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Oh, contouring—while we love the way our face looks with definition (chiseled cheekbones, FTW!), this can be one makeup technique that is difficult to truly master. Seriously, it can feel like unless you’re a pro makeup artist, there’s no way you’ll be able to get the hang of this whole contouring thing. But it doesn’t have to be that way, though. There are a few tips you can follow that can help make contouring easier. Learn how to avoid the most common contouring mistakes and you’ll be applying bronzer and highlighter for a gorgeous sculpted look with a lot less trepidation.
When it comes to contouring, you can sculpt your face with bronzer or concealer. Regardless of what type of makeup product you choose to contour with, you should really only go one or two shades darker than your skin tone—otherwise the end result won’t look natural. The L'Oréal Paris Infallible Total Cover Concealing & Contour Kit comes with four shades of concealer so you can use them individually or blend them together for a custom contour hue.
Highlighter is one of our favorite products to use when contouring—but it’s really easy to go overboard and veer into disco ball territory. Highlighter can help enhance your facial features, and all you need is a teeny-tiny amount to do that. Try the L'Oréal Paris True Macth™ Lumi Liquid Glow Illuminator, which comes in three shades (ice, golden, and rose)—and remember to use a light touch!
What do you get when you pair a powder highlighter with a cream contour product? That would be a super-cakey, unnatural look. Always pair like formulas together—cream with cream, liquid with liquid, or powder with powder—when you’re contouring so that you can easily blend your makeup together.
Be strategic with where you place your contour and highlight. Apply your darker shade along your hairline, down the sides of your nose, under your cheekbones, and along your jawline. As far as highlighter goes, apply that under your eyes, down the bridge of your nose, in between your brows, and down the center of your chin.
Depending on your face shape, where you focus your contour could change. If you have an angular face, soften the look of your jawline by applying your darker shade from your mid-ears towards your chin; if you have an oval face, shorten the look of your jawline by applying your darker shade to your chin and jawline; if you have a square face, soften the look of the sides of your face by contouring your forehead; and if you have a round face, add dimension by using your darker shade on the sides of your forehead and jawline.
Applying your contour with the right tool can make all the difference. So, instead of using your fingers to haphazardly apply your makeup, use a makeup sponge, like the L'Oréal Paris Infallible Blend Artist Contour Blender, instead. This makeup blender has pointed tips, which you should use to draw your contour and highlight lines and a flat side, which you should use to blend and diffuse. Apply a small amount of contour and highlighter onto the blender and draw your lines around your cheekbones, jawline, and nose with the pointed tip, the blend the lines in circular motions with the flat side.
This could very well be the biggest mistake people make when they’re contouring. Blending is super-important. When you’re drawing lines on your face with your contour and highlighter, you want to diffuse them so that no one can tell you’ve used a bunch of makeup products to help sculpt your face. Luckily, using a contour blender can certainly make blending easier.