Makeup Techniques – Contouring

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Continuing on with the mini-series of makeup techniques, today I’m going to just briefly go over contouring your face. But the concept can be applied to other areas of your body if you wanted to contour elsewhere as I know that is a current makeup trend. Though I would probably never do this myself as I don’t see the point in spending time contouring my arms, back, legs, or abdomen granted you do look slightly more tone doing so. And this whole trend can basically be blamed on Kim Kardashian, granted it’s been around for a lot longer than that. The concept is to highlight areas you want to make bigger and darken areas you want to appear smaller. Think about the Lion King in a way for contouring: everywhere the light touches you highlight, and where there are shadows you contour. You can use this same technique to change your facial features to an extent by contouring in different places than you normally would.

Choosing the right product:

Only use a matte contour shade. As you want to use the darker color to your advantage to change the appearance of your facial features. Shimmer products give it away and don’t play the same trick with the light.

Don’t go too dark. Go one to two shades darker than your natural skin tone. This makes it easier to blend into your skin and make it look natural.

Applying the contour:

Apply contour to where shadows are naturally found such as the temples of the forehead, down the sides of your nose, directly underneath your cheekbones, and on your jawline. I also put some under my bottom lip to make them look fuller.

Don’t do the fish face when applying contour. A lot of people do this when applying contour, I do it occasionally myself but in reality you want to be smiling when you apply it. As making the fish face will make you put it on lower and pushed closer to your mouth than you want.

Applying the highlight:

Apply where light naturally falls on your face, such as: the bridge of your nose, top of the cheekbones, on top of your brows, the cupid’s bow, and middle of your chin.


Once you have the contour and highlight in all the places you want it, then blend it into your skin so there are no harsh lines. This can take some time to make it look perfect. But blend to your heart’s content. This can be done with either a brush or sponge. Depending on the type of product, you can use either. I prefer brushes for powders and sponges for creams.  One tip is to use circular motions as I find they give better results.

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