When Carillo, who’s based in New York City, sweeps bronzer onto his clients, he always goes around the hairline, along the hollows of the cheekbones, and then up to the tragus of the ear. For those who don’t know what a tragus is, it’s that middle part of your ear that sticks outward from your cheekbone. Yes, that’s called your tragus (plural: tragi).
While on set day in and day out, makeup artists discover some particularly weird techniques… and then, they eventually come up in conversations with me. One time, Mario Dedivanovic told me he uses lip liner on Kim Kardashian’s lids. Katie Jane Hughes also once recommended I find my perfect undereye concealer shade by matching it to an incredibly specific area of my face.
But the most unexpected tip for creating the illusion of high, sculpted cheekbones came from Joseph Carillo, as it has to do with a part of your ear that you probably never think about – unless you, like me, have it pierced.
Carillo swears adding bronzer to your tragus adds dimension to the face by extending the shadow you create when sculpting your cheekbones, as well as a slight lifting effect. [He first discovered this tip while working on set with men. “Looking at faces with high cheekbones, I realized that lifted cheekbones started from around that little part of the ear,” he recalls.
Typically, Carillo buffs the Huda Beauty Tantour Contour & Bronzer Cream upwards from the cheekbones to the tragus. Then, he sets it with the Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer. You can go with either or, though.
As for the brushes he prefers, it depends on your budget and preference. The E.L.F. Contouring Brush is just £6.50 and has a dense rectangular shape. The Artis Elite Oval 4, on the other hand, rings up at £23 and has an oval-shaped head on a toothbrush-like handle.
So next time you go through your bronzer or contouring routine, take cues from Carillo and don’t forget your tragi.