beginner s guide to contouring

How To Contour For Beginners: Master The Art Of Contouring

Are you ready to unleash your inner makeup artist?

Get ready to master the art of contouring and achieve a flawless, sculpted look that will turn heads.

In this article, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of contouring, teaching you the techniques and tips needed to enhance your facial features like a pro.

From choosing the perfect contour shade to contouring according to your face shape, we've got you covered.

Get ready to rock your makeup and embrace your beauty with confidence.

Key Takeaways

  • Contouring is a makeup technique that creates depth and dimension on the face, enhancing facial features and hiding less favorable ones.
  • The difference between contour and bronzer is that contouring involves creating shadows on the face to shape and define features, while bronzing adds warmth and a sun-kissed glow.
  • Contouring is done after applying foundation to restore depth to the face, as foundation evens out the skin tone but removes natural shadows.
  • Beginners can start with powder contour, which is buildable and easier to blend, and should select a contour shade that is a few shades darker than their base foundation.

The History and Popularity of Contouring

Learn about the fascinating history and growing popularity of contouring.

Contouring, a makeup technique that creates depth and dimension on the face, has a deep-rooted history dating back to the 1500s when stage actors used chalk to enhance their expressions.

Today, contouring has become increasingly popular, thanks in large part to social media. Platforms like Instagram and YouTube have allowed beauty enthusiasts to showcase their skills and share contouring techniques with a wider audience.

The influence of social media has made contouring more accessible and has encouraged people to practice and experiment with different contouring techniques. It allows individuals to liberate themselves by expressing their creativity and enhancing their natural features through the art of contouring.

Understanding Contouring Techniques and Products

To truly master the art of contouring, you need to understand the different techniques and products available. Contouring tools and techniques play a crucial role in achieving a flawless contoured look. Some common tools include angled brushes, beauty sponges, and contouring palettes.

Angled brushes are perfect for precise and symmetrical contouring, while beauty sponges help blend cream or powder products seamlessly.

When it comes to contouring mistakes to avoid, one common error is using a contour shade that's too warm or cool. It's important to choose a contour shade that's a few shades darker than your base foundation and has neutral undertones. Testing shades on your jawline can help determine the most suitable contour shade for your skin tone.

Contouring Before or After Foundation: The Debate

When it comes to contouring, you may be wondering whether to apply it before or after foundation for the best results. The debate of contouring before or after foundation has been a topic of discussion among makeup enthusiasts.

Let's explore the pros and cons of each technique and how they can affect different face shapes.

Contouring before foundation allows you to create a more natural and blended look. By applying contour products first, you can sculpt and define your features without the risk of smudging or blending away the contours during foundation application. This technique works well for individuals with round or square face shapes, as it helps to create a more structured and defined appearance.

On the other hand, contouring after foundation provides a softer and more subtle effect. By applying foundation first, you create a smooth base for the contours to blend seamlessly into. This technique works well for individuals with heart-shaped or oval face shapes, as it helps to enhance and highlight the natural contours of the face.

Ultimately, the choice of whether to contour before or after foundation depends on personal preference and the desired makeup look. Experimenting with both techniques can help you determine which one works best for you. Remember to consider your face shape and the effect you want to achieve when deciding on your contouring technique.

Choosing Between Powder, Cream, or Liquid Contour

If you're unsure which type of contour to use, consider your skin type and desired finish when choosing between powder, cream, or liquid contour. Each type of contouring technique has its own pros and cons.

Powder contour is ideal for beginners as it's buildable and easier to blend. It works well for normal to oily skin types, providing a natural matte finish. An angled brush is recommended for precise and symmetrical contouring.

On the other hand, liquid contouring can provide a luminous and warm look when blended properly. Combining powder and liquid contours can result in longer-lasting effects. When deciding between the two, consider your skin type and the desired finish.

Don't forget to experiment and find the perfect contour shade that's a few shades darker than your base foundation. If you make any mistakes, don't worry! You can easily fix them by blending out any harsh lines with a beauty sponge or brush.

Finding the Perfect Contour Shade

For the perfect contour shade, you should aim for a shade that's a few shades darker than your base foundation and has neutral undertones. This will create a natural-looking shadow on your face without looking too harsh or artificial. Choosing a contour shade that's too warm or cool can result in an unnatural appearance.

To find the right shade, it's recommended to test shades on your jawline to see how they blend with your skin tone. It's also essential to consider your face shape when contouring. Different face shapes require different contouring techniques to enhance and define your features. By understanding your face shape and using the appropriate contouring techniques, you can achieve a sculpted and balanced look.

Additionally, there are some contouring mistakes to avoid, such as applying too much product, not blending properly, and using the wrong shade for your skin tone. By being mindful of these mistakes and following the right techniques, you can master the art of contouring.

Step-by-Step Contouring Routine

Start by creating a clean base with primer, foundation, and concealer. This step is essential to ensure a flawless and long-lasting contour. Here is a step-by-step contouring routine to help you achieve a natural and sculpted look:

  1. Apply primer: Primer helps to smooth out the skin and create a smooth canvas for your makeup application. It also helps to extend the wear of your foundation.
  2. Apply foundation: Choose a foundation that matches your skin tone and apply it evenly all over your face. This will even out your complexion and provide a base for the contouring process.
  3. Conceal: Use a concealer to hide any imperfections, such as dark circles or blemishes. Apply it under your eyes, around your nose, and on any areas that need extra coverage.
  4. Blend, blend, blend: To achieve a natural contour finish, it's crucial to blend your contour products well. Use a damp beauty sponge or a brush to blend the cream or powder products into your skin. Blend in a circular motion to seamlessly blend the colors and create a natural-looking contour.

Contouring According to Your Face Shape

To achieve the best contouring results, contour along the sides of your forehead, cheeks, and jawline, and highlight under the eyes in an inverted triangle shape.

When it comes to contouring according to your face shape, it's important to understand how to enhance your natural features.

For a round face, contouring along the sides of the forehead, cheeks, and jawline will help create a more defined look.

Square or rectangle faces can benefit from contouring the sides of the forehead, temples, and along the hairline.

Heart-shaped faces can contour along the hairline, cheeks, and below the chin.

Oblong or oval faces can focus on contouring the hollows of the cheeks and the sides of the forehead.

Diamond-shaped faces can contour from the temples to the hollows of the cheeks.

By contouring according to your face shape, you can achieve a more balanced and sculpted appearance.

Remember to use the right contouring tools and avoid common contouring mistakes for the best results.

Beginner Contouring Tips for Success

Use a high-quality contour brush for precise application and blending. Here are some beginner contouring tips for success:

  1. Choose the right contouring tools:

Investing in high-quality brushes and beauty sponges will make a significant difference in achieving a flawless contour. Look for brushes with dense bristles and a tapered shape for precise application.

  1. Start with a light hand:

It's crucial to start with a small amount of product and build up the intensity gradually. This approach ensures that you have more control over the contour and prevents any harsh lines or patches.

  1. Blend, blend, blend:

One of the most important steps in contouring is blending. Use circular motions to blend the product seamlessly into the skin, creating a natural and sculpted look. Pay attention to the edges to avoid any harsh lines.

  1. Avoid common contouring mistakes:

Some common mistakes to avoid include using the wrong shade, applying too much product, and not blending properly. Choose a contour shade that's a few shades darker than your foundation and remember that less is more when it comes to contouring.

Adding Blush and Setting for a Flawless Finish

Achieve a radiant and long-lasting makeup look by adding a touch of blush and setting your contour for a flawless finish. After contouring, it's important to apply blush to add a natural flush of color to your cheeks. To do this, choose a blush shade that complements your skin tone. Using a fluffy blush brush, lightly tap off any excess product and swirl the brush over the apples of your cheeks, blending it towards your temples. This will create a soft and natural look.

To ensure that your contour and blush stay in place all day, it's crucial to use a setting powder. Setting powder helps to lock in your makeup, prevent it from creasing or fading, and control shine. After applying your blush, gently dust a translucent setting powder over your entire face using a fluffy powder brush. This will set your contour and blush, giving you a flawless finish and ensuring that your makeup lasts throughout the day.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Some Common Mistakes to Avoid When Contouring for Beginners?

When contouring for beginners, it's important to avoid common mistakes. Blending too harshly, using the wrong shade, not blending the contour and highlight seamlessly, and applying too much product are all things to watch out for. Improve your technique by selecting the proper brush and using cream or liquid products for a more natural look.

Can Contouring Be Done With Just One Product or Do You Need a Whole Set of Different Shades?

Contouring can be done with just one product, but using a whole set of different shades gives you more versatility. It allows you to create different depths and dimensions, enhancing the natural contours of your face. Experiment with different shades and techniques to find what works best for you.

How Do You Contour a Nose to Make It Appear Smaller or More Defined?

To contour your nose for a smaller, more defined appearance, use contouring techniques for a slimmer face. Apply a shade slightly darker than your skin tone on the sides of your nose and blend it out for a sculpted look.

Are There Any Alternatives to Traditional Contouring Products for Those With Sensitive Skin?

If you have sensitive skin, there are alternatives to traditional contouring products. Consider using natural contouring techniques, like using a matte bronzer or a cool-toned blush to create shadows and enhance your features.

Can Contouring Be Done on Mature Skin or Is It More Suitable for Younger Individuals?

Contouring can definitely be done on mature skin! The best techniques for a natural-looking contour include using cream or liquid products, blending well, and choosing shades that are not too harsh. Practice and experimentation will help you achieve the desired results!


Mastering the art of contouring can transform your makeup game and enhance your natural beauty. By understanding the different techniques and products available, choosing the right shade for your skin tone, and contouring according to your face shape, you can achieve a flawless and sculpted look.

Whether you prefer powder, cream, or liquid contour, our step-by-step guide will help you achieve a seamless finish. So get ready to slay with your perfectly contoured face and leave everyone in awe of your makeup skills.

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