If you’re going to do it at all, make sure you do it right. As much as I love Pinterest, there are some pins out there that try to teach contouring. There are some issues, though – there is no one style that works for everyone, since we all have different and unique faces and shapes. Some of us need special attention in one area. Some of us aren’t sure about choosing shades – everything looks different in a picture.

So this little learning session is on very basic (and probably all you will ever really need unless you become a Real Housewife) and easy contouring.

How to Contour your Face

A few things before we begin:

  • use a light touch, because some shades will trick you – they look great in the picture or on the makeup counter, but when you get it on your face you have a streaky mess of some color you don’t even understand.
  • choose shades close to your existing skin tone while you’re still learning. One shade lighter for the highlighting, and one shade darker for the contouring, then you can raise that intensity as you get better at it.
  • creamy products generally work better on normal to dry skin. Oily skins thrive with powder formulas.
  • some people prefer to contour after their foundation has been applied; others do it before. There isn’t any right way, it’s just a combination of your products, shades, foundation, etc, etc – just figure out what works for you
  • use a mirror with excellent light, because if you can’t see exactly where you are working, it’s just not going to come together in the end.

So here we go:

  1. Starting directly under the apple of your cheek, brush a medium brush loaded with bronzer up toward your temples and around the eyebrow, to the left for right side of your forehead.
  2. Reload bronzer brush if necessary, then starting at one temple, fill in your hairline with the bronzer. Blend this in really well, for obvious reasons.
  3. Reload with bronzer again, if necessary, but be gentle. Blend in lightly along the jaw bone, then go back and blend it over again. A dark brown line on your jaw is one of the most obvious, painful mistakes you can make. Use a light touch, and blend.
  4. Making a judgement call on whether or not you need more bronzer, light blend in four vertical lines, centered from the middle of your throat.
  5. Using a concealer one shade lighter than you r skin tone, begin at the outer corner of the bottom of your eye, and draw a downwards triangle, bringing the other side up to the inside of the eye. Take the triangle downwards and make a point right on the cheekbone. Fill this in. This is called the “Triangle of Light,” and Hollywood makeup artists have been using this for ages.
  6. Begin at the very tip of the nose with your highlighting shade, and create a funnel. Tube of the funnel moves up the bridge of the nose and widens out between the brows. I like to use makeup sponges on creamy or liquid highlighers, so I kind of buff them in.
  7. Underneath the nose, all the way down to the cupid’s bow of the lips (the “v” in the center of your upper lip”, fill in the “v” with your light shade. Blend it in, because it can be obvious.
  8. With just a touch more of your highlighting shade, add just a touch to the small indentation where your chin meets your lips. Right above your chin. Dab some in and blend it really well.
  9. Go back over your work and begin to blend. It’s at this point that I use a dampeed makeup sponge and go over everyrthing completely. I’ll add in product where I need it, blending out what doesn’t belong.
  10. Step back from the mirror, or, even better, find some different light and check your work to make sure there are no lines of demarkification and everything is smooth and natural looking.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."