"Draping" Is the New Contouring and Here's What You Need to Know

Sculpting with color 101 🎨.

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When Marc Jacobs tells you to do something, you listen. And as of this summer, he's commanding you to put down the contour stick and start sculpting your visage with blush—but using the "draping" technique.

An homage to Way Bandy, O.G. celebrity makeup artist to Elizabeth Taylor, Cher, and Barbara Walters, and author of 1984 beauty bible Designing Your Face, Brandy introduced Marc (a close friend) to the technique back in the '80s. The "drape" method follows the natural bone structure to create a very done, very made-up look. And in 2016, what's old is new again. In other words, statement blush is back.

"It's the new way to blush," Gilbert Soliz, global makeup artist for Marc Jacobs beauty, tells us. "You're essentially changing the shape of the face with color, using it to drape the contours of your face to achieve what you desire, whether it's lift, sculpt, volume, or balance."

The revival of this old-school approach comes with the launch of the new Marc Jacobs Air Blush Soft Glow Duos, five powder blush duo palettes designed in his signature stripe pattern. Formulated with Japanese air powder using a process called soufflage (that's French for air-whipped), the texture is cream-like, yet lasts an impressive 24 hours. As for the color pairings, the lighter shade highlights and the deeper one contours.

"You can customize the levels of color simply by swaying to one side or the other," says Soliz. "If you want a lot of color, you can follow the lines vertically. If you want less color, something softer, you can blend the two shades by swiping horizontally."

And if you don't know where to begin, fear not. As Jacobs is spelling things out with four different ways to drape.

1. Lift: Blend both shades together, then place along the high of the cheekbones as opposed to the apples. Blend along the length of the cheekbone, jawline, and side of the neck. For a more editorial look, you can drape from the eye to the temple.

2. Sculpt: Using the deeper shade of blush, apply it just below the apples of the cheeks, lower on the face so it counterbalances roundness and creates an oval shape. Then, swirl the lighter shade on top and blend the edges away.

3. Voluminize: Blending both shades together, smile and swirl the blush on the apples of the cheeks, then blend. (FYI, of all the techniques, this will give you the most subtle, natural-feeling look.)

4. Advanced/Balanced: Blend your shade of choice over the peak of the brow at the temples, bridge of the nose, tip of the chin, and along the sides of neck near the ear lobes. And—you guessed it—blend.

Marc Jacobs Air Blush Soft Glow Duo, $42; sephora.com.

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Lauren Valenti
Lauren Valenti

I’m the associate web editor at Marie Claire. I love to while away the hours at coffee shops, hunt for vintage clothes, and bask in the rough-and-tumble beauty of NYC. I firmly believe that solitude can be a luxury if you’ve got the right soundtrack—that being the Rolling Stones, of course.