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What Exactly is Contouring?
So, contouring isn’t exactly a science right? Well, some people may disagree. Contouring a highlighting is a huge thing in the beauty industry these days. Specific makeup artists have even claimed to know the exact science behind the absolute perfect contour. There are even memes that have been created promoting women to not even leave the house without sporting their newly chiseled cheekbones. Contouring and highlighting the face is a huge deal, and can seriously make or break a look. So, what exactly is contouring? Contouring, is when you place false shadows across specific parts of your face in order to define a facial feature, or to hide a facial feature. This is also done with highlighting, but instead of hiding a part of your face, you’re making it a focal point.
What do I Use to Contour?
There are a million different products on the market ranging from all different prices that can be used to sculpt your face. One of my favorites, and the easiest in my opinion, would be cream contours. Cream contours come in an easy to use stick that you can use to create a straight line from the top of your ear to the middle of the cheek towards the edge of your lips. Another form of contour is, of course, the super popular powder contour! You can either use a powder contour to set down your cream contour so it stays in place all day long, or you can use it alone and still create a super defined look. Most people use a specific angular blending brush to blend out the contour, or to set the powder you can use a flattop brush. But, you can also use a beauty sponge to blend out cream products. I personally love the beauty sponge, and you’ll find out why later! As you can see, there are endless possibilities. Some products that I personally use and would 10 outta 10 recommend are the Wet N Wild Contour and Highlighting Palette ($5 USD), the ELF Contour Palette ($6 USD), the NYX Highlight and Contour Wonderstick ($6 USD), or the Lorac Pro Contouring Palette plus contour brush ($45 USD).
What Contour Shade is Right For me?
The one huge tip that I have to creating a seamless editorial looking contour, is to find your right contour shade. Depending on your skin tone, you should be using a contour shade that is about 2 to 3 shades darker than your foundation. This will give your cheeks and jawline a nice shadowed effect, instead of a super harsh line in the middle of your face. Remember, you want your contour to stand out, while still looking like it’s a part of your skin! Your highlight on the other hand, which we’ll get into later, should be about 1 shade lighter than your foundation to give a nice contrast to your contour. Also, if you have more of a medium to deep skin tone, you should try out contours with more of a warm tone to match your underlying skin pigment, whereas if you’re more fair, you should try out contours with a cool tone to compliment your underlying pigment.
How Do I Contour Like a Pro?
To contour like a pro, look at where your natural cheekbones are. Start from the top of your ear, and visualize a line going from that point, to the edge of your mouth. This is the general area where you want to put your contour shade to create chiseled cheekbones. But, don’t make the contour go all the way from your ear to your mouth, because this will give you more of a cynical look. Usually, you’ll want to stop about halfway towards your mouth, but depending on your lovely face shape, you may want to stop even shorter than that. If you’re looking for an all around sculpted look, make a front facing and backwards three shape starting from your forehead, down to your cheekbones, back up to your ear, and then down the side of your face towards the jaw line. Also, when contouring the jawline or nose, be sure to use your specific color that matches your skin tone perfectly, because no one wants to look like they have dirt on their face. One thing that I do, is take a bit of contour down to my jawline to make it look slimmer, and down towards my neck, so that my jawline matches up with my neck shade, and it doesn’t look too harsh. The key here is to blend blend blend girl!
How Do I Highlight Like a Pro?
Now, when it comes to highlight, the places you’ll want to highlight can vary, but most people use their concealer or powder that is one shade lighter than their skin tone to make sure it doesn’t stand out too much. The purpose of highlighting is to bring out the high points of your face that you want to emphasize, and catch the light in the best way possible. You’ll most likely want to place that highlight shade in the center of your forehead, all the way through your T zone (down the nose, and on the chin), as well as right underneath the eyes to give yourself a more awake and youthful look. Another big tip I have is to take your highlight right underneath your cheekbone contour. This will give is a nice contrast and make both of the shades stand out more, giving you a more defined look. Which, is what we’re going for after all. Again, blend blend blend girl! And remember, your face is a piece of art.
**This is copyrighted and owned by Madison Corum**