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27 February 2023

How To Nail the Viral Mary Phillips’ Makeup Technique

Underpainting 101: the supermodel approved makeup look by makeup artist Mary Phillips.

The Mary Phillips underpainting technique is spreading like wildfire on TikTok. This glowy trend has amassed 60 million views as budding makeup enthusiasts experiment with it to achieve a supermodel-approved flawless base. Boasting a clientele of Hailey Bieber, Jennifer Lopez, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Kendall Jenner, and the entire Kardashian-Jenner family., it's clear her skills offer the perfected flawless look. Get to know and nail the technique below.

Words By Erin Visagie

Step 1: Sculpt your face with cream contour

Using underpainting is the perfect technique for makeup lovers seeking a look that uses few products and little blending, resulting in a softly sculpted glow from within.

Reversing your makeup application order is the key to this look. The first step is to start with clean skin (prepped with skincare) and a primer. Next, apply cream contour to your cheekbones, jawline, bridge of your nose and other parts of your face that you would usually bronze.

Regarding cream contours, if you’re looking for a luxury product, the Westman Atelier Face Trace Contour Stick in Biscuit is one that Mary Phillips used in her viral tutorial on TikTok. This contour is infused with organic Jojoba oil, Berry flux Vita, and China clay and locks in moisture to protect against the environment. Next, try Clinique’s Chubby Sculpting Stick if you’re looking for something budget-friendly but still effective. Long-lasting and oil-free, it is easy to apply and blend and does not irritate sensitive skin.

For the most optimal contouring results, start with a light application. Then, make the contour look amazing by blending it with a cream contour brush.

Westman Atelier Face Trace Contour Stick, $48, Net-a-Porter

Step 2: Conceal and Highlighter

The next step to transforming yourself into a glowy goddess is to apply a highlighter where you typically conceal your face. Mary Phillips recommends the RCMA Contour and Highlight palette blended with a small fluffy highlighter brush for highlighting.

After that, apply concealer to your high points, such as your undereye, forehead, and chin. Ensure your contour and concealer blend seamlessly with a fluffy or highlighter brush to blend in around your nose and eyes. We recommend the IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Breakout Full Coverage Concealer and Tarte’s Shape Tape Contour Concealer.

Tarte’s Shape Tape Contour Concealer is currently one of Sephora’s best-rated concealers. Besides being vegan, it is easy to blend as well. In addition, its flawless matte finish conceals imperfections, doubles as a highlighter, and nourishes your skin with mango seed and shea butter.

The Bye, Bye Breakout full-coverage concealer from IT Cosmetics is a favourite due to ingredients like kaolin, witch hazel, tea tree and gentle AHA/BHAs, this concealer hydrates, treats breakouts and can conceal dark circles. Win-win!

After doing a short makeup course, my favourite product was the Maybelline Fit Me Concealer. It’s my go-to concealer as it covers imperfections and dark circles, is long-lasting, doesn’t cause breakouts, and gives you a stunning, natural-looking finish!

RCMA Highlight and Contour Palette, $54, Adore Beauty

Step 3: Use a sheer foundation/skin tint

Once you’ve chosen your favourite foundation, grab a great brush and apply it. It is essential to use a foundation with sheer/medium coverage or a hint of glow to achieve this look.

With its tinted skin-like finish, the Nabla Skin Realist Tinted Balm is an excellent choice for those who prefer a lower-priced product. With Hyaluronic acid and other skin-loving ingredients, this formula helps even out your complexion. The tint also provides a smooth, radiant finish, making it suitable for the Mary Phillips Makeup technique.

If you want to spend a little more, try the CHANEL VITALUMIÈRE AQUA Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Makeup SPF 15. With ingredients such as seaweed extract, lotus water, and hyaluronic acid, this foundation gives a healthy glow, sun protection, and a fresh, glowing complexion.

NABLA Skin Realist Tinted Balm, $48.25, Beauty Bay

Step 4: Go in with cream bronzer and blush

To finish your look, apply a cream bronzer such as Nudestix Nudies matte cream bronzer in the shade Sunkissed over your foundation. For easy application, this bronzer features the product on one end and a blending brush on the other.

Blend a cream blush with a stunning contour blush to achieve a gorgeous look. My personal favourite is Makeup Revolution’s Fast Base Blush as it’s available in an impressive range of dewy shades. It blends into your skin quickly, giving your complexion a gorgeous glow.

Mary Phillips uses the Westman Atelier blush stick in Minette. This blush stick will surely be a winner with its buildable formula and nourishing ingredients. Due to being infused with Vitis Vita Grape Extract and Ayurvedic oils, this creamy formula promotes the production of collagen and Hyaluronic Acid – both are critical to a youthful-looking complexion.

Bronze your cheeks, nose bridge, and forehead with cream bronzer. You can also use bronzer on your cheekbones and cream blush above them to create a more lifted appearance and blend well.

Finally, set your face with translucent powder. The Laura Mercier translucent powder is perfect because it looks natural in real life. Make sure to use a fluffy powder brush, then set your face with your go-to setting spray, proceed about your day, and slay!

Nudestix Nudies Matte All Over Face Color Blush & Bronze, $57, Sephora

Bonus tip: your guide to best brushes

We’ve rounded up some of our faves if you’re looking for a guide to some great brushes to achieve this look.

We recommend the Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Concealer Brush for blending concealer. This feather-like brush is PETA-approved and a high-performance blending brush for flawless concealer application.

For the highlighting section of this technique, you’ll need a small but fluffy highlighting brush that can give you precise application. Try the Rare Beauty Positive Light Precision Highlighter Brush. It’s small, offers precision for your cream highlighter, and is super soft and perfectly tapered to diffuse the gorgeous pigments of your highlighter.

Finally, for the last two steps of this technique, you’ll want to use a fluffy foundation brush and a powder brush for when you set everything in place.

The Real Techniques Expert Face Brush is a godsend for flawless foundation application. Whether you want to blend out your cream blush or liquid skin tint, this classic cult brush has you covered. It’s a brush designed by pro makeup artists and Youtube celebrity sisters Sally and Nic Chapman and uses super soft Taklon bristles for precise application for a flawless base.

Set your face using a patting motion to create a soft matte filtered effect or dust over foundation, concealer and contour to finish. An excellent powder brush to use is the Fenty Beauty Powder Puff Setting Brush 170. It’s designed for even blending, distributing loose powder and creating a flawless photo-ready finish.

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, $24.99, Adore Beauty