associate Beauty Editor

Kaitlyn McLintock is an Associate Beauty Editor at Who What Wear. Although she covers a wide range of topics across a variety of categories, she specializes in celebrity interviews and skincare and wellness content. Having lived in Los Angeles and Austin, Texas, she recently relocated back to her home state of Michigan where she works remotely. Prior to Who What Wear, she freelanced for a variety of industry-leading digital publications, including InStyle, The Zoe Report, Bustle, Hello Giggles, and Coveteur. Before that, she held a long-term internship and subsequent contributor position at Byrdie. When she's not writing, researching, or testing the latest and greatest beauty products, she's working her way through an ever-growing book collection, swimming in the Great Lakes, or spending time with family.