The Art of Contouring

The Art of Contouring

Contour kits are everywhere, and if applied correctly can greatly enhance your natural beauty.  If done wrong you can draw attention to unwanted areas, cause your face shape to look odd or even look dirty or bruised.

The most important thing to remember is that contouring and highlighting take practice and time.  Don’t expect to be a pro at it the first time you try. We do however have some pro tips that will take some of the trial and error out of contouring for you.  

First, color matching is key. Find a contour that matches either your cool or warm undertones. When your colors don’t match your skin, no amount of blending can keep you from looking bruised or dirty and that is definitely not the look we are trying to achieve. Remember a little goes a long way when applying contours.  If you are fair, start with a light application and you can build layers to reach desired effect. Darker skin tones will be more forgiving for the contour shade.

Using our PureSculpt ™ two-color pressed palette takes all the guesswork out of color selections and leaves your skin natural looking. In the simplest sense, the dark contour shade is giving shape to the face, allowing for a more defined appearance. The light highlighter is used to illuminate and accentuate areas. Contour and highlighter should be applied after primer, foundation and concealer. If a cream or liquid foundation is used, it is a good idea to use a finishing powder before contouring to allow for optimal blending.

For contouring your cheek area, if you do not have obvious cheekbones and hollows, the easiest way to find them is to slightly open your jaws and suck in your cheeks. 

Then, working from the top part of the ears inward, shade along the top of the sunken area, stopping at the outer corner of the eyes. 

To slim your nose, blend two lines of the contour from the start of your inner brows down the sides of the bridge of your nose with a small shadow brush. Next, apply the contour shade along the jawbone, blending downward towards the neck. And lastly, brush the contour around the edges of your forehead, along the hairline.

After adding the contour shade, blend the shaded area very well! This will help the color soften into the skin and look like shadows, instead of painted-on lines.

Highlighting is especially important when you're contouring, because it brings the light back into the areas that are naturally hit by the sunlight, and gives your makeup more of a 3-dimensional effect.

Apply a small amount of highlighter up and outward in a 'c' shape along the top of your cheekbones and around the orbital bones. Add a bit in the center of your forehead. Dab the remaining highlighter on your brush on the center of your chin, and on the bridge of your nose. You can also apply a small amount on your cupid’s bow to give the appearance of a fuller lip.

When contouring, it is important to know the shape of your face.  This will determine what other areas of your face you need to address. Not all the rules of highlighting and contouring are universal and so it is important to keep your face shape in mind.

If you have a round face, contouring under your cheekbones can make it appear thinner, but if you have a narrow face, it could make it look even longer.  If you have a square face, then you have a prominent jaw. To soften this area, create a shadow by applying contour along the outer jawline and blend upward. Round faces can often appear younger looking and, consequently, more definition is often desired. To achieve more definition, brush contour along the jawline from the ears down to just below the corners of the lips. Always blend up and inward to create dimension.

Oblong shapes want to detract from a long face. To do this, apply contouring around the chin and hairline at the top of the forehead. Blend towards the middle of the face to diffuse the shading.

Heart shaped faces may want to apply contour along the hairline from the temples down toward the ears. This will minimize the appearance of a wider forehead.

Once you are feeling more confident with contour application and blending, then give some of these techniques a try. Just remember to always go back and add highlight back in to restore dimension to your face and blend, blend, blend.

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