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How To Contour Your Face For Beginners

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how to contour makeup

I’m going to jump right into it. Contouring has always been a pain point for me. Rewind to lockdown days, when I would religiously block my calendar for only one task - learning how to contour and steps to master it. After devouring several makeup videos and beauty blogs, I know now that just a few tips and tricks can make me get that coveted sculpted makeup look.

Contouring is a makeup technique that defines your features to give you a more sculpted and chiselled look. The right formulas and shades can give you that coveted chiselled look. So, if you always end up skipping contouring your face because you are just not sure how it is done, here is a beginners guide.

How To Contour Your Face

If you have spent hours trying to figure out how to contour, here is a step-by-step guide to help you out.

1. Prep Your Face

Start with giving yourself a gentle facial massage. It will help lymphatic drainage and reduce any swelling and puffiness. Apply a nourishing moisturiser or primer to prep your skin and follow it up with a light sunscreen. Cover your blemishes and dark spots with a concealer and blend it well with a damp beauty blender or your fingers. Apply a light foundation that suits your skin tone to achieve the perfect makeup base.

2. Choose The Right Shade & Tools

I have always been sceptical about contouring as I knew that using the wrong shade can create harsh lines and ruin your entire look. Not to mention, it can be intimidating to look at a cream several shades darker than your skin tone and be told it can create a natural-looking shadow effect. So, while getting a chiselled look is important, picking the right shade is paramount.

To get the best results and avoid any unwanted harsh lines, choose a shade that is at least one or two shades darker than your skin tone. You can also pick a contour palette that has multiple shades where you can mix and match to get the desired shade. Having said that, picking the right shade alone won’t work if you don’t use the right tools to blend your makeup. If you’re using a cream-based contour or highlighter, you can blend it using your fingers or beauty blender. Alternatively, you can use fluffy brushes with fine bristles to get a better and more defined look if you prefer a contouring powder.

3. How To Apply

How you apply contour depends a lot on your face shape and type. While contouring below the jawline can make a round face look sharper and slimmer, it can make a thin face look unusually thinner and longer. So, define the areas which you want to sculpt and enhance. Start with applying the contour on your forehead, cheekbones (glide your brush in the hollow of your cheeks and continue it towards your ears to give a pointed effect). Also, apply on the bridges of the nose, chin area and below the jawline. (Pro tip: Take the contour cream/ powder and draw the number three from your forehead, under the cheeks and below the jawline). Before blending in, take a look in the mirror to ensure that these are parts you want to accentuate. Blend it into the skin well.

4. Add In Some Blush And Highlighter

Once you blend everything seamlessly in your skin, use a highlighter to give a warmer look to your face. Apply it on the cheekbones, nose and cupid’s brow to brighten your look. Complete the look with a little blush on the cheeks to deliver a natural pink flush. Do not forget to lock in your look with a setting spray.

Best Contour Makeup Products You Must Try

Trust me, contour makeup can be fun, (Now, I literally love contouring my face every time and it’s amazing to see the dimension it gives to my face), but the product you choose can determine how contouring sits on your face. Now that you know what is contouring and how it is done, explore this curated list of the best face contouring products.

1. Kay Beauty Contour & Highlight Pro Palette - Contour Genius

If you are someone like me who has an uneven skin tone and struggles to find the perfect shade for makeup, the Kay Beauty Contour & Highlight Pro Palette - Contour Genius would be perfect for you. With three universal shades in a warm, cool, and neutral tone, this contour kit can help in getting the chiselled look with its easy to blend texture. You can make a suitable shade for your skin tone by mixing the three different undertones. I love this palette because it is a high-definition matte powder formula and is water and sweat resistant. Replace the multiple products cluttering your makeup kit with this palette to define your face with minimal effort.

face contouring

Kay Beauty Contour & Highlight Pro Palette - Contour Genius

2. Nykaa SKINgenius Conceal & Correct Palette

Fed up of stuffing your makeup kit with multiple different products? I have a solution for you. Explore the Nykaa SKINgenius Conceal & Correct Palette. It is a face contouring kit that comprises six different undertones to work on your blemishes, contour your features and achieve that natural finish. You can use the concealer and corrector to cover your blemishes and dark circles and use a neutral cool tone to contour the bridges of the nose and jawline.

face contouring palette

Nykaa SKINgenius Conceal & Correct Palette - Deep 03

3. Wet n Wild MegaGlo Dual-Ended Contour Stick - Light/ Medium

If you are not a fan of palettes, this dual-ended contour stick can be your ultimate saviour. Designed specifically to give you those precise contour lines, Wet n Wild MegaGlo Dual-Ended Contour Stick illuminates your best features. It is paraben, sulphate, gluten and cruelty-free. With curved ends, it looks like a creamy lipstick and is easy to apply and blend.

contour and highlight - Wet n Wild MegaGlo Dual-Ended Contour Stick - Light/ Medium

Wet n Wild MegaGlo Dual-Ended Contour Stick - Light/ Medium

4. Swiss Beauty Double Trouble Contour & Highlighter Stick - 01 Medium Focus

This contour stick has a creamy texture that delivers extreme precision and application. The Swiss Beauty Double Trouble Contour & Highlighter Stick is an all-in-one contouring and sculpting dual stick that will give you more depth and make your angles pop. (P.S. it's affordable, travel-friendly and my favourite).

highlight face makeup

Swiss Beauty Double Trouble Contour & Highlighter Stick - 02 Beige Focus

Now that you know how to contour your face and the best products to go for, let this guide up your contour game.

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