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Thanks to Mark Jacobs’ SS17 catwalk, killer contouring is out and draping is firmly back on trend. In case you’re not familiar with the look, it’s a technique that uses blusher as a contour for a much softer finish, meaning cheeks are flushed and chiselled as opposed to heavily sculpted. Carla Wall, Hourglass Makeup Artist explains “This is a modern take on the 70’s look. Usually we focus on eyes or lips as a feature point in makeup, but draping means that the cheeks can also be a big focus point, which I love.”


Let the colour do the talking and keep your base neutral with a matte finish foundation like Nars Sheer Glow. Cover any blemishes or imperfections with an invisible concealer, we like Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer. “But the trick,” says Anna Priadka Global Makeup Artist at Nars, “is to softly powder the skin after these products — this will enable the blush you choose to blend seamlessly into the skin.” We love Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder for a lit-from-within glow.


If you don’t use a reflective powder then spotlighting the upper cheekbone and temple with a creamy textured highlighter will help your chosen blusher colour to pop, and give a gentle radiance to matte skin. Anna suggests Nars The Multiple as “it can be used both as a highlighter or as a base to give a softer wash of colour before building a darker blush colour over the top.”

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The key to draping is using two shades of blusher and understanding how to apply them. Start by defining the shape of your cheekbones. Carla advises “taking a brush such as the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Brush and applying Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush with the tapered end, on the hollow of the cheeks.” If you’re unsure about where to apply, look in the mirror and suck in your cheeks – the hollow area will be visible. Next add a touch of bolder colour to help the cheeks look fuller and more youthful. “Take a brighter blush and using the other end of the brush buff colour onto the apples of the cheeks. Finish the look with a small amount on the temples.”


For a more dramatic editorial look, use a blusher with a damp brush to intensify the effects. Anna recommends Nars Dual-Intensity Blush, “slightly wet the lighter colour and shade onto the high points of temples and cheekbones.” Then apply the complementary darker shade in the hollows of the cheeks and take the colour up to the outer edges of the brow for a more defined finish.

The Finishing Touch

Use the last bit of colour from your blusher brush to lightly hit your nose and chin for a youthful flush, and don’t try draping with a coral or blue-red lipstick unless you’re looking for a retro eighties feel. Instead keep lips soft and neutral with a smoothing balm like By Terry Baume de Rose and just give lashes a simple coat of mascara.

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