Tips for Proper Contouring

Contouring is a great way to get a more structured look, especially when you’re trying to get your face to look slimmer. If you don’t know how to do it, though, contouring can turn out to be a hot mess. Having the right makeup products, tools, knowledge and skills are all essential when it comes to contouring. Contouring almost always comes hand in hand with highlighting but you can always skip the latter if you don’t want to get the least bit of iridescent glow for your look. If you’re still looking for new ways and techniques to perfect this art, check out these tips for proper contouring that will help you achieve that flawless and structured look.

  • Avoid powder foundation – it’s important to have a good base when contouring your face and that is where your choice of foundation comes to play. You’ll want a foundation that will hold your bronzer / contour product and not simply diffuse it. Liquid or cream based foundations seem to be the best kinds to go for when contouring because they create a layer that your contour product can hold on to. Powder tends to diffuse your contouring product instead of keep it in place so avoid it when doing a contoured look.

sharp professional contour subtle contour areas for contour

  • Find the right bronzer finish – if you love going to makeup counters, you’ve probably noticed that some bronzing powders are matte while some have a bit of shimmer in them. This is not just for your personal preference. Matte bronzers are meant to be used on areas you want to recede like the sides of your nose and the hollows of your cheeks while shimmery ones are meant to be used on areas you want to bring forward like the tops of your cheeks. Mix and match your bronzing powders if needed to get the best results.

leighton meester contour

professional natural contour look natural contoured look

  • You need more than one – if you really want to get that professional and natural looking contour, know that you’ll need more than one shade of bronzing / contouring product. In general, you’ll need dark, medium and lighter colors. Using different shades will create depth and dimension. Remember that the darker the color, the deeper that are will appear. Mapping out your contour will help you decide which areas you want to look deeper and which ones to bring forward.

contour map contoured cheeks deep cheek hollow contour

  • Use the right tools – some products are meant to be applied with brushes, some with your fingers and others with sponges. When it comes to contouring, I find that contouring sticks are the best. You can simply ‘draw’ the outline on your face and then blend. First, take your beauty blending sponge and buff the product in to get a natural look then take your brush and blend.

contour depth and dimension contour shades for depth contour with blush

  • Never rush blending – blending out the harsh lines, especially when you’ve used cream-based bronzers, is important to make your contour look natural. You can never rush blending if you want to get a flawless look, be it with contouring, highlighting or just makeup in general. Take your brush and blend that bronzer out!-

blending process chiseled cheek and jaw contour and shading


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