Want a thinner-looking face? How about more prominent-looking cheekbones? Or a smaller-looking nose? What about bigger-looking lips? You can have it all with the help of a little contouring. A good contour can mimic the look of shadows and can make just about any part of your face seem slimmer. Understanding how, where, and with what to sculpt your face can be overwhelming—but these eight easy hacks make it a no-brainer. Whether you want to achieve natural shading or look super-glam, keep reading for the tricks to get you there.
Contouring Hack #1: Choose a Matte Shade
One of the most common contouring mistake you can make is to use a product intended for bronzing. While some shades may be able to work double-duty, many bronzers contain shimmer and are meant to create a tanned or sun-kissed look. These shades serve a different purpose than those created for contouring. So, make sure to choose a contouring product without shimmer—this will help you care shadows rather than a bronzed glow. Try the L'Oréal Paris Infallible Total Cover Concealing and Contour Kit, which comes with four flesh-toned shades of concealer that can be used to highlight and contour.
Contouring Hack #2: Only Use Cool-Toned Colors
In a similar vein as opting for a matte shade, using a cool toned product with a slightly gray undertone (think about what color shadows really are) can help to create natural-looking contours.
Contouring Hack #3: Apply Products with a Makeup Sponge
When it comes to applying your contour, use a sponge instead of a brush. Yep, your tools are just as important as the products you use—and a sponge can more easily help you create the subtle definition you want. Opt for one with points and angles, like the L'Oréal Paris Infallible Blend Artist Contour Blender, to really help with getting that sculpted look.
Contouring Hack #4: Sculpt Your Face with Concealer
No contour products on hand? No problem! Just use a creamy concealer stick, like the L'Oréal Paris True Match™ Super-Blendable Crayon Concealer to help add definition to your face in a pinch. Using a concealer stick that’s two to three shades darker than your skin tone, draw quick lines along cheekbones, down the sides of your nose, and on your temples before blending. Pat in with your fingers to make this a single product, no tools trick.
Contouring Hack #5: Add Highlighter to the Mix
While contouring creates shadows, highlighting imitates the look of light hitting the skin. And in order to balance your face, you need both shadow and light. After using a darker shade to add depth, sweep a lighter color above for added dimension and balance. Simplify your makeup routine by using one palette with both a light and a dark shade, such as the L'Oréal Paris Infallible Pro Contour Palette!
Contouring Hack #6: Create the Illusion of Fuller Lips
The lips are one oft-forgotten spot that can benefit from a bit of contouring. For those looking to plump up the look of their pouts with makeup, the simplest trick is to contour under your bottom lip. Use a small amount of contour powder or cream at the top of your chin to copy the shadow a fuller lip would create. To give the same treatment to your top lip, grab your highlighting powder and place it on your cupid’s bow (the dip above the center of your lips).
Contouring Hack #7: Utilize Sticky Notes
For a dramatic night look, try a more defined cheek contour. Easily get the angled cheekbones of your dreams with the help of your favorite office supply—the sticky note. Place the note (sticky side down) with one corner starting at the top of your ear and the other going down your cheek. Brush color along your cheek, blending into the top of the paper before removing to reveal a distinct line. Pretty neat, right?
Contouring Hack #8: Finish with Translucent Powder
Soften super-heavy shading with a touch of translucent powder, like the L'Oréal Paris Translucide Naturally Loose Powder. Take a fluffy brush dipped in powder and blend over the edges of your contouring to smooth harsh lines and offer a more natural look.