Saturday, September 13, 2014

Contouring Done Easy

The last time I did a poll on what my followers wanted to know about, contouring was the number one request.  Truth be told, this was one of the first things I researched when I got into makeup.   Makeup should be fun and if you know what you are doing, can transform you!  When you put foundation on, yes you are evening your skin and masking imperfections, but you are also making your face one dimensional.

There are SO many how-to's and tutorials online.  So many that it can be overwhelming.  Plus, some are quite hard to follow and offer too much information (yes, there is such a thing).

So here are my tips and techniques.  First, do you know what your face shape is? Pull your hair back in a ponytail and look in the mirror and use the below as a guide.

This can help you determine how to enhance your best features and essentially hide, the ones you are not so fond of.  For me, I wish my cheekbones were more pronounced and my nose was more defined.  This is where contouring comes in hand.

Now let's get to supplies.  I did go ahead and order IT Cosmetics Contour palette so that I could do the leg work for you and show you the difference in using what you have and using a palette geared for contouring.  I was not too pleased with the kit.

It comes with six shades (two are highlights) that are supposed to be flattering to everyone.

I tried them all and only the darkest one really showed up on me.  With the highlighters, one is shimmer and one is matte.  The matte one did not show up on me at all and I am medium toned.  While the shimmer one is beautiful, it is so hard to blend and make look natural, it really is more a pain to use then anything.  I love the IT brand but this kit really wasn't worth the hefty price tag.  If it came with a brush, we might be able to make it work.  So overall, the best part was the contour pull out guide.  This is very helpful if you are a beginner to contouring.

Highlight-You want a shade that is one to two shades darker than your foundation.  This is used for areas on your face that the sun would hit naturally and helps create brightness and illuminate those areas.

Here is what I have at home.

Benefit's High Beam
Benefit's Girl Meets Pearl
Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat (used in pictures)
Laura Mercier Highlighter (used in pictures)

Contour-You want a shade that is one to two shades darker than your foundation.  This is used for areas that you want to create shadows and dimension on and essentially soften these features.  I recommend matte products.  They can be powder or cream, that is your preference.

The KEY to contouring is BLENDING.  NOTHING is worse than "makeup mask".  Ya know, when your face is a different color than your neck?  And if you find yourself questioning at all if it is noticeable, IT IS!  Friends don't let friends be clowns.

Here is what I have at home.

Benefit's Hoola Bronzer (used in pictures)
Jouer Moisturizing Tint in Dark Bronze
e.l.f.'s Contour Palette
CoverGirl Bronzer

Blush-Blush is used to simulate the natural glow of your face by adding a flushed, just pinched look. Don't get crazy or it will look like you are sun burned.

Here is what I have at home.

Benefit's Rose colored tint-Benetint
CoverGirl's Cheekers in Coral (used in pictures)
e.l.f.'s Contour Palette
La Bella Donna Highlighting Cream

Brushes-I use a beauty blender for my foundation and blending anywhere else that needs it after I have used my brushes.  I use a fan brush for highlighting powders and an angled brush for blush.  I use a flat rectangular brush for my contour and then a small stippling brush for blending.

Remember the C's and E's for your face.

This means when you contour you want to create an "E" shape on the sides of your face, starting at your hair line.  Then to the cheekbones and then to the jawline.

For highlighting, you want to create a "C" shape, starting under your "E" near your hairline and then circling your eyes to above the "E" on your cheekbones to your nose.

I also highlight between my eyebrows, down my nose, my cupids bow and the center of my chin. Remember, this is where the sun kisses you.

Here is the contour guide again so ya don't have to scroll up :)

So here is my face before anything.  Clearly, we have all gotten quite close here ;)

Here is after foundation and where I highlight.

Here is where I contour and my blush goes on directly above my contour but not quite all the way to the apples of my cheeks.

Again, blending is key.  You never want to see the harsh lines of any products.  Experiment with both powders and creams until you know what works best for you.

I hope this was helpful! Let me know if you have any questions that I can help with.

Are you already a contouring pro? Let me know what your go to products are and what tips you have in the comments below!

Have a great day!


  1. I also love sweeping some highlighter just above Cupid's bow and along the brow bone as well as the inner part of my lids. Brightens up the whole face

    1. I just started doing the inner corners of my eyes and it sure helps with not getting any sleep thanks to my puppy!! lol


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