Mastering the Art of Contouring: Advanced Techniques for a Flawless Finish

Are you ready to take your contouring skills to the next level? In this article, we will explore the world of advanced contouring techniques that will help you achieve a flawless finish. Gone are the days of simply applying a few lines of contour and blending it out. We will delve into the secrets of creating perfectly sculpted cheekbones, a defined jawline, and a slimmed-down nose. Get ready to become a contouring pro and elevate your makeup game to new heights!

I. Different Types of Contouring

A. Cream Contouring

Cream contouring is a popular technique that involves using cream-based products to create dimension and definition on the face. This type of contouring is great for those with dry or normal skin types, as the creamy consistency blends seamlessly into the skin. To achieve a natural-looking contour, simply apply the cream contour product to the areas you want to sculpt and blend it out using a brush, sponge, or your fingertips. Cream contouring is versatile and allows for buildable coverage, making it perfect for everyday use or special occasions.

B. Powder Contouring

Powder contouring is a classic technique that involves using powder-based products to define and shape the face. This type of contouring is ideal for those with oily or combination skin, as the powder helps control excess shine. To achieve a powder contour, apply the product using a contour brush to the desired areas, such as the hollows of the cheeks, temples, and jawline, and blend it out using circular motions. Powder contouring provides a more matte finish and is great for creating a more sculpted and chiseled look.

C. Liquid Contouring

Liquid contouring is a technique that involves using liquid-based products to contour and highlight the face. This type of contouring is popular among those with normal or combination skin, as the liquid products blend easily and provide a natural-looking finish. To achieve a liquid contour, apply the product using a brush or sponge and blend it out using tapping or sweeping motions. Liquid contouring allows for precise application and can be easily built up for a more intense contour. It is a great option for those who prefer a dewy and radiant finish on their skin.

II. Selecting the Right Shade for Contouring

A. Understanding Your Skin Undertone

Before selecting a contour shade, it is important to understand your skin undertone. Skin undertones can be classified as cool, warm, or neutral. Cool undertones have hints of blue or pink, warm undertones have hints of yellow or golden, and neutral undertones have a mix of both warm and cool tones. To determine your undertone, observe the color of your veins; if they appear bluish, you likely have a cool undertone, while greenish veins indicate a warm undertone. Understanding your undertone will help you choose the right contour shade that complements your natural coloring.

B. Matching the Contour Shade to Your Skin Undertone

Once you have determined your skin undertone, it is important to select a contour shade that matches it. For cool undertones, opt for contour shades with cool undertones as well, such as taupe or gray-based shades. These shades will create a natural-looking shadow on the face. For warm undertones, choose contour shades with warm undertones, such as golden or bronze-based shades. These shades will add warmth and dimension to the face. Neutral undertones can experiment with both cool and warm contour shades to achieve different effects. Remember to always test the contour shade on your skin before purchasing to ensure it matches your undertone and blends seamlessly.

III. Prepping Your Skin for Contouring

A. Cleansing and Moisturizing

Before you start contouring, it is crucial to prep your skin properly. Begin by cleansing your face to remove any dirt, oil, or makeup residue. Use a gentle cleanser that suits your skin type and rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water. After cleansing, moisturize your skin to provide a smooth and hydrated base for the contouring products. Opt for a moisturizer that suits your skin type, whether it be a lightweight lotion, gel, or cream. Allow the moisturizer to fully absorb into the skin before moving on to the next step.

B. Applying Primer

To create a long-lasting contour, applying a primer is essential. Primer helps smooth out the skin’s texture, minimize the appearance of pores, and helps the contour products adhere better to the skin. Choose a primer that suits your skin type, whether it be pore-filling, mattifying, or illuminating. Apply a small amount of primer to your face and blend it in using your fingertips or a brush. Ensure that the primer is evenly distributed and fully absorbed before proceeding with the next step.

C. Setting Your Foundation

Before you start contouring, it is important to have a smooth and even base. After applying your foundation, set it with a translucent or setting powder to prevent it from shifting or creasing. Use a fluffy powder brush to lightly dust the powder all over your face, focusing on areas prone to oiliness or creasing. Setting your foundation will create a seamless canvas for the contouring products and ensure that they blend easily. Once the foundation is set, you are ready to begin the contouring process.

IV. Basic Contouring Techniques

A. Mapping Your Face

Before applying contour, it’s important to map your face to identify the areas you want to sculpt and define. Start by looking at your face in the mirror and noting the natural shadows and contours. The key areas to contour are the hollows of the cheeks, temples, jawline, and the sides of the nose. By mapping your face, you can have a clear understanding of where to apply the contour product to enhance your features.

B. Applying Contour

Once you have mapped your face, it’s time to apply the contour product. Choose a contour product that suits your preferred formula – cream, powder, or liquid. Using a contour brush, apply the product to the desired areas with light, sweeping motions. Start with a small amount of product and build it up gradually to avoid any harsh lines or patches. Remember to blend out the contour product using circular motions or tapping motions, depending on the formula you are using.

C. Blending Techniques

After applying the contour, the next step is blending. Blending is crucial to achieve a natural-looking contour that seamlessly blends into the skin. Use a blending brush, sponge, or your fingertips to blend out the contour product. Circular motions or tapping motions can be used depending on the formula you are working with. Take your time to blend the contour, ensuring there are no harsh lines or patches. Blending the contour will soften the edges and create a seamless transition between the contoured areas and your natural skin.

V. Advanced Techniques for Contouring

A. Highlighting and Contouring Combo

To enhance the effect of your contour, incorporate highlighting into your routine. Highlighting involves applying a lighter shade of makeup to certain areas of the face to bring them forward and create a more sculpted appearance. After applying contour, use a highlighting product to accentuate the high points of the face, such as the cheekbones, bridge of the nose, brow bone, and Cupid’s bow. The combination of contouring and highlighting will create a more defined and dimensional look.

B. Strobing and Contouring Combo

Another advanced technique is to combine strobing with contouring. Strobing involves using a highlighter to create a radiant and luminous effect on the skin. After applying contour, use a liquid or cream highlighter to accentuate the high points of your face, such as the tops of the cheekbones, bridge of the nose, and brow bone. The combination of contouring and strobing will create a striking contrast between the sculpted areas and the highlighted areas, resulting in a glowing and youthful complexion.

C. Draping

Draping is a technique that involves using blush to contour and shape the face. Unlike traditional contouring, which focuses on creating shadows, draping emphasizes adding dimension and color to the cheeks. To achieve a draped effect, choose a blush color that complements your skin tone and sweep it gently across the cheeks, blending it upwards towards the temples. Draping gives a soft and natural flush to the face, enhancing the overall contour and bringing a healthy glow to the complexion.

VI. Contouring for Different Face Shapes

A. Contouring for Round Faces

For those with round faces, contouring can help create definition and shape. To contour a round face, focus on creating shadows along the sides of the face to slim down the appearance. Apply contour product to the hollows of the cheeks, temples, and jawline to create a more chiseled look. Avoid applying contour on the apples of the cheeks, as this can make the face appear rounder. The goal is to create more angularity and length in a round face shape.

B. Contouring for Square Faces

Square faces can benefit from contouring to soften the angles and create a more oval appearance. To contour a square face, focus on applying contour product to the corners of the face, such as the jawline and hairline, to create a more rounded look. Applying contour along the sides of the forehead and temples can help soften the appearance of the face. The goal is to create a more balanced and softer look in a square face shape.

C. Contouring for Heart-Shaped Faces

Heart-shaped faces have a wider forehead and narrower chin, so contouring can help create balance and symmetry. To contour a heart-shaped face, focus on applying contour product to the sides of the forehead and temples to minimize the width of the forehead. Apply contour to the jawline and chin to add more structure and definition. The goal is to create a more harmonious and balanced look in a heart-shaped face shape.

D. Contouring for Oval Faces

Oval faces are considered the most balanced and versatile face shape. Contouring in an oval face shape aims to enhance the natural features without drastic changes. Apply contour product to the hollows of the cheeks, temples, and jawline to add more definition to the face. The goal is to enhance the natural contours and maintain the balance in an oval face shape.

VII. Contouring for Different Skin Tones

A. Contouring for Fair Skin Tones

When contouring fair skin tones, it is important to choose contour shades that are not too warm or too dark. Opt for cool undertones, such as taupe or light brown shades, that will create a natural-looking shadow without overpowering the skin tone. Using a light hand, apply the contour product to the desired areas and blend it out thoroughly. The goal is to enhance the features without looking too harsh or unnatural on fair skin.

B. Contouring for Medium Skin Tones

Medium skin tones have more versatility when it comes to contouring. Warm or cool undertones can be used depending on your personal preference and the overall look you want to achieve. Opt for medium shades of contour, such as warm bronze or soft brown, to add depth and dimension to the face. Apply the contour product to the desired areas and blend it out for a seamless finish. The goal is to create a natural-looking contour that complements the medium skin tone.

C. Contouring for Dark Skin Tones

When contouring dark skin tones, it is important to choose contour shades that are deep and rich in color. Opt for shades that are slightly darker than your natural skin tone to create a defined shadow. Deep shades of brown or even black can be used to contour the desired areas, such as the hollows of the cheeks, temples, and jawline. Blend the contour product thoroughly to achieve a seamless finish. The goal is to create a bold and striking contour that complements the dark skin tone.

VIII. Contouring for Special Occasions

A. Contouring for Daytime Events

When contouring for daytime events, it is important to keep the look natural and subtle. Opt for lighter shades of contour and focus on enhancing the natural features without overpowering the overall look. Choose cream or liquid contour products for a more natural and dewy finish. Apply the contour product with a light hand and blend it out thoroughly for a seamless and fresh-faced appearance. The goal is to create a subtle and effortless contour that enhances your features during the daytime.

B. Contouring for Evening Events

Evening events call for a more dramatic and intense contour. Opt for deeper shades of contour and focus on creating a more sculpted and chiseled look. Powder contour products with a matte finish work best for evening events, as they provide a more defined and long-lasting contour. Apply the contour product with a slightly heavier hand and blend it out for a seamless finish. The goal is to create a bold and striking contour that stands out during evening events.

C. Contouring for Photography

Contouring for photography requires extra attention to detail, as the camera can sometimes wash out the features. Opt for contour shades that are slightly deeper than your natural skin tone to ensure that the contour shows up in photos. Blend the contour product meticulously to avoid any harsh lines or patches. Consider using a highlighting product to accentuate the high points of the face and create a more three-dimensional look. The goal is to create a contour that enhances your features and translates well in photographs.

IX. Fixing Common Contouring Mistakes

A. Overdoing the Contour

One common mistake in contouring is applying too much product, resulting in an overly dramatic or unnatural look. To fix this, use a clean brush, sponge, or your fingertips to blend out the contour and soften the appearance. Gradually remove the excess product until the contour looks natural and seamless. Remember, less is more when it comes to contouring, and it’s always easier to add more product if needed.

B. Using the Wrong Shade

Using the wrong shade of contour can create an unflattering and mismatched look. If you find that the contour shade is too warm or too cool for your skin undertone, correct it by layering a more suitable shade on top. Blending a slightly warmer or cooler contour shade can help balance out the color and create a more natural-looking contour. Alternatively, you can also use a foundation shade that matches your natural skin tone to blend out the contour and create a more harmonious look.

C. Uneven Blending

Uneven blending can result in patchiness or visible lines on the face. To fix this, blend out the contour product thoroughly using circular motions, tapping motions, or even a sponge to create a seamless transition between the contoured areas and your natural skin. Take your time and ensure that the product is evenly blended, especially at the edges. If needed, use a clean brush or sponge to blend out any areas that appear uneven or patchy.

X. Setting and Finishing the Contour

A. Setting Contour with Powder

To set your contour and ensure that it stays in place throughout the day, use a powder product in a shade similar to your contour shade. Take a small amount of powder on a fluffy brush and gently pat it onto the contoured areas. This will help lock in the contour and prevent it from fading or smudging. Ensure that the powder is evenly distributed and blended to avoid any harsh lines or patches.

B. Setting Contour with Setting Spray

For a more long-lasting contour, consider setting it with a setting spray. After applying your contour and setting your foundation, mist a setting spray all over your face, focusing on the contoured areas. This will help seal the contour in place and ensure that it lasts throughout the day or evening. Setting spray also helps to create a more natural and dewy finish, giving your contour a flawless and radiant look.

C. Applying Finishing Touches

To complete your contour, consider adding some finishing touches. These can include adding a touch of blush to the apples of your cheeks, applying a highlighter to the high points of your face, or filling in your brows to frame your features. The finishing touches will add dimension and balance to your contour, helping to enhance the overall look and create a polished finish.

With these advanced techniques and tips, you can master the art of contouring and achieve a flawless finish. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced makeup enthusiast, experimenting with different contouring techniques and products will allow you to create a customized look that enhances your natural beauty. Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t be afraid to try out new techniques and have fun while contouring!