Contouring is the technique to get the perfect chiseled look on your face. Popularized by the Kardashians and millennial models, it is the phenomenon which has become a part of daily makeup ritual and a necessary before an Instagram selfie.
So, what is it exactly? It is arguably an art, which enhances the facial shape, giving the face a definite shape. It is not supposed to be loud or prominent. The essence is in getting it subtle.
7 essential things you must know before contouring
Choose the correct tone and the right texture.
The key to contouring is in the selection of the right shade and to get the texture correct. One must choose the product which is closest to the skin color. It can be two colors deeper to get the right shade. If the skin is light to deep, taupe and grayish brown would be the correct shade, while in case of darker skin tone, warmer cognac colors will bring out the correct shade.
Creams add a bolder look. Cream-based contours come in sticks and palettes. They add a bigger drama than the powder-based ones. Apply a bit of the cream with a finger on your face and then used a blender, to blend it in well. Repeat the action for a stronger result. Powder gives a polished look; they appear shimmery and shinier.
Prepare a Base
First, apply a little foundation and the concealer. Dust translucent powder and then add some color. The translucent powder gives the face a sheer base. It is recommended to try a liquid for a more subtle look. A liquid matte bronzer is fit to give a natural look.
Somethings shouldn’t be done, just because you can do it. Minimalism is the essence. Avoid contouring the entire face, a little will go a long way. Start with the cheeks, then forehead, nose, and jawline. Start with the contour of your choice. Start with mid ears and go down to the corner of your mouth. Stop at mid-cheek. Shading can make your forehead a little less pronounced, make your jawline look less sculpted. It can also make your nose look slimmer when you draw a parallel line and blend it in on either side. It adds some definition to the face.
Layer the contour
The process of invisible contouring displays a layering technique that helps you elevate your bone structure with light application. You then add color to it and the result shows a subtle impact and creates a carved-out feature
The shimmer is a no-no
A contour helps you add depth with matte taupe and cool browns, which absorb the light, while a shimmer would reflect. Choose a bronzer without flecks, to get the look your desire. Shimmer should be a part of the highlighters.
Balance the look with highlighter
Placement is the key to highlighting. Choose a shimmery highlight and start from below the eyes to the top of the cheekbones. Add enough to brighten the complexion and bring out a sheen. If you haven’t tried before, here is a trick – try to smile, with your mouths shut and see the areas that are highlighted on the cheeks, puff those up to add a definition and then move up towards the eye. Some of the highlighters for the best results are Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone shade or a Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting. For a more natural look, get a pinkish glow from within look with a Clio Kill Cover Pearl perfection. The subtlety is pure magic. Dab the highlighter with your fingers on the cheekbones, it will give a flawless look.
Finish it with complementing eye makeup
Just like hollowing the cheek, hollow out your eyelids and add a base to it with a medium shadow brush, it will enhance the contours of your eyes. Add a color complementing your looks and try to make a mixture with a contrasting or darker color to the side. To add drama, add extra lashes, curl them up and add an extra coat of mascara. Try Kohl and highlight with some colored eyeliners. Start before contouring. Eyes should be done first, so the foundation and contouring do not get messed up if there is any need to clean up.
What is the right contour color for your skin tone?
To get the contouring right, it is essential to choose the right color for the right skin tone.
Fair to light skin
Fair and light-skinned ladies need to be extra careful while selecting the colors, as anything too brown or too orange will look extremely out of place. For a taupe contour Chanel Les Beiges in 40,NYX Cosmetics Powder Blush in Taupe are recommended. It is important to not go too heavy on the contour, so the subtlety isn’t lost. Use a beauty blender to make the look more seamless.
Medium or tan skin
The joy of having a medium to tan skin is to explore with more color options for contouring. It is recommended to do a pretest before donning the shades. A bronzy look with a perfectly sculpted feature or a sun-kissed look which seems natural can be easily achieved. Light tones are the perfect shades so that the contour doesn’t look too dark.
Dark to deep skin
You can flip the process if you’re dark beauty. Instead of contour, use a highlighter to create the definition. Work with the darkness and add the highlighter to sculpt the face out. A copper bronze shade can flatter the skin. NARS Contour Blush can be used in shade Gienah or L’OrealLumi Liquid Glow Illuminator in Rose shade, can get the desired effect. To get the application well balanced, start with the bridge of the nose, then move to cheekbones and then to the chin. Dark skin has the tendency to look shiny as it reflects the light, to curb that add a bit of powder on top of the highlighter, it will tone down the shine.
Minimalism is the key to success. Contour should not be overpowering. It is to add an extra definition to the face, so keep it simple.