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Despite what you may have heard, contouring and highlighting doesn’t necessarily require purchasing a bunch of fancy makeup. While adding a couple of highlighters or a designated contour kit to your collection certainly won’t hurt, they aren’t your only resources for sculpting your face. You can define your facial features with the help of just one product—concealer. And if you’re a newbie to contouring and highlighting, you just might find that working with a product you’re used to, like concealer, is exactly what you need to get comfortable with the new techniques. Read on to find out how to contour and highlight with concealer—effectively giving this face makeup-favorite a new purpose.
If you’re even vaguely familiar with highlighting and contouring, you already know that this face-defining technique will necessitate more than one concealer. You’ll need a lighter shade to highlight and a darker shade to contour. (Check out the L’Oréal Paris True Match™ Super-Blendable Multi-Use Concealer, which comes in 14 shades.) When choosing your concealers, look for one that’s 2-3 shades lighter than your skin tone, and another that’s 2-3 shades darker than your skin tone. Opting for shades far outside those ranges is likely to lead to a look that’s far from natural—which, if it must be said, isn’t what you want.
Typically, when you’ve chosen to contour and highlight your face, it’s safe to say it won’t be a no makeup, makeup kind of day. Rather, you’ll be wearing a full face of products. So, before you go to start using those concealers, apply your foundation. It’s the perfect way to get started, since you’ll have a nice, even base for the products to come. Apply the L’Oréal Paris True Match™ Super Blendable Makeup with the L’Oréal Paris Blend Artist Infallible Foundation Blender, then you’re free to move on to contouring.
Remember the darker shade you picked out a bit ago? Now’s the time to reach for it. Apply the concealer (the one we recommended comes with a handy sponge-tip applicator) to key spots where your face naturally has shadows. Those include beneath your cheekbones, around your temples, down the sides of your nose, along your jawline, and beneath your bottom lip. When you’ve finished, there should be stripes—or dots, if you prefer—of concealer strategically placed around your face. Of course, you won’t be leaving your face in such a state. Grab a makeup blender and buff out any harsh lines. Blending is essential for achieving subtle, natural-looking “shadows.”
You can probably guess the gist of what you need to do next. Pick up the remaining concealer, the lighter one, because you’re going to use it to brighten your face. Instead of placing the product in spots where there are shadows, you’ll want to use it on areas that naturally catch the light. Draw upside-down triangles under your eyes, place lines above your cheekbone and down the bridge of your nose, then hit the rest of your face’s high points: the center of your forehead, your chin, your cupid’s bow, and beneath the arches of your eyebrows. Once again, blend out with a makeup blender—but make sure your makeup blender isn’t still covered in the darker concealer. That’s just asking for a mess!
You did it! You successfully contoured and highlighted with concealer. All that’s left is locking your makeup in place. After all that hard work, you wouldn’t want it to disappear as you go about your day. And of course, setting your makeup is especially important when you’re working with creamy products—like concealer. So, go ahead and give your face a few spritzes of the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Spray & Set Makeup Extender Setting Spray before applying your eye makeup or settling on a lip color.
Wondering about the other ways you aren’t thinking to use concealer? Check out our 8 Concealer Hacks to Add to Your Makeup Routine.