Style & Beauty
Contouring for Beginners
6/5/2015 12:04:28 PM


If you associate cosmetic contouring with Kim Kardashian’s caked on make-up, you probably think shading is something best left for the red carpet. But contouring doesn’t have to look fake. Real women can absolutely hop on the contouring bandwagon to bring out their best features.

Alejandro Falcon, artistic director for Osmosis Colour Cosmetics, defines contouring as "shaping an area of the face to disguise features that we would like to hide and complimenting those we want to focus more attention on by using makeup.” When he puts it that way, contouring is basically what we already do with makeup with just a bit more focus.

In truth, contouring is simply uses deep browns to deepen areas like cheekbones or the lines of the nose to make cheekbones seem higher or noses seem slimmer then highlighting places cheeks, chin, and forehead to make faces seem younger and brighter.

Sound good? Here’s what you need to get started, according to Dana Hamel, an award winning makeup artist who’s worked on Hollywood films like Oscar-winner The Hurt Locker.

Contouring Powder

You need to pick a dark shade two shades darker than your skin at it’s tannest, and a light shade two shades lighter than you are at your palest. Hamel recommends powder for beginners because liquids can be hard to blend.

Small Angled Brush

An angled brush can fit right into the hollows of cheeks or around the jawline to really chisel out your best features.

Foundation Brush

You’ll need this for blending your contouring powder into your regular makeup.

Now let’s get started.

According to Hamel, "the goal here is to create a natural looking shadow.” Apply your regular foundation and then pick the parts of your face that would naturally fall into shadow: beneath your cheeks, your jawline, and the sides of your nose. Accentuate those places with lines of shadowing powder. Don’t worry if it looks harsh. You’re going to blend it!

Next, apply your light powder to the places the sun normally hits: the tops of your cheeks, your chin, the center or your forehead and down the bridge of your nose. Again, don’t worry if those lines look strange.

Now blend! Take your foundation brush and blend all the edges of the lines you’ve just made until you look well-defined but not crazy.

Apply your blush and eye makeup like normal then finish with a light dusting of setting powder like Makeup Forever’s HD Microfinish Powder, and you’re all set! Accept all the compliments, but never let them know you’ve done anything new.


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