Have I Been CONtoured?
The things you need to know before you decide to try it.
‘Contouring looks really complicated’ has to be one of the statements I hear the most when it comes to this topic.
So let me talk about the ‘C’ word ‘Contouring’ and keep it SIMPLE!
The contouring technique has always been used in makeup, the truth is, some people have understood it, and others have, well… overlooked it!
Contouring simplified, is just the simple act of adding light or shade in areas of the face so that you can change the appearance of your features, for example, elongate the nose or make cheekbones appear more enhanced.
So how did it turn into something so complicated? Well, that lovely thing called ‘the beauty industry’ that includes brands, celebs, influencers, artists and whole marketing teams saw an opportunity to make us, the regular person, think it was something ‘more’. This is why we saw various vloggers and artists drawing ‘different coloured dots’ over the face or brown stipes, or pink ones and then using some magical brush or sponge and boom, it was all blended together and some how looked flawless! The objective of many of these though were to ‘get attention’ and of course we are going to look when we’ve not seen anything like this before. And also wonder if this is something we should be doing?! Then came the sales opportunity…. Now you were hooked or at least intrigued by the magical face changing technique we wanted to try it…. Incoming, contouring pallets, contouring brushes, sticks, powders, and so on.
Most people if they did try it would say… I looked ‘caked’ in makeup, ‘it wouldn’t blend’, I looked like I had a dirty brown line on my face, it didn’t suit me and so on. But this is because we’ve been trying to mimic what others are doing, rather than learning what works for us (yes i know, these are my famous last words!)
The truth is if you use foundation, concealer and bronzer you’re already ‘contouring’ lets do some contouring myth busting:
- ‘There is a set way you need to contour’ – Nope, no two people have the same face shape or features so where you will contour will be unique to you.
- ‘I will need a contouring palette’ – Nope again, if you have a foundation, concealer and bronzer you can contour effectively. Try to make sure your foundation is the same colour as your skin, your concealer is 2 shades lighter, and your bronzer is two shades darker (and matt with no shimmer).
- ‘I must contour all the way down my nose’ – Nope, only if you have the most petite nose, if you’re anything like me and have a longer nose all you will be doing is making it look longer or bigger!
- ‘I need to put all the products on at once then blend them into each other’ – Nope, by doing this it is very unlikely your products will ‘blend together’. A simpler way is to layer. Place your lightest colours (ie concealer) where you want to brighten, pat this in. Then add foundation avoid covering areas you’ve already ‘brightened’. Then shade the areas you want to ‘hide’ with bronzer.
- ‘I need big blending brushes or a sponge’ – Nope again, a sponge may be helpful if you are using a thick concealer but your fingers, a foundation brush, and a narrow fan shaped bronzing brush are best so that you can get detail and not just cover the whole face.
Now lets look at the main areas of the face:
- The cheeks and cheekbones – when adding bronzer under cheekbones the more across the face (horizontal) you make the area the wider you will make this part of the face. So if your face is narrower in the middle of the face this will work for you. If however this is your widest part of the face, using the bronzer at more of an downward slant or angle will narrow the face area. With either method you will also be enhancing the cheekbones as the darker area will contrast with the lighter area and therefore enhance it.
- Under eyes and temples – highlighting under eyes with concealer not only brightens this area reflecting the light, but also the consistency of the ‘lighter’ colour on skin will show off eyes and their shape. Pat concealer in under eyes all the way to the temple to enhance cheekbones (but if you already have high cheekbones that are prominent then stop at the corner of the eyes).
- The forehead – when adding bronzer to the hairline this will shorten the forehead. If you bronze where hair sets back then it will hide those areas and make hairline appear more curved. If you are wider around the forehead, add bronzer more to the sides of the forehead to narrow.
- The nose – highlighting down the nose can not only elongate it but make it appear straighter. The full length of nose will provide maximum elongation and vice versa.
See if you can spot the above through the example images left to right.
In a nutshell:
Concealer = brighten or make bigger
Foundation = all over for a ‘blank canvas’ so you can show off the bronzer and concealer in contrast to it.
Bronzer = to shade areas and make them appear smaller or alter shape of them and set them back.
If you want to know more about your face shape and how it is possible to enhance your face shape and features then click here… and get your 1:1 face guide, so you can see where you should be putting light and shade. Use your products and see your difference!