Contouring is a makeup technique makeup artists have been using for decades. Over the past few years, it has become a trend for the nonprofessional population, too. As with all trends, it’s gone through several iterations, ebbing and flowing all the way until the inevitable backlash. (Didn’t you hear? Kim Kardashian officially announced contouring is dead.) The anti-contouring movement is an understandable response to clown contouring and extreme versions of the technique that seem to have taken over the internet, but you don’t have to abandon the face-sculpting technique altogether. Instead, bring it back to basics, back to what contouring was meant to be—a way to subtly define and enhance your features. The key is finding your natural contour line.
Click play on the video above, and see the instructions below to find out how it’s done!
- Grab two cotton buds and a matte foundation or concealer that’s one or two shades darker than your skin.
- Line up one of the cotton buds with the centre of your ear, and angle it down so that the line would connect to the outer corner of your lips. That’s your contour line.
- Dip the other cotton bud into the matte foundation. Dot it along the line, stopping where the cotton swab ends. A dotted line blends out more seamlessly than a thick, solid stripe.
- Take a dampened Beautyblender (the Micro Minis, £14, are the perfect size for this) with a small amount of foundation on it or your finger, and softly blend out the dotted line. Continue to carry the colour up along your temples and down along your jawline.
- You can stop there, or, using a clean sponge, blend a radiant foundation with sheer to medium coverage that’s one shade lighter than skin tone under your eyes, down your nose, and in the center of your forehead and chin. (We’re using Laura Mercier's Illuminating Tinted Moisturiser, £34.)
Et voilà: contour so natural that no will suspect any sort of tutorial was involved.
Want to know more about contouring? From 1500 to 2015: The fascinating history of contouring.
Credits: Model: Bruno Bueno, Hair: Caeleb Michael, Makeup: Sophie Haig, Videographer: Mitch Lemos, Producer: CMG Studios.