What's Contouring, and Why Would I Want to do it?

For many years, 'contouring' was a word spoken only by those in the beauty and fashion industry, and a trick guarded by runway models and top makeup artists. Today, contouring is a YouTube sensation.

For many years, 'contouring' was a word spoken only by those in the beauty and fashion industry, and a trick guarded by runway models and top makeup artists. However, this makeup step is no longer a secret of the professionals.

Everyday people are incorporating contouring into their beauty routine. With an appropriate contour shade and well-designed brush, you too can define your favourite features and restructure your face shape with the power of makeup alone.

 

What's contouring, and why would I want to do it?

 

So What Is Contouring?


Contouring is the strategic application of a makeup product that's a shade darker than your natural skin tone. Such application techniques create shadows and draw areas of your facial structure back.

If you choose, you can then complement your contouring with highlighting. A highlighter is a shade lighter than your natural skin tone and is used to bring certain features forward.

Whether your dream is to have higher and more prominent cheekbones, a narrower nose, a more defined jawline, or a thinner face shape, Adore Beauty offers plenty of contouring products to help you create your desired illusion.


Picking Your Perfect Contour Product


The key to successful contouring is to make it look as natural as possible. Picking your contour shades carefully is crucial to preventing a mask-like finish. Keep all contouring products completely matte, as shimmer will give away that makeup has been applied.

The contour shade should emulate a lifelike shadow. It's best to pick a greyed or beige tone as opposed to a bronzer, which is too warm. Your contouring product should also be just one shade darker than your skin tone to prevent a muddy look.

Contour comes in cream and powder formulas. A cream formula, such as the Laura Mercier Flawless Contouring Palette, ensures a dewy finish, whereas the powders in the Nude by Nature Contour Palette create a more natural, matte effect.

Cream products are often better for beginners, as they're easier to blend, so there's no harsh contour lines. A correctly shaped tool is also essential in order to precisely apply the contour in the appropriate areas and blend for a natural finish.

 

What's contouring, and why would I want to do it?

 

Applying your Contour


Once you have your tools and products ready, it's time to start contouring. You can either apply contour over or under your foundation. The former approach is better for a more dramatic look, whereas applying contour first can be better for novices. It's easy to remove excess contouring from clean skin or mute its effects with your foundation and powder layers.

Subtle application is essential when it comes to contouring. It's much easier to work with light layers and build up product gradually than to be heavy-handed and have too much product to blend. Less is more when it comes to contouring.

Contouring can seem very daunting, especially as it can be so easy to overdo. However, with some practice, you can carefully sculpt your face to enhance your best features whilst maintaining a natural look.

Contouring may have started with the runway models, but there's no reason why everyone else can’t benefit from this art form. There are now plenty of products and tools available to incorporate the magic of contouring into your own beauty routine, so you don’t have to be a makeup artist to sculpt a perfect face.

 

What's contouring, and why would I want to do it?