Are you ready to take your makeup skills to the next level? Contouring is the secret behind achieving a sculpted, defined look that can transform your face. Face contouring relies on using contour makeup to create shadows and highlights, giving your face dimension and structure and enabling you to create the illusion of sharper cheekbones, a slimmer nose, and a more defined jawline.
Whether you have a round, square, oval, or heart-shaped face, learning the art of contouring can help you enhance your natural features and achieve a flawless finish.
In this beginner’s guide to contouring, we’ll walk you through the basics of contouring, the tools you’ll need, and step-by-step instructions for flawless contour makeup.
Tools of the Trade: Choosing the Right Products for Contouring
To achieve a beautifully contoured look, it’s important to choose the right products for your skin type and desired finish. There are three main types of contour products: powder, cream, and liquid. Let’s take a closer look at each one.
Powder contour is an excellent option for beginners as it is easy to blend and buildable. It works well for oily or combination skin types. Using a fluffy makeup brush, apply the powder contour to the hollows of your cheeks, along the hairline, and under the jawline for a natural-looking shadow effect.
Cream contour is ideal for those with dry or normal skin types. Cream products blend seamlessly into the skin, giving a more natural and dewy finish. Use a small, dense makeup brush or your fingertips to apply the cream contour along the same areas as the powder contour.
Liquid contour is highly pigmented and provides a more intense effect. It’s suitable for all skin types but works particularly well for those with combination or oily skin. Apply a small amount of liquid contour using a makeup brush or sponge and blend it into the skin for a flawless and long-lasting contour.
Contour for Face Shapes: Finding the Right Fit for You
Different face shapes require different contouring techniques to enhance their features. Here are some guidelines for contouring specific face shapes.
Contour for Round Face
To add definition to a round face, focus on creating shadows along the sides of the face, temples, and under the cheekbones. Blend the contour upward towards the ears to elongate the face. Remember to blend well to avoid harsh lines.
Contour for Oval Face
An oval face shape is already well-balanced, so your goal is to enhance your natural features. Apply contour along the hairline, under the cheekbones, and along the jawline for a subtle definition.
Contour for Square Face
To soften the angles of a square face, contour along the temples, jawline, and below the cheekbones. Blend well to create a more rounded and balanced appearance.
Contour Heart-Shaped Face
For a heart-shaped face, contour the temples and the sides of the forehead to minimise the width of the top of the face. Apply contour below the cheekbones to create a more defined jawline.
Beginner-Friendly, Step-by-Step Guide to Contouring
Now that you understand the basics and know how to choose the right products, makeup brushes, and techniques for your face shape and skin type let’s dive into a step-by-step guide to contouring, with some tips and tricks to ensure that your contour lasts all day and stays flawless.
Step 1 – Prime the skin: Prep your skin by cleansing, moisturising, and applying a primer. Then, apply your foundation or tinted moisturiser evenly across your face. This will create a smooth and uniform base for your contour application and help it last longer.
Step 2 – Apply dark contour: Start with the darker contour shade. Using a contour brush, apply the product to the areas you want to create shadows. These typically include the hollows of cheeks, temples, the sides of your nose, and jawline. Use light, feathery strokes and blend well to avoid harsh lines.
Step 3 – Blend: Next, use a clean brush or sponge to blend the contour lines, ensuring a seamless transition between the contour and the rest of your makeup. Circular motions or gentle tapping help achieve a natural-looking blend.
Step 4 – Apply light contour: After blending the darker contour shade, it’s time to apply the lighter highlight shade. Use a smaller brush or your fingertips to apply the highlighter to the high points of your face, such as the tops of your cheekbones, the bridge of your nose, the centre of your forehead, and the Cupid’s bow. This will bring forward those areas and create a luminous effect. Once again, blend the highlighter gently to avoid any harsh lines. This step is crucial for achieving a seamless and natural-looking contour.
Step 5 – Set: Set your contour and highlight by lightly dusting a translucent setting powder over your face. This will help lock in the products, making the makeup last longer and preventing it from smudging or fading throughout the day.
Get Ready to Transform Your Makeup Look with Contouring
Carrying a small makeup bag containing a travel-sized contour product, a brush, or a sponge is also a smart strategy. This way, you can easily touch up your contour throughout the day, especially if you notice any fading or blending.
And remember, mastering the art of contouring takes practice and experimentation. The key to a natural-looking contour is seamless blending, so keep practising blending techniques and different products to see which one works best for your skin type and face shape. Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t look perfect right away. With time and patience, you’ll become more confident in sculpting your face and achieving the desired look.
Incorporate these tips into your contouring routine, and you’ll be well on your way to enhancing your features and achieving a beautifully sculpted look that lasts all day.