Contouring is a great way to add dimension to the face, as well as to sculpt the bone structure, highlighting your best features. Here is everything you need to know about contouring and how to contour your face like a pro.
Start with a neutral canvas.
You always want to start contouring after you have already neutralized your skin tone. In most cases, this means applying a foundation or color correcting base to the skin and blending it well. Always allow your base to set for several minutes before starting your contour. Using a primer underneath your makeup will also help to set everything in place and give your makeup something to adhere to.
Select your products.
For contouring, you can choose between two mediums: powder contours, and liquid or cream contours. Really, which products you use are up to preference, but be aware that liquid and cream contours usually last longer, but are harder to work with, and powders can be easier to use, but they may not be as long-lasting.
You also want to be aware of the shade and finish of your contouring products. Typically, you want to pick a bronzer or contouring product that is two to three shades darker than your skin tone. For a more natural looking contour, avoid tones that are very warm, as they may appear orangey on the skin. Usually matte shades work best for contouring, but if you prefer a bit of a glow in your look, a little shimmer is fine too.
Applying your Contour.
Depending on your facial features, you may want to contour specific areas of the face to suit your face shape. For example, if you feel that you have a wide forehead, applying contour to the sides of your forehead can “correct” the width and make your face appear slimmer. However, this method of contouring is generally flattering on every face shape:
Apply the contour shade to the top of your forehead in a horizontal line, and to the temples. You will also apply it to the hollows of your cheeks. You can find the perfect spot by puckering your lips and sucking the cheeks inward. Where your cheeks hollow out is where you will place the bronzer. You can also follow a straight, diagonal line from the tip of your ear to the corner of your mouth. However, don’t bring the contour too far down. You will wan to stop the line two to three inches from your ear. You can also contour the jawline to make it appear more defined, by sweeping it just under your jawline and chin, and you can slim the nose by applying the contour in a thin line on either side of the bridge of your nose.
Liquid or Cream Contouring.
How you will blend out your contour depends on your medium. If you are using a liquid or cream contour, the products are best blended out with a damp makeup sponge or beauty blender. Lightly “tap” where you have placed the contour until it blends into your foundation or base, but be careful not to blend it out too much, as you want to keep these areas defined. Avoid sweeping motions, as these can smear around the product and defeat the purpose of contouring. You may want to set your contour with a makeup setting spray or finishing powder.
Powder contouring is a little easier to blend out. It can either be blended out like a liquid contour with a beauty blender, or with the use of a brush. Fluffy blending brushes such as kabuki brushes tend to work best for this task. simply sweep back and forth over the powdered areas only until the edges of your contour blend seamlessly into the skin.