I can never leave the house without contouring; adding a subtle shadow to sculpt my face makes all the difference to any makeup look. I have noticed that some find the entire prospect of a ‘contour’ completely overwhelming, like what product is best? And what brush do I use? And where do I put it? Should I blend it? Etc.
My three tips I’ve learnt when contouring is suck in your cheeks, make sure you put the product in the right place! You should be able to see the natural shadow when you pout, making it a whole lot easier.
Second, blend, blend, and blend! Depending on the amount of definition you want, blending the bronzer or contour colour well will make such a difference, even if you want to build up the colour, blend after each application.
And third, less is often more. A contour job for everyday and for an occasion/evening is very different, however the majority of the time less is more. A cool toned blush will often look more natural and defined than the Collection 2000 orange bronzer you bought in year 9.
What do you mean when you say contouring?
I mean adding shadow to your face to define your features and give your face more structure. I apply product under my cheekbones, down the sides of my nose, my jawline and hairline. This makes my face look smaller and more angular.
What brush do I use?
I like to pick my tool to begin with, this varies daily for me and often I will reach for two or three to apply and blend. A duo fiber brush is great at not picking up too much product, a big fluffy brush like the Bold Metals powder brush is wonderful at blending and taking bronzer down the neck. A tapered blush brush is ideal for getting right in the hollows of your cheeks, basically doing the work for you.
Left to right: RT Brushes: Cheek Brush, Flat Contour, Large Blush, Tapered Blush, Duo Fiber, Large Powder.
What product should I use?
Again, I might use two or three of these to create the look I am after. Harmony Blush from Mac is a real staple in my kit; this cool toned blush is the perfect contour colour that adds just enough shadow.
Bobbi Brown Medium Brown Bronzer is just the right tone that keeps you glowing and not orange, plus it is matte. When contouring, matte products are often the way to go.
Hollow Cream Pigment by Illamasqua is one of my favourites. It is a very cold toned cream that is amazing at giving you Cara Delevingne cheekbones. This also blends like a dream. I find a synthetic brush or fingers are best to apply this.
Nars Laguna Bronzer is a more recent addition to my kit. Benoit used this on me a couple of times and I adored the finish. Laguna has no orange undertone and so gives a really natural shadow without looking false. I can see why this is so popular!
The Tom Ford bronzer is one of my favourites. This particular one has slight shimmer and so I don’t cheekbone contour with this. This is what I will use around the parameters of my face and down my neck, to create an even glow.
Tom Ford Stroked Palette, I adore this! This colour can be used as a blush or contour colour, amazingly pigmented and matches TF Negligee lipstick perfectly. This is warmer and less subtle however with a light hand can look wonderful on its own.
Should I contour with blusher?
I have found that adding blush into the contour can look really beautiful, I particularly like the Nars Almería blusher, and I find it looks beautiful with Laguna. Using any form of cool toned or bronze blush is absolutely fine, try out a few and see what works.
There are no rules, I found out the hard way and I’m sure I had orange stripes across my face for at least two years, but it really is about trial and error! These are my favourite contour products however I currently have about 6 more on my wish list!
I know everyone wants to create a Kardashian look with yellow concealer and a brown stick foundation however that isn’t always a realistic look for everyday plus that takes so long! These are the products I reach for daily for a quick and natural look.
What do you count on for your contour? I’d love to know!
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