An Easy 5 Step Guide To Contouring Like A Pro

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Contouring involves using a shade darker than your skin tone to sculpt areas and give the impression of definition. You can use it for just about anything to create cheekbones, collar bones – even to fake a fuller cleavage, but most people are intimidated by the ‘skill’ they think is involved and the shade! Contouring is actually really easy, it can work to give you a bronzed look and stop you looking washed out on a particularly dreary morning, and it doesn’t take too long either once you’ve mastered the technique.

Here’s our no-fuss guide on how to contour properly and look fabulous!

#1 Products

What products you use are entirely up to you, based on your preferences and what works for your skin. There are a variety of different contour products in powders, creams and sticks. The best way is to check reviews on YouTube and go with whatever product you think works well for you. Personally I alternate between a cheap cream contour from MUA and Benefit’s Hoola bronzing powder. In terms of application you’ll either need a contour and a blending brush or a beauty blender, the best place to look for inexpensive but good quality brushes is Boots or your favourite local drugstore!

#2 Shape

If you look on the internet there are an abundance of guides, each telling you a different shape to follow. Although it all depends on the shape of your face, there are some universal areas that you can contour. Suck your cheeks in and follow the line from the top of your ear to just before the corner of your mouth, either side of your chin and either side of your temple will also work well for any face shape. You can also contour your nose, using a very small brush and applying product in a straight line down either side, just make sure it’s blended well after application.

Diagram from Beauty101 Blog

#3 Application

Now you need to decide what technique you want to use to apply it. You can apply your foundation and add contour and highlight over the top of it, blending with a large brush, or you can do highlight and contour first and blend as you add your foundation. Part of finding out what you prefer is just trying things out. Here’s a video by Wayne Goss explaining how to contour and highlight with his technique:

#4 Keep it natural

Okay, so you want to look natural – many of the YouTube tutorials capitalise on that ‘makeup for photography’ look and can leave you looking dirty or orange in places in real life. That’s why Wayne Goss’s many tutorials on contouring are great – because he always strives to give the best techniques for real life wear! Most of the celebrities you see have piles of contour applied to their face which looks great under the harsh lights they’re stood under being photographed, but for us civilians keeping it simple is best. Invest in a beauty blender and dab at your contour lines (no matter how harsh you think they look) and just like magic it’ll all come together!

#5 Elsewhere

If you want to create collar bones or cleavage, a quick application of contour and highlighter blended well will do the trick. Often the skin on our face can be a different shade entirely from your neck or chest so be wary of making it look too orange or pinkish in those areas!



Photo from Fashionista

9 Most Popular Contour Products

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I hope you found these tips easy to follow! Let us know if you’ve been converted to contouring or if you have any other tricks and tips to simplify the application and make it less intimidating to beginners! X

Featured Photo: Ania Milczarczuk

  1. These are great tips! I’ve never heard of applying contour after foundation. But maybe I should try new techniques…


  2. I’ve never heard of applying contour/highlight before foundation either haha, interesting.

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