One of the popular trends in the cosmetic world is contouring, defined as emphasizing shadows and light on the face, with some beauty sources calling it the “New Photoshop.” Unlike the dramatic contoured looks of the 1980’s, where the approach was to create sharp angles or hide imperfections, the modern approach to contouring is about bringing dimension and
symmetry to all face shapes. According to celebrity makeup artist Beau Nelson, the goal is to create a subtle definition and not a noticeable look.
According to the ProTeam Color Consultants at Sephora.com, the first step of contouring is to recognize face shape, which are categorized in four main shapes:
Other shapes include:
Before contouring, start by prepping skin with moisturizer and foundation. Next, the four basic steps include:
- Highlighter – used to lengthen areas of the face and bring light to areas such as the center of eyebrows, under the eyes and lips and the center of the nose. Shimmer shades can be used.
- Contour – choose shades that are not too orange or brown and avoid shimmer; matte colors work best and look the most natural. Apply to areas such as the temples, jawline, and most importantly, the cheekbones. For some face shapes, contour colors can be applied to the neck.
- Blend – focus on keeping the points of light by blending the dark shades into the light shades. For best results, use a damp, egg-shaped sponge, such as the The Original Beautyblender ($20.00 at www.sephora.com), which provides precision, streak-free blending.
- Finish – set the look with loose or pressed powder. Add warmth with a blush or bronzer.
Tips and Tricks:
Contour products are available in powders, creams and pencils. Choose powders for a matte finish or creams and pencils for a more dewy finish. According to Nelson, pay attention to brush shape. Use at least two: one for highlighting and one for contouring. Or opt for Kat von D Shade + Light Contour Brush ($34, www.katvondbeauty.com), a dual-ended brush with tapered, synthetic bristles to create a precise finish. A fan brushed can also be used to feather products and create an airbrushed look.
Get the Look:
Check out these products that we guarantee will do wonders to your face and overall look.
– Too Faced Cocoa Contour Chiseled to Perfection ($42 www.sephora.com)
– Smashbox Step-by-Step Contour Kit ($35.00 www.ulta.com)
– Kat von D Shade + Light Contour Palette ($46 www.katvondbeauty.com)
– Kevyn Aucoin The Contour Book The Art of Sculpting + Defining Volume II ($65 www.sephora.com)
See image below to help you determine where highlights and contouring should be.
*See this instructional video produced by Very Exclusive to help you with contouring: https://vimeo.com/127056242