It seems that just about every makeup look includes a little contour — whether you’re going for a full face or a no makeup-makeup look. It’s an easy way to warm up your face and surefire way to get that chiseled, sunkissed glow. Though it seems like everyone has the technique on lock, there are a few tips to keep in mind to make sure you get it right every time.
Mix textures: Two textures are always better than one. This way you avoid that oily, clogging feeling from all-cream formulas as well as the cakey, cracked effect of all-powder products. Sculpt your face with a deeper foundation, this helps keep the look natural and works on everyone. Then, set with a powder that will lock everything into place.
Try this SPF hack: Want to wake up with a natural contour? No problem. When you go to the beach, apply SPF 20 all over your face and apply a thin line of SPF 70 down the nose and in the dip of the cupid’s bow. Then, after being in the sun, wash your face with a brush to remove the sunscreen. After you cleanse, you will notice a natural effect.
Most people don’t know SPF is actually one of the best highlighters. Pat a little SPF onto the cheekbones just as you would a normal highlighter.
Don’t overdo it: With contouring, it’s always best to go for a wearable, day-to-day look. Use your darker foundation color to start to contour near your earlobe and bring it down. Taper away as you bring the shading forward to the front of your face. As a general rule of thumb, you never want to see the lines from head on. You should only see the definition from the side and this helps create a subtle look.
One contour does not fit all: If you don’t customize your contour to fit your face, you could end up with shadows in places that need to be highlighted and highlights in placed that need shadowing. Here, you should contour according to your face shape.
For heart-shaped faces, swipe your brush along the sides of your forehead near the hairline, underneath your cheekbones and in the hollows of your cheek area. This technique follows the popular “3” method and works for nearly everyone attempting the look.
If you have an oblong shape, start right at the top of the forehead area and on each side of the jaw, blending toward the chin.
For those with an oval- or round-shaped head, your technique is pretty much the same: add dimension underneath your cheekbones to make them appear more prominent, and apply on the sides of your forehead, underneath your cheekbones and along the jawline. For square-shaped heads, slightly adjust your placement to complement your face shape by dusting contour on the sides of your forehead and below the cheekbones, pointing down toward the chin. Diamond shapes have the least work to do, and should focus on the lower cheekbones, toward the chin area only.