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Contouring : A Beginners Guide to Defining Your Features

Are you tired of feeling like your features are lacking definition? Do you want to enhance your cheekbones, jawline, and nose without going under the knife? Enter contouring, the makeup technique that has taken the beauty world by storm.

While it may seem daunting at first, with the right products and techniques, anyone can become a master of contouring.

In this beginner’s guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about contouring, from why it’s so popular to the products and shades that work best for your skin tone. We’ll also dive into the application process, blending techniques, and common mistakes to avoid.

By the end of this article, you’ll have all the tools you need to define your features like a pro.

What is Contouring and Why is it Popular?

So, you’re probably wondering why everyone is raving about contouring and what exactly makes it so popular.

Well, contouring is a makeup technique that involves using different shades of makeup to define and enhance the natural features of your face. This technique has gained immense popularity in recent years because it allows you to create a sculpted and chiseled look without having to undergo any cosmetic surgery.

Contouring can be used to create a variety of effects such as slimming down your face, emphasizing your cheekbones, and making your nose appear smaller or more defined. This technique is perfect for special occasions like weddings, parties, or photoshoots where you want to look your best.

The best part about contouring is that it can be customized to suit your face shape and skin tone, so you can achieve a natural-looking finish that enhances your unique features.

Products You Need for Contouring

To achieve a sculpted look, you’ll need a few key products in your makeup bag. First and foremost, you’ll need a contour powder or cream that’s a few shades darker than your natural skin tone. This will help create shadows and depth on your face. Make sure to choose a shade that complements your skin tone to avoid looking too harsh.

Secondly, you’ll need a highlighter product to add brightness and dimension to your features. This can be a powder, cream, or liquid formula that’s a few shades lighter than your natural skin tone. Apply this to the high points of your face, such as your cheekbones, brow bone, and down the center of your nose. Remember to blend well to avoid any harsh lines.

With these two products, you’ll be able to create a beautiful, sculpted look that defines your features.

Choosing the Right Shades for Your Skin Tone

When it comes to finding the perfect shades for your skin tone, you’ll want to keep in mind a few helpful tips to ensure a flawless finish.

Firstly, consider the undertones of your skin. If you have warm undertones, you’ll want to go for shades with a golden or yellowish base, whereas if you have cool undertones, you’ll want to opt for shades with a pink or bluish base. This will help ensure that your contour looks natural and blends seamlessly with your skin.

Another important factor to consider when choosing shades for contouring is the depth of color. If you have fair skin, you’ll want to go for shades that are lighter in intensity, whereas if you have deeper skin tones, you’ll want to opt for shades that are more intense.

It’s also important to remember that contouring is meant to enhance your natural features, not change them completely. So, don’t go too crazy with the shades and always remember to blend, blend, blend!

By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be able to find the perfect shades for your skin tone and achieve a flawless contour.

How to Apply Contouring Products

Ready to master the art of applying contour? Let’s dive in and learn how to achieve a perfectly chiseled look!

First things first, it’s important to start with a clean, moisturized face. Once your skin is prepped, you can begin by selecting your contouring product. Creams and powders are both great options, but make sure to choose a shade that’s a few shades darker than your natural skin tone.

To apply, start by sucking in your cheeks and applying the contour product in the hollows of your cheeks. Blend upwards towards your temples using a blending brush or your fingers.

Next, use the same product to contour your jawline, blending downwards towards your neck. For a slimmer nose, apply the product along the sides of your nose and blend outwards towards your cheeks.

Finally, apply a small amount of product to your hairline and blend downwards towards your temples. Remember to blend well to avoid any harsh lines.

With a little practice, you’ll be a contouring pro in no time!

Blending Techniques for a Natural Look

Achieving a natural, flawless look with your contour requires mastering the art of blending – and lucky for you, it’s easier than you think! The key to blending is to use a light hand and blend in a circular motion.

Start by blending the edges of your contour with your foundation or concealer using a damp beauty sponge or a blending brush. This will help soften any harsh lines and create a seamless transition between your contour and your natural skin tone.

Next, use a fluffy brush to blend the contour into your skin. Make sure to blend in the direction of your hairline, jawline, and neck to avoid any harsh lines. Remember to use a light hand and build up the contour gradually, as it’s easier to add more than to take away.

Finally, use a clean blending brush to buff out any excess product and ensure a smooth, natural finish. With these blending techniques, you’ll be able to create a subtle, natural contour that enhances your features without looking too heavy or cakey.

Common Contouring Mistakes to Avoid

To ensure a flawless and natural-looking contour, you should be aware of some common mistakes that can ruin your makeup look.

One of the most common mistakes is using too much product or not blending properly. This can result in harsh lines and an unnatural appearance. To avoid this, start with a small amount of product and gradually build it up as needed. Always blend thoroughly with a blending brush or sponge to avoid any harsh lines.

Another mistake to avoid is using the wrong shade of contour. It’s important to choose a shade that is only a few shades darker than your natural skin tone. Going too dark can result in a muddy or dirty appearance. Additionally, make sure to blend the contour well into your skin and fade it out towards the edges to create a natural-looking shadow.

With these tips in mind, you can avoid common contouring mistakes and achieve a beautiful, defined look.

Advanced Contouring Techniques for More Dramatic Effects

For a more striking and intense look, try out some advanced contouring techniques that will enhance your facial features even more.

One technique is called “baking,” which involves applying a heavy amount of translucent setting powder to the areas you’ve contoured, and letting it sit for 5-10 minutes before brushing it off. This creates a more defined and structured look, as well as helps your makeup last longer throughout the day.

Another advanced technique is “strobing,” which is the opposite of contouring. Instead of creating shadows, strobing highlights the high points of your face, such as your cheekbones, brow bone, and cupid’s bow.

To achieve this look, use a shimmery highlighter and apply it to those areas, making sure to blend it out well. This will give you a youthful and radiant glow, perfect for special events or a night out.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can contouring cause damage to my skin over time?

Contouring shouldn’t cause damage to your skin if done correctly. However, using heavy makeup or not properly removing it can clog pores and lead to breakouts. Always cleanse your skin thoroughly after contouring.

Is it possible to contour with just one product, or do I need multiple?

Yes, it’s possible to contour with just one product. Choose a shade that’s slightly darker than your skin tone and apply it to the areas you want to define. Blend well for a natural look.

Can contouring be done on any face shape?

Yes, contouring can be done on any face shape. It’s all about enhancing your natural features. Just make sure to use the right shade and technique for your face shape. Experiment and have fun!

How often should I contour my face?

Contouring frequency depends on your personal preference and lifestyle. If you wear makeup daily, it’s okay to contour every day. However, if you prefer a more natural look, contouring once or twice a week is sufficient.

Can I use contouring to make certain features appear larger, such as my lips or nose?

Yes, contouring can be used to make certain features appear larger like your lips or nose. By strategically placing darker shades and highlighting lighter areas, you can create the illusion of more volume and definition in those areas.


Now that you’ve gone through the basics of contouring, you can start practicing and perfecting your skills. Remember, it takes time and practice to achieve a flawless look. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get it right the first time. Keep experimenting and trying different techniques until you find what works best for you.

One important thing to keep in mind is that contouring is not necessary for everyday makeup. It’s a great technique to use for special occasions or when you want to create a more dramatic look. But for everyday wear, you can keep it simple and natural.

Don’t forget to have fun and enjoy the process of enhancing your natural beauty!

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