5 Industry Insides on How to Contour, Now

Wednesday, October 19, 2016



Although contouring has been part of most women's (and some men's) beauty routines for ages, it has only become a buzzing make-up trend a few years ago, following the rising and ever-growing popularity of the Kardashian-Jenner clan, and fellow celebrity contouring aficionados, everyday glam. Even for those of us who thought we'd never adhere to this idea of enhancing facial beauty features with the use of cosmetics; we've been doing it this whole time without realizing it when applying bronzer or blush the way our mums taught us.

With time, contouring has been through good and (utterly!) bad phases, from Kylie Jenner's flawless red carpet glam to Lil Kim's tragic makeup moments. We've seen the island-inspired contour look, channeling a dreamy, sun-kissed, golden glow, the angel-esque take on contouring that is now, strobing, and even the clown contouring which consists in applying highlight, shadow and blush before blending it all together for a full face with light, shade and flush at all the right places.

But lately, there's been a shift in the way make-up artists and beauty experts have been executing contouring and today, we're breaking down this new technique in five easy-to-remember rules, as seen in many presentations during the New York, London, Milan and Paris Spring 2017 runways earlier this month…



If we were to replicate exactly what has been seen on the runways these past few weeks, we'd definitely take the ''lesser'' approach when it comes to contouring. It is important to remember that the  easiest and (always!) most flattering way to sculpt and shape your face is by adding light. Therefore, a touch of highlighter on the high points of your forehead, cheekbones, nose bridge and chin will lend the proper level of definition for your face without needing to add on shade.


PRO TIP: You can easily locate the high points of your face by highlighting the exact spots hit by a natural light.


The perfect contour look is always the most discreet and should be your own little secret! Cream formulas, sheer finishes and shades matching your own natural skin tone are key in creating a natural look. Another great way to ensure your face looks seamlessly sculpted is to do your contouring prior to apply your (very sheer) foundation or tinted moisturizer so it serves as a barely-visible base.

PRO TIP: Applying an iridescent highlighting cream with a blending tool on the high points of your face before putting on your foundation is the best way to achieve flawless, natural highlights and to make it last all day (or night!).


A unified look appears more natural to the eye as opposed to contouring using different shades. My  usual evening beauty looks often tend to be more dramatic, featuring hollowed cheeks and a narrow nose bridge achieved with a bronzing powder, and a dark smokey eye with massive winged liner. However, for my go-to everyday beauty look, I want to go for something way more natural looking; using my bronzer and my highlighting powder to contour both my cheekbones and my eyes definitely gives me a more subtle look.

You can also read about my 5-steps beauty routine to be ready in no time.

PRO TIP: To contour your eyes, use a bronzing powder as a base for your upper lids and a highlighter right at the center of your lids, on the inner corners of your eyes and along your bottom lash lines, all areas the sun hits naturally.


Another good thing to remember when it comes to contouring is that this technique is all about defining and emphasizing your best features, along with creating a natural lifted look through careful product placement. You'll want to avoid any disparities between the cosmetics you are using and your natural skin tone, as well as any harsh lines or obvious shade shifts. Use your fingers or a sponge to prevent harsh lines, or choose a soft brush to disperse product evenly. It is also good to keep in mind that aggressively sharp and structured cheekbones can look a bit overly dramatic in the cold day light.

PRO TIP: Keep it simple, blend like there's no tomorrow, keep your formulas sheer and your application methods careful.


Contouring essentially is giving your skin this extra bronze glow but with an awareness of the planes of your face, and how to enhance your features properly. Not all faces are made the same so it is important to find the appropriate areas to add shade, light and colour to yours so your finished look appears natural and effortless.

PRO TIP: To figure out the exact spots you should be adding bronzer, highlighting powder and blush to, stand in front of a mirror, make-up free, and turn on a light, preferably placed on top of your head and a little forward. This will bring to light (pun intended!) all the areas of your face you should be going over.



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