How To Contour, How To Contour The Face, Best Contour Makeup, Contour Brush

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How To Contour ⋆ Beautymone
Published by Simone de Vlaming on July 11, 2023

Curious how to contour your face like a pro? You’ve landed in the right place. This article will guide you through the key steps to enhance your facial features using contouring techniques.

Contouring is an art, and like any other form of art, it requires practice. By following our tips, you’ll learn how to use makeup to define your cheekbones, slim down your nose, and sculpt your jawline.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned makeup artist looking for new tricks, we’ve got some useful advice tailored just for you.

Remember that everyone’s face is unique – what works for one person might not work for another. So feel free to adapt these techniques according to YOUR own facial shape and features!

Let’s dive into this essential guide on how to contour the face.

Understanding The Basics Of Contouring

When you see a perfectly contoured face, it’s no accident. It’s an art form that requires knowledge, precision, and practice. Let’s delve into the basics of contouring to help you master this beauty technique.

Contouring is all about using shadows and light to redefine your facial features. When done correctly, it can enhance your natural structure, making your cheekbones pop or your nose appear slimmer. All you need are the right tools and techniques.

Contouring is all about creating illusions. The goal is to make certain features stand out while others recede, using light and shadow techniques.

How To Contour, How To Contour The Face, Best Contour Makeup, Contour Brush

First things first, understanding your face shape is crucial. Whether you have a round, oval, square, or heart-shaped face – each requires a different approach for contouring.

  1. Round faces need contouring along the sides of your forehead and below your cheekbones.
  2. For oval faces, apply contour under your cheekbone from the top of your ear towards the corner of your mouth.
  3. If you have a square face, focus on the sides of the forehead and chin to soften those strong angles.
  4. On a heart-shaped face, apply beneath your cheekbone, starting at mid-ear and curving down in line with the outer corner of the eye.

Once you’ve determined where to place the product based on your individual facial structure, it’s time to choose the right shade for contouring.

Typically, you’ll want a color that’s two shades darker than your foundation for optimal illusion creation. This will ensure contrast without looking unnatural.

Don’t forget – practice makes perfect! So dust off those brushes and get practicing! Soon enough, you’ll have mastered the art of contouring!

Selecting The Right Products For Your Skin Type

Before you dive into the art of contouring, it’s critical to choose the right products that complement your skin type.

If you’re blessed with dry skin, cream-based contouring products will be a godsend. They’ll keep your skin hydrated while giving you a radiant finish.

In contrast, if oiliness is your concern, opting for powder-based products can help control the shine and deliver a flawless matte look.

For those of you in between – yes, we’re talking about combination skin types – it might be best to experiment. You could try using cream-based products on drier parts of your face and powders on oilier areas.

But what if you’re unsure about your skin type? Well, don’t fret:

  1. Normal Skin: Your skin is neither too oily nor too dry.
  2. Dry Skin: You often experience tightness or flakiness.
  3. Oily Skin: There’s an excess shine all over your face.
  4. Combination Skin: Some sections are oily (usually T-zone), others are dry.

Now that we know the important basics of contouring, it’s time to really dive into the step-by-step tutorial of contouring. Let’s learn how to contour, baby!

How To Contour: Step-By-Step Guide

Ready for an instant facelift? It’s not as hard as you might think. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you master the art of contouring. You’ll need:

  • contour palette
  • A fluffy blending brush
  • A smaller precision brush

Let’s dive into the step-by-step guide and easily learn how to contour!

How To Contour: Step-By-Step Guide
Ready for an instant facelift? It’s not as hard as you might think. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you master the art of contouring.
Gather your supplies
Before you start, make sure you have all the necessary supplies. You’ll need a contouring palette or a matte bronzer that’s a few shades darker than your skin tone, a fluffy brush or a contour brush, and a blending brush or a makeup sponge.
Prep your face
Begin by washing your face and applying your regular moisturizer. Give it a few minutes to sink into your skin before moving on to the next step. This will help create a smooth canvas for your makeup.
Apply foundation
Put on your regular foundation or tinted moisturizer to even out your skin tone. Choose a shade that matches your skin tone well. Blend it in using your fingers, a makeup sponge, or a brush. Remember to blend it evenly over your face and down to your neck.
Identify the areas to contour
Now, take a look at your face in the mirror and identify the areas you want to contour. Typically, these are the hollows of your cheeks, the sides of your forehead near the hairline, the jawline, and the sides of your nose. Keep in mind that contouring is all about creating shadows to define and enhance your features.
Choose your contour shade
Pick a contour shade or a matte bronzer that’s a few shades darker than your skin tone. This will help create the illusion of shadows. If you’re unsure, start with a lighter shade and gradually build it up.
Apply contour
Dip your fluffy brush or contour brush into the contour shade. Tap off any excess powder to avoid applying too much at once. Now, gently sweep the brush along the areas you identified in Step 4. Use light strokes and build up the color gradually. Remember, less is more! You can always add more if needed.
Blend, blend, blend!
This step is crucial to make your contour look natural. Take your blending brush or a makeup sponge and blend the contour by gently swirling it in a back-and-forth motion. Make sure there are no harsh lines or obvious color differences. The goal is to blend the contour shade with your foundation seamlessly.
Check and adjust
Take a step back and check your work in a well-lit area. If you feel like the contour is too harsh or not blended enough, go back and blend it some more. You can also use a clean makeup brush or a sponge to buff out any excess product.
Set with powder (optional)
If you want your contour to last longer, you can lightly dust some translucent powder over the contoured areas. This will help set the makeup up and prevent it from smudging or fading throughout the day.
Finish the rest of your makeup
After contouring, you can continue with the rest of your makeup routine. Apply blush, highlighter, and any other products you like to complete your look.

Best Contour Makeup

Now that you know how to contour your face, you obviously want to know which products are the best and easiest to use for that snatched-looking face. Here are my favorite products:

Best Contour Makeup: High-End Options

  1. Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit: a bestselling palette that contains six powder shades for contouring and highlighting. The palette typically includes a mix of cool and warm tones, allowing you to customize your contouring and highlighting according to your skin tone and desired look.
  2. KVD Vegan Beauty Shade + Light Face Contour Palette: a versatile palette that features three highlighting shades and three contouring shades. The palette is designed to suit a variety of skin tones, with both warm and cool undertones available.
  3. Smashbox Step-By-Step Contour Kit: a user-friendly palette that includes three blendable powders for contouring, bronzing, and highlighting. The formula is silky and buildable, making it easy to achieve a professional-looking contour.
  4. Westman Atelier Face Trace Contour Stick: a creamy contouring stick that helps create definition and dimension. The stick format provides effortless application, allowing for precise contouring and blending.
  5. Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Contour Wand: a liquid contouring product that helps sculpt and define your features. The innovative sponge applicator allows for precise and targeted application, while the lightweight formula blends seamlessly into the skin.
  6. Fenty Beauty Match Stix Matte Skinstick: a magnetic contour stick that offers a range of shades for contouring, concealing, and highlighting. The stick format provides easy and precise application, allowing for buildable coverage and seamless blending.
  7. Milk Makeup Sculpt Cream Contour Stick: a creamy contouring stick that helps create depth and definition. The stick format allows for effortless application and can easily blend with fingers or a brush. The formula is enriched with nourishing ingredients and provides a natural, satin finish.
  8. Make Up For Ever Contour & Highlight Sculpting Palette: a professional-grade palette that contains four blendable cream shades for contouring and highlighting. The creamy formula is long-lasting and provides a seamless, sculpted finish.
  9. Tower 28 Sculptino Soft Cream Contour: a soft cream contour product that helps shape and define the face. The creamy texture blends effortlessly, allowing for easy application and a natural-looking finish. The formula is buildable and provides a comfortable, satin-matte result.
  10. Nudestix Nudies Tinted Blur Sculpt Stick: a tinted sculpting stick that provides a soft-focus effect while defining and contouring the face. The creamy formula melts into the skin, creating a natural-looking sculpted appearance.

Best Contour Makeup: Budget-Friendly Options

  1. e.l.f. Cosmetics Halo Glow Contour Beauty Wand: a multi-purpose beauty product designed to help contour and highlight your facial features. Its creamy formula blends easily, allowing you to sculpt and define your face for a flawless, radiant glow.
  2. NYX Professional Makeup Wonder Stick Cream Highlight & Contour: a dual-ended stick that combines a creamy highlighter and contouring shade. The formula is blendable and buildable, allowing you to effortlessly create a sculpted and illuminated look.
  3. Milani Conceal & Perfect Liquid Contour: a liquid contouring product that provides buildable coverage and a seamless finish. It is formulated to help sculpt and define your facial features, allowing you to create a contoured look easily.
  4. NYX Professional Makeup Highlight & Contour Pro Palette: a versatile palette that contains eight shades for highlighting and contouring. The palette includes a range of shades to suit different skin tones and undertones, allowing you to customize your look.
  5. e.l.f. Cosmetics Contour Powder Palette: a collection of powder shades designed to help contour and shape your face. The palette typically includes a combination of matte and shimmer shades to provide options for both defining and highlighting your features.
  6. Kiko Milano Sculpting Touch Creamy Stick Contour: a creamy contouring stick that helps define and sculpt your facial features. The stick format makes it easy to apply and blend, allowing for precise application and seamless blending.
  7. Wet N Wild Megaglo Contouring Palette: a compact palette that contains a combination of contour and highlight shades. The formula is smooth and blendable, making it easy to achieve a seamless, contoured look.
  8. Revolution Beauty Makeup Revolution Ultra Contour Palette: a comprehensive contouring palette that includes a variety of shades for highlighting, contouring, and bronzing. The palette features a mix of shades to suit different skin tones.
  9. L.A. Girl Velvet Contour Bronzer Stick: a creamy contouring stick that helps define and shape the face. The stick format provides easy and precise application, allowing you to sculpt your features effortlessly. The formula has a velvety texture that blends seamlessly into the skin, providing a natural-looking contour.
  10. Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer Contour Palette: a palette that combines bronzing and contouring shades to help create a sculpted look. The formula is infused with skin-loving ingredients and has a buttery texture.

Browse the carousel above or click here to see all the contouring products.

Best Contour Brushes

Having the right tools to work with makes the job way easier! However, with millions of brushes on the market, how do you know which would work well?! I had to test out a few brushes myself first to find what I liked and what worked best.

There are typically two types of brushes that I would recommend for contouring, and that’s:

  • A contour brush with an angled tip for using powder contour as it provides precision while blending brushes ensure no harsh lines are left behind.
  • A small round brush with dense, flat hairs is super easy to use when blending cream products and ensures the finish looks natural.

I have a few recommendations for you of brushes that I really like for contouring:

How To Contour, How To Contour The Face, Best Contour Makeup, Contour Brush

Pro Tips and Common Mistakes in Face Contouring

Mastering the art of face contouring isn’t as daunting as it seems. With a few pro tips under your belt, you’ll be on your way to achieving that sculpted look in no time. But remember, even pros can make mistakes!

First off, avoid using bronzer for contouring. Despite popular belief, it’s not an ideal choice. Bronzers are meant to add warmth while contours mimic natural shadows – often cooler in tone. Using bronzer might leave you with an unnatural orange undertone.

Next up is the common mistake of over-blending your contour lines or blending them in the wrong direction. The goal is to create a shadow effect rather than spread the color all over your face. So keep those blending strokes tight and focused!

When it comes to tools, the right brush makes all the difference! A small angled brush gives you precision, while a fluffy one helps blend more naturally.

Now onto our pro tips:

  • Always consider your face shape: Different shapes require different contour placements.
  • Start light: It’s easier to build up intensity than it is to tone down!
  • Blend upwards: This will lift your features instead of dragging them down.

Contouring really is an art form – but with these expert insights and common missteps outlined above, we’re confident that you’ve got this!

Wrapping Up: Mastering the Art of Contouring

You’ve taken a big leap in your makeup journey. Understanding how to contour is no small feat, but you’ll be a pro in no time with practice and patience. Let’s recap what we’ve learned.

Firstly, recognizing your face shape is crucial. You can’t effectively play up your features without understanding their structure. Square, oval, round, or heart-shaped – each has unique contours requiring different techniques.

Applying contour correctly takes finesse. Light strokes along the temples, under cheekbones, and jawline create depth and dimension on your face while blending ensures a seamless finish.

Finally, highlighting brings it all together by adding shine where light naturally hits – the top of your cheeks, bridge of the nose, and cupid’s bow are prime areas. Always set with translucent powder so your efforts last throughout the day!

Contouring isn’t just about creating illusions; it’s also about enhancing what you already possess! With these steps tucked under your belt, you’re well on your way to mastering this artful skill.

As always in makeup (and life), practice makes perfect. Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t come out perfectly on the first try. Experiment with different products and techniques until you find what works best for you.

P.S. I personally found this video by Alexandra Anele super helpful and thought, why not share with you! Alexandra shares contouring tips for every skin shapes and tips that works for all face shapes.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re wondering when to apply contouring makeup, it’s usually done after foundation and concealer. You can use cream, liquid, or stick contours on top of your foundation and blend it for a flawless finish.

For a contoured look, choose a shade that is 2-3 shades darker than your skin tone and has a similar undertone.

When it comes to contouring, there are so many choices out there. You can use foundation or concealer, creams or powders, or even mix it up a bit. It’s totally up to you and what you prefer!

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