A handful of women were blessed with a genetic goody bag full of wonderful treats like high cheekbones, a defined nose, and a chiseled jaw – the rest of us…well, we got a contouring brush.
Let’s get to know our faces. Accentuate the good (contour the rest), and find comfort in knowing that every woman on the cover of a magazine had the same thing done to her.
What is “Contouring”?
Contouring is the act of using dark or light colors to make features recede or become prominent, respectively. Contouring adds definition, structure, and dimension. Contouring can be used on the face, decollate, abdomen, or any part of the body that needs definition.
What You Will Need?
There are several ways to contour. Your tools will depend on the method you choose.
Contouring with liquids or creams
- Concealer or liquid highlighter (2 – 3 shades lighter than skin tone)
- A Synthetic brush
- A smaller synthetic brush
Loose Powder Brush
- To set foundation
Contouring with Powders
- Matte bronzer or powder 2-3 shades darker than skin tone
- Highlighting powder
- A makeup sponge
- A contouring brush (looks like a slanted blush brush) or small blush brush
We’re using Kim Kardashian as an example here. Her strong, exaggerated features provide the perfect canvas for showcasing the dramatic effects of contouring.”
Feel the contours of your face. Apply the contour color directly underneath your cheekbone, extending from the center of your ear in a slightly downward motion. You will want to keep the contour application concise. If your brush feels too fluffy or large, pinch the bristles when you apply, this will give you more control.
Use a small eyeshadow brush to softly line both sides of the nose. If your nose is long, you may want to apply a little under the tip of your nose. Again, keep the applications concise.
Feel your jaw. You will apply your contour color below your jawbone, making sure not to apply any color to the actual bone. The point is to create a shadow below your jaw. If your jaw is large, you may bring the contour color up on either side of the chin. This will make your jaw appear less bold.
Blend your contour color into your hairline. Doing this helps make your face appear slimmer. Make sure to blend well into the hairline.
Although your colors may be dramatic, there should be no severe lines. Blend edges well.
Using your makeup sponge, apply a generous amount of highlighter under your eyes, extending to the tops of your cheekbones and along the sides of your nose.
Highlight your chin, the upper-most part of your jaw (directly below the ear), your brow bone, and the center of your forehead. You may also highlight your cupid’s bow (as seen above) for a more full, defined mouth.
This is an exaggeration of the contoured face. Both highlights and contours should be blended at the edges to create a seamless look.
Your completed look should be well blended and seamless. Your highlights and contours should play together to create depth and dimension.
I find that a good powder bronzer and highlighter do the job on a day-to-day basis. For a more dramatic camera-ready look, I like to layer the contours – cream/liquid foundation contours, setting powder, then bronzer and highlighter contours.