amanda seyfried contouring elle uk cover may 2014

There’s certainly a lot to love about Amanda Seyfried‘s new Elle UK cover, but unfortunately there’s one glaring flaw that makes it hard to focus on anything else. I barely even recognized Seyfried under the weight of her new cheekbones, achieved by some overzealous contouring.

Seyfried is gorgeous per usual, and I want to take her hair off her head, put it into a wig, and place it upon my own head. I’m a fan of the crop top (although she has some suspicious big-head-little-body going on, which makes me suspect some photoshop. Wait, seriously, where’s her navel?), and I even like her oddly contorted pose. It’s hard to go wrong with Seyfried, who I find to be so devastatingly beautiful that it’s embarrassing. But something went very wrong with her ordinarily lovely face–the shape is all off. It looks like they decided to go nuts with contouring her in an effort to highlight her cheekbones, but it threw off the shape and structure of her face entirely. She was stunning to begin with.

I should really just come out and be honest with you–I hate contouring. It’s unnerving to see people walking around town looking like Maleficent, and we’ve created some bizarre new beauty standard that doesn’t even resemble human features. It’s not enough to have prominent cheek bones, instead, you have to be contoured now. It never really looks human, and so heavily contoured faces just look like they’ve been Photoshopped IRL. I’m not one for sweeping generalizations about people’s beauty routines, but I’m tired of seeing drawn-on bone structure that rarely does anything to make people look any better. With contouring, we all look like weird, humanoid photoshop mutants. Your bone structure is fine. Put down the contouring brush.

Photo: Elle UK