How to Contour Your Face

Face contouring is one of the most underutilized makeup tricks. It can make a dramatic change in your look and is the key to all of your favorite celebrity makeup styles. While it may be one of the tricker applications to figure out, it is easy to get started. With the right tools and products, you can take your look to the next level.

Step One: Build a Good Foundation

Get two different shades of foundation. Rather than getting one that matches your skin tone exactly, get a foundation that is one shade lighter than your natural tone and another bottle that is one shade darker than your color.

Take the lighter foundation and dot it down the center of your face. Once you have a good line created, make a circle around your face with the darker tone. It won’t look very natural at this point but that is fine.

The best brush to have for your foundation is a blended type. Find a good quality one made out of synthetic and natural bristles. Tools are important so don’t get the cheapest ones. Invest in a good set then wash them regularly to keep them clean.

Using your brush, gently blend the dark and light shades. Make small stokes so that you are keeping the dark foundation in one area and the lighter in the other. It’s especially important to have good lightening for this to ensure that you are blending them well enough.

Step Two: Start Mapping Your Face

When you are first starting out with contouring, a map can be incredibly helpful. There are a ton of maps available online and they are well worth studying. Look at a photo of a contouring makeup job before it’s blended so you know exactly where to apply each shade.
Use an easily-smudged dark brown pencil to darken the naturally darker areas and hollows of your face. Darken underneath your cheekbones, at your hairline, along your temples, down the sides of your noses, across your jawline, and under the tip of your nose. Again, a map will be helpful so you can just follow a guide.
After you darken, grab a cream highlighter. Go over the top of your cheekbones, down the bridge of your nose, along the center of your chin, over the center of your forehead, and on top of your cupid’s bow.

Step Three: Blend It All Together
After you have all of the dark contouring and highlighting done, blend it all together. Go all over your face with a dense brush. Use a translucent powder to set in all of your makeup and blend the the shades together.
It’s easy to go overboard with contouring so be careful. It may sound like you will be adding a ton of makeup but you shouldn’t. It is not about laying makeup. There should only be one shade on each bit of skin. The only second layer that you’ll need is the translucent powder. If the translucent powder is blending it well enough or you are finding that most of your makeup has melted away by mid-day, start your routine with a good foundation base.

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