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Contouring is still as trendy as ever—and that means there are endless tutorials out there sharing new skills and methods to achieve your best contour yet. While you can pick up a helpful technique here and there, it’s always best to contour your face based on your specific shape. That’s because what looks best on your favorite social media star or celebrity may not actually suit your face. The good news is, there is a contour technique that will work on every face shape. Here’s a breakdown of exactly how to contour each one.
Contouring can help temporarily transform the way you look. Is there something you want to change about your face? Pick out a contour color and you’re just moments away from looking like a whole new you! Until you take your makeup off at the end of the day, that is.
Before we dive in to how to contour for your individual face shape, let’s refresh ourselves on basics. Start by picking the product you want to be responsible for re-shaping the look of your face.
If you want to use a powder to contour…try the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro Contour Palette. Define, sculpt and enhance your facial features with this contour and highlight palette. Apply the powders over foundation or alone, then blend out with the included angular brush.
If you want to use a cream to contour…pick up the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Total Cover Concealing and Contour Kit. Use the four cream colors to contour or cover imperfections. Wear each shade individually or blend and customize like a pro.
As far as how to apply your contour, brushes, sponges—and even fingers—all work, but we happen to be partial to makeup blenders. If you’re using a liquid or cream formula, apply it with the L’Oréal Infallible Blend Artist Contour Blender. Use the pointed tips to draw contour and highlight lines, then use the flat side to blend and diffuse.
When your face practically resembles a perfect circle, the goal is to create a more angular shape. Contour the sides of your forehead, along your temples, below your cheekbones and on your jawline to help give your face a more defined shape. If you carefully blend out your contour, ensuring there are no visible lines, you’ll end up with soft, natural-looking shadows.
Oval face shapes tend to be the most balanced, which means you won’t be contouring to correct or balance any aspect of your general shape. Instead, you can focus on “fixing” any smaller details you aren’t fond of. For a smaller nose, for example, place your contour color down the sides and blend. If you’re seeking fuller-looking lips, add just a touch of contour to your chin below your bottom lip.
If you feel your face looks a little boxy, you’ll want to use your contour to soften around the edges. Contour along the perimeter of your face, being sure to blend out for a subtle fade that will make your features look less harsh.
Skip the contour powder and pick up a bronzer instead. Use the “3” method to add the look of depth to your face. With a large powder brush, draw the shape of a “3” or an “E” (depending on which side of your face you’re working on) that goes along your forehead, below your cheekbones, down to your jaw and chin. If the shape of your chin seems too sharp, snap your contour product back up and focus it on the bottom of your face to visually shorten its look and smooth the shape of your chin.
This gemstone-inspired shape features a pointed chin and a narrow hairline, which can make for a harsh look. Try contouring the sides and center of your forehead, along your hairline to make it appear longer. For your chin, contour just the very bottom to give it a lifted appearance.
We all want what we don’t have, so if you have a long face, you’re probably seeking a shorter shape. To easily create this illusion with a contour powder or cream, focus your product along your forehead and jawline. By adding shadows to the top and bottom of your face, those spots fall out of sight and your face seems shorter.
Look at that sculpted face! You’re practically a work of art. Now that you’ve mastered the art of contouring, check out our strobing tutorial—this is another makeup trend that can offer your face the look of definition.