Contouring is serious business! It’s a great way for us to really frame our faces, or even create a dramatic new look. If you’re interested in makeup and the various techniques used to create different effects, then contouring should be on your “must learn” list.
Contouring is a way to highlight our bone structure, making cheek bones pop and slimming our jaw. It can be a way to “correct” a person’s facial structure into a more desirable shape by using dark and light colours to imitate the natural way that shade and light fall on a face. It’s a super cool technique because you really can sculpt a face any way that you would like.
Learning how to contour correctly is quite an art form, and really how well you contour will dictate whether the face looks naturally sculpted or a little odd somehow.
The basics of face contouring cover the makeup itself, the special makeup tools that you should use to apply contour, where contouring fits into the rest of your makeup routine, where you should be putting your contouring lines, and how to apply the makeup.
First off, we need to pick out the contour itself. Contour can be bought separately, or often times, as part of a kit. A contouring kit may include one brown contour colour and one light highlight colour, or it might include a couple of different shades of each. This may be an easy way for beginners to get started with contouring, however, if you want to match your shades exactly, it’s always better to purchase separate products. A good rule of thumb in two shades darker than your regular foundation for your brown contour, and two shades lighter for your light highlighter.
Contour and highlighter can be purchased in different types of substances, much the same as foundations, eyeshadows, etc. So, for contour and highlighter, you can purchase them in creams, liquids, powders, or in stick form, if you like easy-on application.
With contour and highlighter, if you have a liquid, cream or a powder, you’ll need an application brush for each one – stick style contour and highlighter won’t require these brushes. You’ll also need a blending brush for each, for once you’ve applied your contouring and need to start really sculpting that face, or a Beauty Blender.
Once you have your makeup and your tools, then you are ready to go. Where does contouring fit in, in your makeup routine? The answer to this question is after you’ve applied your full base, including sunscreen, primer, foundation, concealer, and powder. It’s once you have your full face on that the contouring starts.
So, once you’ve got full makeup on, it’s time to start applying the contour. Where does it go exactly? First up, sweep the contour down from the temple, underneath the cheek bone. Next, apply the contour from along the jawline, near the ear, through to around your mid jaw. Trace a little in a very soft V along the chin to around the same horizontal line as the outside of your lips. Right below your bottom lip, in the middle, you can add a small line. Along the sides of the nose, you can add contour, and contour the tip too if you’d like to reduce the size of it. Add some more above the outer eyebrows from the hairline.
Once your contour is on, then you need to blend it out, taking care to really soften out the lines that you’ve drawn on.
After contouring is blended, then it’s time to apply your highlighter. This is mainly underneath the eyes and around themed cheek to the contour line. You can then apply a bit to your T zone, the middle of your chin, and a little bit just above your top lip. Once you’re done here, it’s time to get to blending again – and that’s it! You have a contoured face.