How to Achieve the Celeb-Loved Mary Phillips Makeup Technique That’s Viral on TikTok

Hailey Bieber and Kendall Jenner’s makeup artist shares her hack for a perfect base.
Hailey Bieber and Kendall Jenner.

Hailey Bieber and Kendall Jenner.

Mary Phillips is a makeup legend. The celebrity MUA shared her favorite tricks she uses on Hailey Bieber and Kendall Jenner to create their consistently flawless looks.

There’s something about the way Jenner and Bieber just glow from within that proves it’s not always about what products you use, but rather how you apply them—specifically the order.

The TikTok makeup community was sent into a frenzy after Phillips dropped the term “underpainting”—applying your contour and concealer before a lightweight layer of foundation or a skin tint—on a podcast.

Everyone from professional MUAs to high school girls experimenting with makeup for the first time tried the trend. Phillips took to the platform herself to demonstrate on Jan. 9.

“To me, it makes more sense. It’s like laying down the bones under the skin,” she explained. “So the contour and the highlight being the bones and skin being the foundation.”

Phillips started with a clean, well-hydrated base and dabbed a Shu Uemura Face Brush ($50) into the Westman Atelier Face Trace Cream Contour Stick ($48) in the shade biscuit. The key is to not apply the contour stick directly to the face to allow for control and buildable color. 

Phillips brushed the product over the hollows of her cheeks, above her temples, along the top of her forehead into her hairline and across the bottom of her jawline. She then took a thinner, more precise Tweezerman Shaping Brow Brush ($12) and painted a line of contour down the sides of her nose. She used a MAC Face Brush ($46) to blend it all in.

Phillips then used a Tom Ford Concealer Brush ($68) to apply the RCMA Highlight and Contour Palette ($30) under her eyes and the NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer ($32) in the shade creme brûlée under her eyes and under the cheekbone contour.

Then, with an extremely light hand and a tiny amount of the Chanel Vitalumiére Foundation ($65), Phillips used a round brush from Hakuhodo to blend everything together. 

She topped off the look with the Nudestix Matte Cream Bronzer ($35) in the shade sunkissed and the Westman Atelier Cream Blush Stick in petal ($48). She applied the two colors to the apples of her cheeks, the bridge of her nose and the top of her forehead.

Jenner’s iconic Halloween costume makeup last year was done by Phillips, in addition to tons of red carpet and campaign looks, and Bieber employs the MUA for just about every event.

The 26-year-old model took to TikTok as well and posted a tutorial of what she has learned from Phillips.

“the Mary P contour trick forever,” Bieber captioned the post set to Justine Skye’s “Collide.” “Also - my best friend sings this song 🥲✨.”

She used the Milk Makeup Future Fluid Concealer ($29) with a beauty blender. Bieber mixed her foundation with a few pumps of the Rhode Peptide Glazing Fluid ($29) and applied it with a fluffy brush.

Phillips’s star-studded client list also regularly includes big names like Jennifer Lopez, Hailee Steinfeld, Amelie Zilber, Kim Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian, Zoey Deutch, Addison Rae and Priyanka Chopra.

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Ananya Panchal


Ananya Panchal is a NYC-based Lifestyle & Trending News writer at SI Swimsuit. Before joining the Swim team, the Boston University Alum worked for culture & entertainment beats at Bustle, The San Francisco Chronicle and the TODAY Show. When Ananya is not writing or doom-scrolling on social media, she can be found playing sudoku, rewatching One Tree Hill or trying new restaurants. She's also a coffee and chocolate (separately) enthusiast.