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01.17.15

CAMEO: KAT VON D ON CONTOURING

CAMEO: KAT VON D ON CONTOURING

Highlighting the most amazing features of her new Shade+Light palette.

The most recognizable tattoo artist in the world, Kat Von D has spent the better part of the last decade creating a global beauty empire. Her foundations, lipsticks, and eyeliners are consistently among Sephora’s bestsellers. Next on her list of beauty categories to conquer: contouring. Because of her sketch artist background, she's a master of shade and light—and her new palette taps exactly into that expertise. The Sephora Glossy caught up with the woman herself, alongside Kat Von D Beauty Global Artist Erik Soto, to learn about her latest creation. BECKY PEDERSON

First, tell me what’s cool about this new contour palette, Shade +Light.
ERIK SOTO: The Shade+Light palette is unique because it addresses all three skin undertones: cool, neutral, and warm. This means the colors in the palette appear natural for every skin tone, day or night. I love that it is so easy to apply and blends flawlessly. It has shades for every woman who has always wanted what we in the biz call a “whisper of a contour.”

Contouring is so popular right now. When did you first get into it?
KAT VON D: Well, I think it’s safe to say that when it comes to contouring, this was a subject that I found a lot of familiarity with. I could easily understand depth and highlights, and how that would pertain to facial structure, since that’s technically what I’ve been practicing throughout my entire career as a tattoo artist.

What would you say to someone who wants to contour but isn’t sure how or where to start?
KVD: I think people are intimidated by contouring, as they should be! There have been terrible examples of “contouring gone bad” online to scare people off. But the beauty of contouring is that once you get the hang of it, it’s something that most people will fall in love with! Nowadays, with the presence of so many talented artists on YouTube  and such, there are countless tutorials available to the public to help guide any beginner.

ES: With this palette, you first need to figure out your skin’s undertone. For a very natural look, apply a “light” color first and then add the “shade” color. It allows the natural curves of the face to shine through. For a more dramatic look, use a deeper “shade” color. And don’t forget to blend!

KVD: I’m sorry for constantly referring back to tattooing, but it’s an easy metaphor for me to relate to, especially on the topic of contouring. If the ultimate goal is to achieve a flawless gradation of shading to highlight, I always find it best to start soft and build. You can always dramatize the shadows by building more if you feel you need it. But like tattooing, once you cross over a certain depth, it’s impossible to make lighter. So don’t be afraid of taking your time with the blending and building process, especially in the beginning stages.

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