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July 24, 2018

What is 'draping' and is it the new makeup trend of the summer?

Here's how to do it without looking like a clown

Fashion Trends
Rihanna Dia Dipasupil /Courtesy of Jenna Communications

Some celebrities that have already begun to popularize this look include Rihanna, who goes for a more dramatic effect since she launched her Fenty Beauty makeup line.

Makeup trends – they can come and go out of style as fast as boyfriends. Here’s one you maybe haven’t heard of before: "draping," and we don’t mean the kind you treat your windows with at home.

This bold method of applying makeup is back from the days of David Bowie and Diana Ross and is especially popular on high-fashion runways, where models are donning heavily-applied blush to their eye sockets and cheekbones and ditching punchy, pronounced lipsticks and eyeshadows in exchange for this dramatic look.


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But don’t get it twisted – this is not the same as contouring.

Kim Carusillo, owner of Suede Salon and Spa in Marlton, N.J., broke down the difference. 

“Draping is not an everyday beauty trend, but more of a high-end runway look," she said. 

“A lot of fashion designers are using it on the runway, and it’s almost a less exotic makeup [choice] to make the clothes stand out more."

Draping is used with powder or cream blushes that are applied all over the eyelid and then blended onto the eye sockets in a half-moon fashion and – you guessed it – “draped” down the face toward the cheekbone or vice versa.

But when did this become a more glamorous form of expression over applying good, old-fashioned blush and bronzer?

“Both of them are still very popular,” said Carusillo.

“This is not an everyday look, but more of an exotic look for a night out or some kind of black tie [event], where you’re trying to be fashion forward. Fashion Week in New York, this past fall, we started seeing a lot of it on the models, where the hair was kind of plain, but the makeup was draping with maybe a pale lip."

By contrast, contouring, said Carusillo, is blush or bronzer applied under the cheekbones, on either side of the ridges of the nose and sometimes across the forehead to accentuate a person’s facial features and bone structure. Whereas, draping is more of a makeup “trick.”

NoneYouTube/Courtesy of Jenna Communications

Makeup artist and creative director Lisa Eldridge shows us another example of “draping” makeup.

Most of the time, makeup artists are using pinks, peaches and oranges on a person's face, and the misstep that gets you that clown-like look? Applying too much and not blending.

“You don’t want it to look like a mask. You want it to look feathered out like it’s laying on top of the skin,” said Carusillo.

“On the apples of the cheeks would definitely give it a clown effect.”

Some celebrities that have already begun to popularize this look include Rihanna, who goes for a more dramatic effect since she launched her Fenty Beauty makeup line. This summer, she’s been draping her face with Fenty highlighters, which scream “summer, sunset, love and drama.”


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