Does a spoon hold the secret to sculpted cheekbones? Vlogger and beauty guinea pig Nicole Skyes puts the technique to the test in this installment of her “Beauty Hack or Wack?” series.
We already turn to the Internet to stay updated on the latest news, catch up with old friends, and read product reviews for potential purchases. For makeup addicts and cosmetics junkies, it’s only natural that we search for beauty secrets from online resources such as Pinterest, Reddit, and YouTube. Of course, in our quest to find the perfect red lipstick or the best fake lashes, we encounter “hacks” promising to save time, money and effort. But do these tips and tricks actually work? One Bay Area-based YouTuber is determined to find the truth.
Rather than take these claims as gospel, Skyes sets herself apart from other beauty vloggers with her series, “Beauty Hack or Wack?” In each of these videos, she puts a popular beauty secret from the Internet to the test and decides whether it’s worth incorporating into her makeup routine. Whether it’s using baby powder to add volume to her eyelashes, applying mascara as liquid eyeliner or powdering her lipstick through tissue paper to make it last longer, Skyes follows the hack’s instructions to the letter and presents her honest findings.
The video below features a hack that supposedly makes contouring easier. The popularity of contouring in recent years shows no signs of stopping, and what was once a Hollywood secret has become part of everyday makeup routines worldwide. For those who are unfamiliar with the trend, the purpose of contouring is to apply makeup that emphasizes hollows and high points in your bone structure, giving the face more dimension. Darker colors recede and light colors come forward, so strategic shading placement can serve as temporary plastic surgery or real-life Photoshop. Depending on the desired look, contouring can give the appearance of lifted cheekbones, a slimmer nose, and even erase a double chin. Aside from standard contouring with powder beauty products, there are infinite techniques out there — like cream contouring, nose contouring, and, on the extreme side, contouring with self-tanner. Across all these methods, one of the most challenging aspects of applying contour lies in where to place the shadows to achieve that coveted chiseled look.
Enter the spoon method. Skyes first encountered this hack on beauty blog xoVain, but was unable to find a video testing the validity of this claim. At first glance, a spoon seems like a viable option for this purpose. We’ve seen YouTube beauty guru Michelle Phan use a business card as a makeshift contour stencil and the aforementioned xoVain post mentions using tape to create a straight line under the cheekbone, but a spoon’s curved shape better mimics the shadow an actual cheekbone would cast. To test this hack, Skyes places a spoon over her cheekbone, then applies contour powder directly under the curve of the bowl. It appears that she is using a tablespoon for this test to ensure her actual cheekbone is completely covered.
As it turns out, spoons are a more versatile makeup tool than you might think. In addition to serving as a contouring guide, this Buzzfeed article shows how instrumental this utensil is in applying eye makeup. Not only can it be used to achieve the perfect winged eyeliner, but it also prevents mascara from smearing over your flawless eyeshadow during application. Refinery29 posted an article featuring a spoon facial massage that claims to possess “face-slimming” properties, but it’s unclear whether the spoon massage is actually capable of doing more than temporarily relieving facial tension.
The best part of the spoon contouring method is that, eventually, you’ll learn how to do your makeup without the help of your trusty spoon. With enough practice, you’ll develop the muscle memory to swipe on your contour in exactly the right place each time. But, in the meantime, it’s not a big deal to keep a spare spoon in your makeup bag.