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Your Step-by-Step Contour Tutorial

Face Makeup

There’s no reason to be wary of the hype surrounding contouring. This makeup technique is just about as close to magic as you can get—and it doesn’t hurt that you can master a good contour in minutes. Seriously, you’re only seven steps away from a showing off a face that looks sculpted. Watch the video above, then read our step-by-step contour tutorial to master this makeup technique.

Contouring Step #1: Start with a Base of Foundation
Like most makeup looks, you start work your way from the base up when you contour. That means you’ll want to begin with an even layer of foundation, like the L’Oréal Paris True Match™ Super Blendable Makeup. Dot foundation that matches your skin tone onto your cheeks, nose, chin, and forehead, then using your fingers or a makeup blender to blend out towards your hairline and down.

Contouring Step #2: Choose a Light Concealer
You can’t contour without highlighting first. To look natural, your face needs spots of both shadow and light—i.e. contour and highlight. Instead of reaching for what may seem obvious (a liquid highlighter or an illuminating powder), select a concealer that’s two shades lighter than your skin tone from the L’Oréal Paris True Match™ Concealer line. Free of shimmer, the concealer will allow for more subtle brightening.

Contouring Step #3: Identify Highlight Zones
If you aren’t taking advantage of all the areas that are suitable for highlighting, it’s time to rethink your contour and highlight routine. After all, highlighting isn’t all about your cheekbones or the inner corners of your eyes. You can easily identify highlighting zones by considering where light naturally hits your face, including under your eyes, down the bridge of your nose, between your brows, on the tip of your chin, and on the corners of your nose. Use small strokes to apply concealer to each of these spots, then it’s on to the next step.

Contouring Step #4: Blend with a Makeup Sponge
Now, obviously, you can’t leave streaks of concealer all over your skin. You’ve gotta blend, blend, blend. With a makeup sponge, bounce and blend out any lines.

Contouring Step #5: Choose a Contour Color
When it comes to contouring, half the battle is choosing the right color. After that, it all gets easier. An all too common mistake is picking up a product that’s way too dark for your skin tone. The truth is, you don’t have to go that much darker than your skin tone. A concealer that’s just two shades darker than your skin tone should be perfect for adding depth and dimension to your face, without giving off a muddy or orange effect. Look for another concealer from the L’Oréal Paris True Match™ Concealer collection to complete this step.

Contouring Step #6: Identify Key Contour Spots
Are you sure you’re aware of everywhere you can contour? You wouldn’t want to miss any of the key spots. Just in case, let’s review. Be sure to place your contouring concealer along your hairline, in the hollows of your cheeks (hello cheekbones!), and down the sides of your nose. Of course, you can also consider tweaking exactly how you contour depending on the shape of your face. If that sounds a tad too complicated, we already dished all the details in our article, The Right Way to Contour for Every Face Shape.

Contouring Step #7: Blend with a Makeup Sponge
You’re almost finished—you just have to blend again. Use the same makeup sponge from earlier to blend out harsh lines and edges for a seamlessly shaded effect. And there you go, you’ve completely contoured your face in seven steps. Bonus tip: To give your contoured look a longer life, a few spritzes of setting spray is all you need.

The next makeup lesson we have on deck? How to Strobe for Every Skin Tone.