The Ultimate Guide to Contour

*Warning: If you are here for the crumbs and don’t know much about contour, this post is about to get intense (and technical, af). But if the idea of having slimmer cheekbones entices you, or you need juicier compliments to shout at the makeup lovers in your life, grab a snack and have a seat. This post will change your life.*

Before you continue, I highly advise that you take a really good look at the picture above, and reference it often as you read the tips I’m about to share with you. This post is going to include a plethora of beauty-specific terms, and the more you’re able to visualize them, the easier they will be to execute.

Alright, now it’s time to talk about the good stuff: what “contouring” is, and what it isn’t. Contour Is: Shading in the deepest-set points of your face — such as underneath your cheekbones, around your temples, and down your jawline — to make the high points look more pronounced, and to create a shadow in the areas you want to appear slimmer. Contour Is Not: Bronzing your entire face to appear fifty shades darker (sorry, Jersey Shore fans), nor is it just drawing a line on your cheeks and calling it a day. It’s a modest combination of both, and — when done correctly — can be a stunning compliment to any look, daytime or night.

The idea can seem daunting if it hasn’t made its way into your make up routine just yet. And to be completely honest, it will probably take you a few attempts to feel comfortable with applying and wearing it. But with the tips I’ve listed below and a little bit of persistence, you’ll be walking away from your vanity looking like J-Lo in no time.

And then, of course, you’ll have to deal with swarming paparazzi and fans that want to take pictures with you, but that’s another post for another day. 😉

*All actions are bolded below. Tools and products you will need are underlined.*

How To Contour

  1. Start light. Whether it’s a light bronzer or a powder foundation that’s only 2-3 shades darker than your natural skin color, starting light gives you the ability to practice without potentially ruining your look. Be careful when buying bronzers, as they tend to apply darker on the face than they appear in the pan.
  2. Grab a brush. There are many different brushes you can use, but my favorites are the Morphe M530 Contour Brushe.l.f. Angled Blush Brush, and Zoeva 109 Luxe Face Paint Brush. If you want a more detailed post about these brushes and why I love them, make sure to let me know in a comment below!
  3. Dip your brush into your powder and tap off any excess. You want a light even coat of powder across the surface of your brush to avoid harsh, uneven streaks.
  4. Suck in your cheeks like a fish to find the natural hollows of your cheekbones.
  5. Starting where your hairline meets your ear — and using light pressure — move your brush in small circular motions down the hollow of your cheek, ending at the corner of your mouth.
  6. Dip the edge of a damp beauty sponge (or a clean contour brush like one of the ones listed above) into a translucent powder or a lighter foundation powder. Lightly apply a straight line of translucent powder right below your contour (I recommend using light dabbing motions to evenly distribute the powder). Let the excess powder sit for a minute before wiping away with a clean fluffy brush.
  7. Using the same fluffy brush, blend the line between your contour and translucent powder. This will take away any harsh lines, while still keeping that crisp contour effect.
  8. Finally, take a little bit more bronzer on the brush you used to contour and lightly run it down your jawline, starting at the ear. This creates a more natural curve to your jaw, which can be muted by the translucent powder.

And there you have it! The ultimate guide to contouring that will leave you feeling sleek and flawless at every angle. Contour so sharp it could cut butter, girl. 🔪

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