BEAUTY 101 | Contouring the Face

Contouring with make-up is a fast and inexpensive way to skim pounds off the face. If applied correctly, contouring make-up can streamline the face, detract attention away from a ‘double’ chin and chisel the cheekbones. So for those of us who would rather not go under the knife in the name of beauty, here are some alternate (and less hazardous!) tricks to slim the face using make-up.

The basic formula is:


To achieve a contoured look, there are generally two face products required:
1. A product that is one to two shades lighter than the client’s skin tone (for highlighting and bringing areas of the face forward)
2. A product that is one to two shade darker than the client’s skin tone (for lowlighting and making areas of the face appear deeper).

The manner in which you contour can depend on the products you use, but the pattern of application is generally the same:

i. Place/blend the lighter shade on the area of our face that you want to bring forward. Areas to highlight include:
• under the eyebrow and above the eyebrow just atop the browbone
• the skinny of the nose
• under the eyes
• atop the cheekbone

ii. Place/blend the darker shade on the area of the face that you want to ‘deepen’. These areas include:
• below browbone
• sides of the nose (instant rhinoplasty!)
• under the cheekbone
• under the jawline (slim the face)
• sides of the forehead (streamline the face)

Traditionally, make-up artists use two shades of cream foundation to contour the face. These two shades are in addition to the matching skin tone colour foundation that is used as a base and to blend everything on the client. But for the everyday woman, applying three different shades of foundation in one sitting is likely impractical. A better way for everyday contouring is to use a contouring powder and a highlighting powder. Applied in the same method, bronzing powder can be used to exaggerate the hollows of the cheeks, contour the top sides of the face, under the chin, and along the jawline for a defined look.

TIP: Avoid buying bronzing powders that have sparkle/glitter in them when looking for a contouring powder. If it does have sparkle, concentrate the application only on areas where the sun would hit to avoid glitter overkill. i.e. cheekbones, sides of the forehead. If your contouring powder has sparkle and glitter, skip the highlighting powder.

Now, to highlight try either a shimmer powder or a highlighting cream. Apply with a light touch under the eyebrow and then above the eyebrow atop the browbone, along the top of the cheekbone, and blend a dot on the inner corner of the eyelid. Remember the placement of the shimmer should be strategic – otherwise you can go from shimmer goddess to shiny mess!

If you’re anything like me, a page full of text just doesn’t cut it – give me pictures, videos, the works! So with that in mind, I did some extensive googling to find tips about contouring the face. Check out the links below for more details, pictures and even online video demos!

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