Contouring is a makeup technique that involves using different shades of makeup to enhance and define the natural structure of the face. It creates the illusion of shadow and depth to sculpt the face, giving it a more chiseled and defined appearance.
The process typically involves using a matte bronzer or contouring powder that is a few shades darker than your skin tone to create shadow and depth, and a highlighter that is a few shades lighter to bring out the high points of the face. The contour shade is applied to areas such as the hollows of the cheeks, temples, jawline, and sides of the nose to create a more sculpted look, while the highlight shade is applied to areas such as the tops of the cheekbones, bridge of the nose, brow bone, and cupid’s bow to bring forward those features.
Contouring requires blending the shades seamlessly into the skin to achieve a natural-looking effect. It is important to choose the right shades that complement your skin tone and to use a light hand when applying the product. It can be done using cream or powder products, depending on personal preference and skin type.
Contouring has gained popularity in recent years, thanks to makeup artists and social media influencers showcasing their skills and techniques. It can be a transformative makeup technique that enhances facial features and creates a more defined and sculpted look. However, it is important to note that contouring is not necessary for everyday makeup and should be used sparingly to avoid an overly made-up appearance
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do contouring:
Start with a well-prepped and moisturized face. Apply your foundation and concealer as you normally would.
Determine your face shape. Contouring techniques can vary based on your face shape, so it’s important to identify whether you have a round, square, oval, heart-shaped, or diamond-shaped face.
Choose the right contour products. Select a shade that is a few shades darker than your natural skin tone for the contour shade. Opt for a matte, cool-toned powder or cream contour product to create realistic shadows. You can also use a bronzer or a foundation in a darker shade. Use a fluffy brush or a beauty sponge to blend the contour and highlight shades seamlessly into your skin.
Apply the contour shade. Using a contour brush or a small angled brush, apply the contour shade to the areas you want to create shadows, such as the hollows of your cheeks, temple area, jawline, and sides of the nose. Blend well using a brush or a blending sponge to ensure a seamless result.
Blend. This is crucial for achieving a natural-looking finish. Use circular or sweeping motions to blend the contour shade into your skin, making sure there are no harsh lines or edges.
Apply the highlighter. Select a shade that is a few shades lighter than your natural skin tone. Apply the highlighter on the high points of your face, such as the tops of your cheekbones, brow bone, bridge of the nose, and cupid’s bow. Use a highlighting brush or your fingers to gently blend the product for a subtle glow.
Blend the highlighter. Use a blending brush or sponge to blend the highlighter into your skin, ensuring a seamless transition between the contour and highlight shades.
Set it all in place. To make sure your contouring lasts all day, set the makeup with a setting powder. This helps to control shine and keep everything in place.
Here are some tips for contouring various face shapes:
Round Face Shape:
Use a matte bronzer or contour powder to create shadows along the temples, sides of the forehead, and under the cheekbones to minimize roundness.
Apply a highlighter on the center of the forehead, bridge of the nose, and the apples of the cheeks to bring attention to the center of the face.
Oval Face Shape:
Emphasize the cheekbones by applying contour powder or bronzer just below them and blending it upward.
Use a highlighter on the center of the forehead, bridge of the nose, and the center of the chin to create symmetry.
Square Face Shape:
Soften the angles by applying a contour shade along the jawline and temples to create shadows.
Apply a highlighter on the center of the forehead, bridge of the nose, and the tops of the cheekbones to draw attention away from the jawline.
Heart Face Shape:
Minimize the width of the forehead by applying a contour shade near the hairline and blending it down towards the temples.
Apply a warm blush or bronzer just below the apples of the cheeks to soften the chin area.
Diamond Face Shape:
Contour the temples and the area just below the cheekbones to create a more balanced look.
Highlight the center of the forehead, bridge of the nose, and the tops of the cheekbones to add dimension.
Remember, the key to successful contouring is blending well to create a natural appearance. Practice and experimentation will help you find the perfect contouring technique for your specific face shape.