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Enhance Your Features: A Beginners Guide to Contouring

Are you tired of your makeup routine leaving you looking flat and one-dimensional? Contouring may be the solution for you. This makeup technique involves using shading and highlighting to enhance your natural features and create a more sculpted look.

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

In this beginner’s guide, you will learn everything you need to know to start contouring like a pro. We will break down the basics of contouring, including how to choose the right products and tools for your skin type and face shape.

By the end of this article, you will have a step-by-step plan for creating a flawless contour and blending it seamlessly into your makeup routine. So, get ready to enhance your features and take your makeup game to the next level.

Understanding the Basics of Contouring

Ready to learn how to enhance your facial features? Let’s start by understanding the basics of contouring!

Contouring is the process of using makeup to create shadows and highlights on your face, giving it a more defined and sculpted appearance. By strategically placing darker shades in areas you want to recede, and lighter shades in areas you want to bring forward, you can create the illusion of a slimmer nose, higher cheekbones, and a more structured jawline.

To get started, you’ll need a contouring product, such as a powder or cream in a shade darker than your skin tone, and a highlighting product in a shade lighter. It’s important to blend these products well, using tools such as a brush or sponge, to avoid harsh lines and achieve a more natural look.

Start by applying your foundation as you normally would, then use your contouring product to create shadows under your cheekbones, along your hairline, and down the sides of your nose. Next, apply your highlighting product to the high points of your face, such as your cheekbones, brow bone, and the bridge of your nose.

With practice, you’ll be able to master the art of contouring and enhance your features with ease!

Choosing the Right Products and Tools

To get the best results, you’ll want to make sure that you have the right products and tools for your contouring routine.

First, choose a contour shade that is one to two shades darker than your natural skin tone. This can be a powder, cream, or liquid product, depending on your preference and skin type. If you have oily skin, a powder contour may work best for you. If you have dry skin, a cream or liquid contour may be more suitable.

Next, you’ll need a brush or sponge to apply the contour product. A small, angled brush is ideal for precise application, while a larger, fluffy brush can be used for a more diffused look. A beauty sponge can also be used for blending the contour, as well as applying and blending your foundation.

It’s important to clean your brushes and sponges regularly to avoid bacteria buildup and ensure a flawless application.

With the right products and tools, you’ll be on your way to a perfectly contoured face in no time!

Identifying Your Face Shape

Identifying your face shape is crucial for achieving the perfect contour, as it allows you to strategically place your contour product in areas that will enhance your natural bone structure.

There are six basic face shapes: round, oval, square, heart, diamond, and long. To determine your face shape, pull your hair back and examine your face in the mirror.

If your face is round, your cheekbones and jawline will be the same width, and your forehead and chin will be rounded.

For an oval face, your forehead will be slightly wider than your chin, and your face will be longer than it is wide.

A square face will have a strong jawline and forehead, with the width of the face being almost equal to the length.

A heart-shaped face will have a wider forehead and cheekbones, with a pointed chin.

A diamond-shaped face will have a narrow forehead and chin, with wider cheekbones.

Finally, a long face will have a high forehead and a long, narrow chin.

Once you’ve identified your face shape, you can begin to contour accordingly, enhancing your natural features and creating a more defined look.

Mapping Out Your Contouring Plan

Once you’ve got your face shape down, it’s time to map out where your contour will go for the ultimate sculpted look.

Start by identifying the areas you want to enhance or minimize. For example, if you have a round face, you may want to create more definition in your cheekbones and jawline. On the other hand, if you have a square face, you may want to soften your angles by contouring your temples and forehead.

Next, grab a contouring product in a shade that’s 1-2 shades darker than your natural skin tone. Using a brush, apply the product to the areas you want to sculpt. Remember to blend well for a seamless finish.

Don’t forget to also highlight the areas you want to bring forward, such as the center of your forehead, bridge of your nose, and tops of your cheekbones.

With a little bit of practice, you’ll be able to map out your contouring plan like a pro!

Applying Your Contouring Makeup

After mapping out your contouring plan, it’s time to start applying your makeup for a sculpted look. Remember to always start with a clean and moisturized face.

Apply your foundation as usual and then move on to the contouring products. Start with a cream contour product, using a small brush to create shadows on the areas you want to recede, such as under your cheekbones and along the sides of your nose. Blend well with a beauty blender or brush.

Next, apply a highlighter on the areas you want to bring forward, such as the tops of your cheekbones, the center of your forehead, and the bridge of your nose. Blend well to avoid any harsh lines.

Finally, set your makeup with a translucent powder to ensure it stays in place all day. With these simple steps, you’ll be able to achieve a perfectly sculpted look in no time.

Blending for a Seamless Look

Now that you’ve applied your contouring makeup, it’s time to blend it in for a seamless look.

Blending is a crucial step in contouring that can make or break your overall look. You don’t want harsh lines or unblended patches on your face, so it’s important to take your time and blend everything out evenly.

To blend your contour, use a blending brush or a beauty sponge. Start at the edges of your contour line and blend towards the center of your face. Use light, circular motions to blend and soften the contour. Make sure to blend out any harsh lines and focus on creating a natural-looking gradient.

Remember, less is more when it comes to contouring, so don’t go overboard with your blending. With a little bit of patience and practice, you’ll be able to achieve a perfectly blended and natural-looking contour.

Finishing Touches and Maintenance Tips

Don’t forget to add the finishing touches and follow these maintenance tips to keep your contour looking flawless all day long.

After blending your contour, use a fluffy brush to dust a translucent powder over your face. This not only sets your makeup but also helps to further blend your contour and highlight for a seamless finish.

To keep your contour looking fresh throughout the day, carry a small compact powder and a brush with you for touch-ups. You can also use a setting spray to lock in your makeup and prevent it from smudging or fading.

Additionally, avoid touching your face as much as possible to prevent transferring or smudging your contour.

With these finishing touches and maintenance tips, your contour will stay flawless all day long.

Frequently Asked Questions


How do I choose the right shade of contouring product for my skin tone?

Choose a contouring product that is one or two shades darker than your natural skin tone. Test it on your jawline and blend well. Avoid shades that are too warm or cool for your skin undertone.

Can contouring be done with cream products or is powder easier for beginners?

Yes, contouring can be done with cream products. It is a matter of personal preference and the effect you want to achieve. However, some beginners find powder easier to work with as it is more forgiving and less likely to look heavy-handed.

Is it necessary to use a separate brush for contouring or can I use the same brush for all my makeup?

Yes, it’s preferable to use a separate brush for contouring to achieve a more precise and blended look. Using the same brush for all your makeup can lead to muddying the colors and disrupting the application process.

How often should I clean my contouring brushes to avoid breakouts?

To avoid breakouts, you should clean your contouring brushes frequently. Experts recommend cleaning them at least once a week. Use a gentle cleanser and rinse thoroughly to remove all makeup residue.

Can contouring make my face look cakey or unnatural if not done properly?

Contouring can make your face look cakey or unnatural if not done properly. Avoid using too much product and blend well. Start with a light hand and build up slowly for a more natural look.


Congratulations! You’ve successfully completed your beginner’s guide to contouring. With the information you’ve learned, you can now enhance your natural features and achieve a flawless, sculpted look.

Remember, the key to successful contouring is choosing the right products and tools, identifying your face shape, and mapping out your contouring plan.

Once you’ve applied your contouring makeup, be sure to blend for a seamless finish and add finishing touches to complete your look. With practice, you’ll become a pro at contouring and be able to incorporate it into your daily makeup routine.

So go ahead and experiment with different techniques and products, and have fun enhancing your beautiful features!

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