Over the past couple of years Contouring has become bigger and bigger, and just about every Beauty Guru and Makeup Artist has a different way of doing it. There are many techniques for different face shapes of course, which you can easily find by knowing your face shape and doing a quick Google search to find pictures or even a tutorial.
These day's just about every brand has some type of Contour Kit, and I keep seeing so many girls constantly making the same mistakes! So here are my tips and tricks that should be a general rule of thumb when it comes to Contouring.
Tip 1: Unless you are African American or have VERY tan bronzed skin (NC35-45), then you should ALWAYS contour with a COOL/ASH shade of powder or cream and NEVER with a WARM toned colour. Especially if you are very fair skinned with pink or very yellow undertones, otherwise it can just look like mud on your face. We use a cool tone shade to give the illusion of a shadow there to define the cheekbones or narrow the nose/forehead. NEVER use a bronzer to contour with because they are designed to give warmth to the face (sunkissed look) after using the cool tone shade to contour. This is for both powders and creams.
"Contouring for me means to change, accentuate, hide, strengthen, and define your whole face." – Rae Morris
The never, evers of contouring are:
- Never use a shimmery product of any kind to contour.
- Never use a contouring product that's not a natural skin tone and it must be two to three shades darker than your skin tone.
Tip 2: If you have trouble finding the hollow's of your cheekbones, then place any makeup brush from the top of your ear to the corner of your mouth and that’s where you should apply your contour. NEVER bring your contour all the way to the corner of your mouth; otherwise you will look like The Joker. Stop applying about half way; I stop just about at the end of my eye.
Tip 3: Once you have the powder on your brush (make sure you tap off the excess, always easier to add more than to take away) NEVER apply the product straight down your face because it will come out like a straight line and not at a blended and diffused line. I apply my product from the middle of my cheekbone and blend backwards towards the top of the ear and flick my brush up at the same time. This is how I achieve my perfectly blended and natural contour. Depending on your face shape, continue the same method on the forehead and jaw. When contouring the forehead, make sure you blend the product into the hairline so you don't get a halo ring effect. I always use whatever product is left on my brush to contour my jaw line, NEVER add any more on your brush; otherwise you'll see the product under your chin.
Tip 4: When it comes to contouring your nose, always use a smaller and more precise brush, my favourite it the M.A.C 217 blending brush. Make sure you keep blending the product until you cannot see the lines on the side of your nose. After, apply a strip of concealer down the middle of the nose to bring it forward just a little.
Tip 5: When it comes to brushes for contouring, NEVER use a brush that's bristles are very sparse, ALWAYS use a dense and firm brush to apply the product. Otherwise its going to spread everywhere instead of being precise. You can always use a classic angled brush to apply your contour, just make sure you remember to blend the product up slightly! My favourite contouring brush for cream and powder is the Real Techniques angled contour brush. I also love the Makeup Geek Rounded Blush Brush and Morphe Brushes 'E4' Brush.
Tip 6: If you are looking to try cream contouring, the methods are the same as powder, but make sure you apply the product just a little bit above your cheekbones because it looks more natural and defined. Make sure you apply all of your creams BEFORE you set it with powder! If you are fair skin toned, then make sure to contour with a cool tone. Which is easier said then done because cool toned creams are very hard to make for most companies because they can easily turn green. If price isn’t a worry to you, then the Anastasia Beverly Hills Cream Contour Kit's are for you, especially the Fair and Light Kits. Otherwise a good cheaper alternative is the RCMA Highlight and Contour Kit. I got mine from http://camerareadycosmetics.com/. My favourite way to apply cream contour is the Barely Cosmetics Hard Definer Sponge. This sponge allows you to place the product and blend at the same time and the results are AMAZING!
Tip 7: ALWAYS apply bronzer after your contour to add warmth back into your face and to blend out the contour so its not so harsh, because without bronzer you can very easily look dead/ghostly. I've had very pale skin my whole life and used to be so afraid of wearing bronzer because I didn’t want to look orange. The trick is to always use a matte bronzer and one that is red based and not orange! Remember to apply a little bit of bronzer on your neck as well so your neck at face match. If you are very pale then I would suggest The Body Shop Honey Love Matte Bronzer in Shade 1. I have been using it for 2 years and its my ride or die! I've also only recently just hit pan, it lasts for sooooo long and its only $24.95! Another brand is the Too Faced Milk Chocolate Solei Bronzer. For a little bit more tanned girls, Hoola Bronzer by Benefit Cosmetics is a very good red based bronzer that looks extremely natural. Stay away from drugstore bronzers, as they are generally very orange based! My favourite brush to apply bronzer with at the moment is the M.A.C 135 Brush.
Tip 8: To clean up your contour and bronzer, take any face powder brush or even a sponge wedge from the supermarket and 'bake' just underneath your contour to clean up any loose translucent powder that may have fallen down in the blending process. Let it sit for around a minute or two, I usually go onto my highlight or blush. Just remember to brush it away when you're finished!
Remember! Have fun with contouring and changing up your face shape! It's okay to be insecure about a certain element of your face! The power of makeup allows you to change that and not be judged for it! Makeup is all about experimenting and having fun and if you don't want to do some of these steps, like applying bronzer, then you don't have to! You do you girl!!!
My Favorite Contouring Products! Especially for fair skin tones. If you are currently using any Australis Powder or Cream Contour Kit's then throw it away right now because they are way too warm! Especially the Cream Kit!
- NYX Blush in the shade 'Taupe'.
- Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit in 'Light'.
- Kat Von D Shade and Light Palette.
- Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Bronzer.
- The Body Shop Honey Love Matte Bronzer in 'Shade 1'.
- Anastasia Beverly Hills Cream Contour Kit in 'Fair' and 'Light'.
- RCMA Hightlight and Contour Kit.
- Smashbox Contour and Hightlight Sticks.