Contouring is easily one of the most daunting makeup techniques. Utilized by famous beauty gurus like James Charles and Jaclyn Hill, contouring has gained tons of popularity over the past decade. But, contouring is not the easiest technique to learn.
Figuring out how to contour your face successfully can truly take your makeup game to the next level. In this guide, we will talk about what contouring is, how to contour, and the best contouring products. With this guide, you’ll be contouring your face in no time.
Contouring is a makeup technique that is used to sculpt and define the structure of your face. It uses a shade that is darker than your skin tone to create depth in some areas. While in other areas, it uses a shade lighter to highlight.
While contouring might seem like a new makeup technique, it actually dates back to the 1500s. Staged actors used to apply chalk to their skin so the audience could see their faces better. In the 1800s, they switched to greasepaint so accentuate their features. But, it didn’t become popular for regular people until the 2000s. People took inspiration from the Kardashians and started to use contouring in their everyday makeup routine.
To begin, you will need two different skin tones: one darker and one lighter than your natural shade. The darker shade will be used to provide depth and the lighter shade will be used to accentuate your prominent features. Additionally, you will need a brush for contouring. For the majority of your face, an angled blush brush is a great option. If you plan to contour small areas like your nose, you will need a small tapered brush.
- The first step you are going to want to take is to map out your face. You are to take your darker shade and find the hollows of your cheeks. If you feel your cheekbones, the hollows are the dips right below them. You can also find the hollows of your cheeks by sucking in your cheeks like a fish. In this hollowed area, apply the darker shade.
If your forehead is on the larger side, you can apply the darker shade to your temples and the very top of your forehead. If you want your jawline pronounced, apply the pigment to the bottom edge of your jawline on the side of your face.
The last place you would want to apply the darker shade is your nose, and it can be a little tricky. Apply the darker shade in a thin line on both sides of the bridge of your nose. Be careful not to move too far out to the profile of the nose.
- Now you are going to want to blend out the darker pigment. Using either a beauty blender or a brush, tap the area over the parts you applied pigment. Do not make swiping motions with the brush or sponge as to not smear the pigment to unwanted areas of your face.
- After applying the darker pigment, you can add a highlight to your face to accentuate your prominent features. One of the areas to focus the lighter shade on is under the eyes. This will make your eyes look brighter and more awake. Other areas to highlight include your cheekbones, bridge of your nose, the center of your forehead, and the center of your chin.
- Lastly, you are going to want to touch up any areas that need touching up. If you are using a powder contour, you may need to use a fluffy brush to dust away any excess powder. If you are using a cream contour, you are going to want to set the contour with a translucent powder.
Kat Von D’s beauty line is one of the most popular brands in the makeup world. And the shade and light palette is one of her most popular products. It comes with three highlight shades and three contouring shades that are all matte. The great thing about this product is that it is actually refillable. Also, it is cruelty-free, vegan, and free from any parabens. This is a powder contour that is very silky and blendable on the skin. Since it is a powder formula, it can have a lot of fallout when applying it. Additionally, it is a bit pricier than other contour products out there.
- Cruelty-free and vegan
- Lots of shades to choose from
- Easy to blend
- Lots of fallout
- On the expensive side
The Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit also comes with three contour shades and three highlight shades to choose from. Additionally, they have multiple palettes that match your skin tone, and they are all highly pigmented. It is very easy to blend, so it is great for beginners. Since this is a powder formula, there is destined to be a lot of fallout when applying it. Something to note before buying this product is that most of the shades best suit skin with yellow or warm undertones. So, if your skin is more cool-toned, this might not be the product for you.
- Lots of shades to choose from
- Highly pigmented
- Great for beginners
- Lots of fallout
- Not suited for cool-toned skin
The Fenty Beauty Line, curated by Rhianna, is a newer cosmetics line that has gained tons of popularity. The Match Stix Matte Skinsticks come in a pack of three sticks: one for contouring, one for highlighting, and a shimmer highlight stick. There are four skin tone packs to choose from: light, medium, tan, and deep. These are cream formulas, so they are very easy to blend. Also, its formula is free from any harmful parabens and sulfates. Since this is a cream contour, it can be a little more difficult to control for beginners. If you apply too much of the product, it can feel very heavy on the skin.
- Comes in four different skin tone packs
- Very easy to blend
- Free from any parabens and sulfates
- Can be difficult for beginners to use
- Can feel heavy on the skin if too much is applied
Perfecting the best technique for contouring your face is quite complicated. And for beginners, it can be a little intimidating. Hopefully, this guide helped you understand the concepts of contouring as well as the basics of the technique. Also, we have given you our top three picks for the best contouring products out there. With all of this, you’ll be contouring your face in no time.