How To Contour Your Face the Right Way

by Lauryn Salzwedel
You want to Contour first, and then finish with your Highlight.

How to Contour Your Face

Highlighting and Contouring have taken the beauty industry by storm, and we owe a certain curvy celebutante a huge amount of thanKs with a capitol K for making this happen.

It may seem unnecessary if you’re not a makeup lover, but the results you can get from a few carefully placed makeup products can give incredible changes to the appearance of your face shape. I would definitely recommend highlighting and contouring for special occasions as opposed to every day looks (unless that’s your thing).

You would want to Contour first, and then finish with your Highlight. If you’re blessed with dramatic facial features then you can skip the process and just go straight to relishing your fabulous genes. This is part 1 of my 2 part series on a perfect highlight and contour application! You can try each part separately, or together depending on what your desired end result is. Take a peek below for steps to getting a perfectly sculpted face!

Apply foundation that matches your skin tone.

Before you begin:

Apply a base. You will need foundation under your highlight and contour, whether you are doing a liquid highlight and contour, or a powder one, you will need a base. While the formula you use is up to you, make sure you’re consistent. That means using all cream or all powder products—from your foundation to your blush. Layering different textures can cause a caked-on effect, and it won’t blend as seamlessly Start with your basic makeup application, like your foundation and concealer. Then you can do the contouring and highlighting as an extra step.

As you contour stay close to the hairline.

Contour How-To:

It all starts with the right product and you only need two: a matte shading cream or powder and a highlighter. If you’re using a cream, you can use your own fingers to apply it since the natural heat from your body will help it melt into the skin! If you’re more comfortable with a powder, use one that goes on more sheer. The idea behind a contour is to sculpt out stronger features in the face, naturally. You want to place product where your face recedes already, or where you want to ‘slim down’ a wide nose or round face.

Stippling brush
  • Use your finger or brush to apply under the cheekbones in the natural hallows.
  • Add a small amount under the chin, and along jaw line to create a narrow jaw line.
  • To thin your nose, apply on each side beginning at the bridge of the nose.
  • Use a clean brush to buff out any harsh lines, preferably a stippling brush (2 different type of bristles on the same brush).

Blend, blend, blend, and blend. I cannot stress this enough when it comes to highlight and contour technique. The idea is to make it look natural, not cake-y! Set it all with translucent powder by sweeping all over the face with a large fluffy powder brush.

In keeping with the idea of shadows, look for formulas with a grayish cast and stay away from anything too red or orange, like most bronzers tend to be. Avoid the fake bake effect!!

Face Contour Tips:

Consider your skin tone. Anything that stands out too much against skin is going to look obvious, which is the opposite of what you want. If you’re fair skin, use a contouring cream or powder that’s one shade darker than your skin tone.  If you’re medium/deep naturally skin , use a contour product that is two shades darker than your skin tone.

The right tools are also equally critical. Ever heard the phrase ‘an artist is only as good as the tools she uses?’ Exactly. Using creams? Use your fingers. They warm the makeup so it melts and blends flawlessly into your skin. If you’re working with powder, I recommend brushes with natural bristles. They’re soft, so you’re less likely to overdo it. The shape of the brush is also important, and lets you really control the placement.

You don’t want to look like you have a giant bruise on your cheek. Don’t be afraid to make a ‘fish face’ to find the natural hallows of your face to make contouring super simple! Finished contouring? Great! Now you can move onto the grand finale: the Highlight!  

August 6, 2014

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