Makeup After 50: How to Contour for a More Beautiful You!

face contour

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. 

Which contour shade to use?

KVD Beauty Shade + Light Face Contour Palette
KVD Beauty Shade + Light Face Contour Palette, $49.50
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette, $64
Anastasia Beverly Hills contour kit
Anastasia Beverly Hills contour kit, $40


MAC Studio Fix Sculpt & Shape Contour Palette
MAC Studio Fix Sculpt & Shape Contour Palette, $33.50
Glo Skin Beauty Contour Kit
Glo Skin Beauty Contour Kit, $44

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.

Shimmer or matte contour?

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.

MILK Mini Highlighter
MILK Mini Highlighter, $18
Kosas Color & Light: Crème Cream Blush & Highlighter Duo
Kosas Color & Light: Crème Cream Blush & Highlighter Duo, $34
Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour - Highlight Stick
Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour – Highlight Stick, $25

Contour Tools to use 

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.

Airbrush Radiance Fan Brush #116
Airbrush Radiance Fan Brush #116, $18

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.

Artist's Choice Makeup Sponge
Artist’s Choice Makeup Sponge, $8.99
Tarte Multi-Tasking Sponge
Tarte Multi-Tasking Sponge, $16

How to contour

  1. Apply the deeper cream foundation or powder around the temples of your forehead, under your cheekbones, and on the areas of the nose that you want to outline or define.
  2. Use your brush or fingers to blend the line upwards. If you blend down, you will lose the height of your cheekbone. Blend the contour color into the hairline. This will disguise a large or flat forehead.
  3. To make your nose look slimmer and straighter, use your contour brush to rub a little contour powder along the sides of your nose, stopping short of the end of your nose. Blend well. If you want your nose to appear shorter, run a little contour along the nostrils.
  4. Sweep a touch of contour powder under the jaw line to minimize an aging face. To make your eyes really pop, brush a little bit of your contour powder above the inner corner of your eye.
  5. You can even use it under your neck to push back any sagging skin. With your brush or sponge, apply a line around and/or down the area and then blend.
  6. If you are using a powder over the contouring foundation or powder, use a very light translucent powder, so you are not interfering with the light and dark shades in your face.
  7. Remember whether you are using a brush or sponge, it should be washed every day to avoid bacteria build-up that can cause skin conditions. It will also help make blending easier, as there will be no build-up of product in your brush or sponge.

Contour Your Face – Practice Makes Perfect

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. 

Read Next:

How to Apply Blush and the Best Types for Mature Skin

Is Liquid Or Powder Foundation Better For Mature Skin?


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