Do you ever wish you had a slimmer jawline, a thinner nose, chiseled cheekbones, or more pronounced eyes? It seems these days, all of the magazines are adorned with women with perfect makeup, pronounced features, and zero flaws. I always wonder how they can look so good all of the time. While cover models obviously have a team of makeup artists on hand to make them look flawless, is it possible to get the same look at home on our own? It turns out it is! The trick is to use a facial contour, a technique in which makeup enhances and shapes the facial structure. You can get this effect – all you need is the right contour shade and a little training to make it happen.
It’s best to use shades of brown that are matte in color. I would recommend using a cream foundation or powder that is four times darker than your skin color. You want the depth in color to work in shaping your cheekbones, nose, neckline, and forehead. So, if you are very light, do not use too dark of a color as it will look muddy and unnatural. Contouring should look natural and give your face more definition.
Avoid using browns that are too red. Select a brown that is more cool or taupe in shade as it will blend better and look more natural.
Remember the basic principles of light and dark. Lighter colors will highlight and make objects come forward. On the other hand, darker colors will cause objects to push back, recede, and look less pronounced. If you want to make your nose, forehead, or jawline look less obvious, use a darker color. If you want an area in your face to look bigger or brighter, use lighter colors.
Contour shades should be matte; avoid shimmer. Shimmery colors will likely highlight areas that you want to conceal. If you want to use highlighters with contouring, use a separate highlighter above and over the contoured area with a fluffier fan brush. Always use highlighters with a soft particle size, not too glittery or chunky.
It’s best to use a contoured and stiffer brush rather than a big fluffy one. The brush head should be no more than 1” wide, as you want to create lines and angles to give you depth and definition. A more controlled brush head will give you the lines you need to define your facial features. Save the fluffy brushes for highlighting and blending.
You can also use a wedge-shaped sponge, as this will give you the control of a brush head, and you can blend with the flatter side of the sponge.
When it comes time to try it out on your own, remember that light enhances, pronounces, and highlights – and dark decreases, recedes, and pushes back, you will master contouring! Blend well and enjoy the magic of makeup!
And definitely keep in mind that practice makes perfect. So if the first time you give yourself a contour, it comes out more color book than glam, wash it off and get back to it. You’ll look fabulous in no time.