It is safe to say that makeup has definitely evolved throughout the years. There are now so many different products, methods and tricks that people use that can transform your face and enhance your beauty. Contouring is possibly my favourite part of makeup in general. It is great that we have foundation to help our skin look flawless, concealer to help hide those little blemishes that we like to keep on the down low and blushes to add that little flush of colour. But at times, us girls with less prominent facial features can struggle with that flat face syndrome. When things look a little 2D and there’s not a lot of definition going on.
As much as I love contouring, it is by far the most overwhelming experience that I have endured on my makeup journey. There are so many different techniques, products and ways of application. When things go right, boy can the results be gorgeous! But when things go bad it can be a mess, and I should know this as I have had many experiences with a bad contour. Not to worry though! I am coming at you with a Beginners Guide to Contouring including great products, simple techniques, great application tools and just some seriously easy tips to create that contour that you crave! I have learned that it is only complicated if you make it! Keep it simple and you will be well away!
Things You Need To Know!
When it comes to contouring there are certain factors you need to know, rules if you like..
1. The purpose of contouring…
So contouring is a technique in which you can sculpt out your features to give your face more definition. For example: the cheekbones, forehead, nose and jawline. Not all of these things need to be contoured however, contouring is to make certain areas look smaller or more pushed back. So you would contour your nose if you had a larger nose and you aren’t comfortable with it, or you would contour your jawline if it is not as prominent and you want that Angelina Jolie jawline!
2. Your contour shade needs to be matte…
Any shimmer in your contour colour will reflect the light and highlight those areas. It will completely defeat the object of contouring in the first place, so make sure you pick up a matte contour shade and you will be well away!
3. Match your undertone…
Just like foundation, when you buy it you need to match your undertone. If you are pale with a pink undertone then you would need a powder/cream contour shade with that same contour undertone so that it doesn’t look too orange on your skin. A lot of products now have a grey/cool undertone to them, which is great as it will work with most skin colours, and they give the perfect ‘shadow’ effect.
4. Picking your shade…
Picking the shade is probably the most overwhelming thing. I wasn’t sure how dark I should go and that is a problem with many new makeup users. Lots of photo’s that demonstrate contouring show really dark colours that are about ten shades darker than their skin type. This is not the case however. You should go for maybe 3/4 shades darker than your skin type and you will be fine!
Bargain Products For Beginners That Won’t Break The Bank!
So I have picked out a few starter products for any beginners that need help with contouring. These are all bargain buys or ‘drugstore’ products and each one costs no more than £10. These products are also all powders, cream contouring is a little bit harder in my opinion, and I don’t think you can go wrong with powders!
Sleek Makeup Contour Kit
This is one of my personal favourites, but I use it more as a bronzer than a contour colour simply for the warm undertone. It is a great little palette however for someone who has a warm undertone and the highlight in this palette is to die for! It comes in three shades: Light, Medium and Dark.
Mabelline Face Master Sculpt
This is another great little palette as it comes with a highlight shade as well as a lovely cool contouring colour. Not to mention it says what colour does what, can it get simpler? I think not! This product comes in two shades: Light/Medium and Medium/Dark.
Revolution Ultra Bronze
This is such a great little bargain, for a lovely big bronzer! It is not as much of a warm undertone bronzer so this works for me as a contour colour, maybe it will for you too! For £3 this is definitely one of my most bargain buys.
Revolution Mono Eye Shadows – Mocha Love
Yes my friends, you heard me right! An eye shadow? Well individual eyeshadows are great as you can pick what ever colour you like! I picked up this ashy matte brown colour from revolution a few weeks ago and honestly this is my most used product for contouring. The great things about these are that they come in good sized pans! You can easily fit your brush into the product and as it is an eye shadow it blends like a dream. The best bit? These Mono Eye Shadows cost me £1!! One single pound for a great contour colour, if that’s not a bargain I don’t know what is!
Gosh Natural Blush – Rose Whisper
A blush, really? I know! Believe it or not when I was shopping a couple of months ago I was on the hunt for a more pink undertoned contour colour. This product caught my eye as next to the other blushes in the Gosh Natural Blush Collection, this one looked very taupe.. It’s all about trial and error people! So I picked one up and I was quite surprised. In all fairness yes it was a little bit too pink undertoned for me, yet it still gave me a really soft contour! I do actually use this quite a bit, when I want a quick soft contour/blush when I’m on the move!
Have The Right Tools For The Job!
In my opinion there are three fool-proof brushes to create your perfect contour. A large fan brush, A flat top buffer brush and an Angled contour/face brush.
MUA Flat Top Buffer Brush – £5. This little beauty is perfect for a more defined contour and a more dramatic one. It is very dense, so be careful not to apply to much product.
Eco Tools Fan Brush – £7. When I started makeup, a fan brush was all I used to use. My fan brush came in a set that my dad bought me, so I don’t actually know the make or price but Eco Tools do a great one. It blends beautifully, and it isn’t too dense so you get a lovely soft contour.
Urban Beauty United (UBU) Angled Blush Brush – £5. I got this brush from Tesco whilst I was browsing, and I bought it specifically for contouring. I love this brush! It is very dense so you have to be careful and apply small amounts and build it up but it is a great little fluffy brush, and the angle really helps give a more defined contour!
Get Your Killer Contour On…
Once you have everything you need, the rest is pretty simple. I usually do a really soft contour so I apologize that the camera didn’t pick up on it so well! So the main places to contour are:
- The hollows of the cheekbones – the best rule for this I have found is to blend your product from the top of your ear to the corner of your mouth, yet stopping as you hit the outer corner of your eye. If you want that killer contour, then you can take it down further to get super sculpted cheeks. Another tip is to ALWAYS blend up! Blending your product down will make everything look droopy and sad-like. Blending up will lift your face! :)
- The forehead – this is super simple. If you have a smaller forehead then you probably won’t need to contour it! If you have a larger forehead then I would contour the temples and the top of the forehead to make everything look shorter.. or smaller.
- The jawline – all you need to do is take a little bit of product and run it just underneath your jaw.. this will give the effect that everything is pushed back so that your jaw is more prominent.
- The nose – I personally hate contouring my nose. It just doesn’t do anything for me except look heavy! If you do want to contour your nose however, you just need to run some product down either side of the bridge, joining it to your brows and connecting it at the tip. Make sure you blend!!!
- The bottom lip – This one is a little trick that you by no means have to do! I just love doing it. If you get a little brush and some of your preferred product and run it under your bottom lip, it creates a shadow making your bottom lip look fuller. Pair that with a lovely highlight to the cupids bow and you have a lovely full set of lips!
These are the basics of contouring, I have added this photo from Google to show you contouring for your specific face shape, I hope it helps!!
& There we have it folks! Such a simple little guide to contouring! I hope you enjoyed, please let me know your favourite products as I am always looking for new things to try out!
Until Next Time..