Contouring has been the ‘not-so-secret’ makeup artist trick for decades. Used by professionals to enhance the appearance of the face shape, contouring can be a tricky skill to master. So, we’re here with our guide on how to contour for beginners.
Whether you’re looking to narrow the bridge of your nose or chisel your cheekbones, we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of this advanced makeup skill and you’ll be a contour connoisseur in no time.
Back to Basics: What is Contour Makeup?
We know we’re throwing around a lot of intense terms (you can chisel your cheekbones?), but to truly learn how to contour like a pro, but first, let’s start with the main question, what is contouring?
Essentially, the aim is to create dimension and depth to your face by enhancing natural shadows. It goes hand-in-hand with highlighting, which accentuates the higher points of your face that light would naturally fall on. Simple, right?
Right! But, with so many ways to contour nowadays, how do you know which method and medium is for you? Are you partial to a powder or curious about creams? We’re here to help you decide.
What Do You Use to Contour?
Whichever contouring style takes your fancy, we have everything you need to sculpt and define your look. Here are our recommendations.
What is Liquid or Cream Contour?
We recommend cream and liquid contour products for those looking for a subtle contour over a chiseled complexion. Designed to create a radiant, natural finish, this type of product works well on dry skin, as the formulation allows the product to glide easily over the skin and won’t grab on dry patches.
Creams are also extremely blendable, so, if you prefer a subtle contour over a chiseled complexion, a cream or liquid product might be for you. Seamlessly sculpting the face with just a few presses of a beauty sponge, a cream product, like our Pro Goddess Glow Cream Contour and Bronze, can be applied to bare skin to achieve a ‘no makeup’ makeup look.
For those looking for something a little more on the snatched side, a contour stick, like our Fast Base Contour Stick, delivers ultra-precise application, allowing you to carve out your cheekbones to perfection. Blend using our Create Super Dewy Stippling Brush, to give you that Insta-ready base in no time.
Powder contour is incredibly versatile and can be built up in layers, depending on how much impact you’d like to create. We generally recommend powder products for those with oily and combination skin types, as this formula helps to absorb excess oil and provides a matte finish, reducing the appearance of shine on the skin. They also have a lightweight texture that allows the skin to breathe and minimize the risk of clogging pores
Why not apply a few sweeps of our Pro Sculpt and Glow, using our Create Defining Contour Brush R10, in the hollows of your cheekbones and your temples to deliver a soft wash of color. Once you have found your preferred look, experiment with different shades to find the right one for you.
How to Contour for Your Face Shape
A little disclaimer here: there isn’t a one-size-fits-all with contouring. The challenge of this makeup technique lies in discovering the best place to apply the products in accordance with your bone structure – and that’s largely down to you.
However, we’ve outlined some broad guidelines to get you going.
Expert Tip: Play around with different contour placements to find out what suits your face shape. Practice makes perfect!
How to Contour a Round Face
If you’re looking to lengthen a rounder face, apply your contour product along the perimeters of the face, over the cheekbones and beyond and towards the edges of your mouth. This will give the illusion of a longer face and a wider mouth.
How to Contour a Long Face
To contour a longer facial structure, focus your contouring along your chin, jawline and across the top of your forehead. Once blended out, your face will appear shorter and more defined.
How to Contour a Wide Face
For a wider face shape, apply your contour in a soft C-shape, starting at your temples and ending below your cheekbones – this will enhance your bone structure and make your face appear more tapered.
The Finishing Touches
Balance out your contour with touches of concealer on the high points of your face – this will give your look real dimension. Our IRL Filter Finish Concealer will give you a breathable, soft matte finish to help keep your skin looking silky smooth.
To complete the look, it’s as simple as adding a dusting of setting powder across the face to keep your face looking snatched. We also recommend adding a touch of highlighter on the high points of the face to re-introduce that radiant glow we all love – opt for a tapered fluffy brush, like our Create Soft Focus Brush R6, to ensure precision.
And there you have it;
everything you need to master the art of contour. You’ll be sculpted and defined like a pro in no time.
Explore our huge selection of contour products today to find the best ones for you.
Are you interested in also levelling up your blush game? Discover our guide to optimal blush placement to look flushed and fierce.