Contouring for Dummies (like me)

Contouring is all over the shop. I’m totally obsessed with Instagram videos of women making themselves look like different (more beautiful?) people by drawing brown lines all over themselves. You can get amazing results. But how can average Jos like me use this technique. I don’t have hours of time to devote to blending.

There’s different techniques you can employ-

  • Use different shades of foundation in different areas of your face
  • Use cream contouring products (you can get contouring palettes, check out Makeup Revolution) on top of or underneath foundation
  • Use bronzer and highlighter powders in different areas after completing the rest of the makeup
  • There’s something called “clown contouring” whereby you contour and colour correct in the same stage before foundation- idiots-guide-to-contouring-for-dummies-techiques-photos it looks nuts and involves beaucoup blending but it sort of makes sense.

Essentially what you’re trying to do is create shadow and light with products to shape your face.

What do I need?

One powder or cream lighter than your skin tone and one darker. I would prefer a cream myself if you’re contouring before foundation, it’ll be easier to blend. The highlight can have a shimmer but the contour shade shouldn’t- you’re trying to create a natural looking shadow, shadows don’t shimmer. You’ll also need a brush or blending sponge, depending on your preference.

This is what I used to do my own contouring today-
idiots-guide-to-contouring-for-dummies-techiques-photos I used a concealer that I accidentally bought in a too dark shade and pink from my Makeup Revolution Colour Correction Palette and a flat top blending brush.

Where do I put it?

idiots-guide-to-contouring-for-dummies-techiques-photos You don’t have to go the whole hog like our lady in the picture above, she has gone for full jawline, cheeks, nose and forehead.  This is how I do mine (when I can be bothered)- 

idiots-guide-to-contouring-for-dummies-techiques-photos On my unmade face I draw a Number 3, a bit on my temple, under my cheek bone and along my jawline. Then blob the light shade on the high points of my face-

idiots-guide-to-contouring-for-dummies-techiques-photosI put it on my forehead, under my brows, on my cheeks, the tip of my nose and chin. I let it bed in for a few mins. Then a blob of foundation on back of my hand. Using my blending brush apply the foundation. I use a stippling action so as not to spread my contour about too much.  Here I am post foundation-

idiots-guide-to-contouring-for-dummies-techiques And the rest of my makeup goes on top- blusher, eyes, lips and brows-

idiots-guide-to-contouring-for-dummies-techiques-photos I don’t think that contouring is great for the daytime. You are after all putting brown on your face (as a friend said to me “it makes me look like a dirty hobo”). In the cold light of day you look like you have a dirty face. Especially if you draw on your nose.

It’s a bit much, can I keep it subtle?

For the daytime it might be a better idea just to contour with a or bronzer. Choose one that’s not orange or shimmery eg Hoola by Benefit. After finishing the rest of your makeup draw that 3 shape on both sides with a fat powder brush and a bit of matte bronzer. You could just dab a bit of too dark cream concealer under your cheek bone and rub it in.

Then dab highlighter powder on the high points of your face- upper forehead, Cupid’s bow, tip of the nose, cheeks and inner corner of the eye (I’m having a moment…God, how I love highlighter!)

Good luck with your contour, it’s a tricky one to get right. It could well be worth the experimentation x

Cuddle Fairy

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Catherine says:

    Nice job. I especially like the fact you highlighted under the brow. I never thought of that. I also like creams as well. I wrote about this today too


  2. We use the Hoola Bronzer to contour. Love it! Great for daytime.

    XX, Britta & Carli from

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have a little tear drop shaped sponge which came in my Selfridges beauty calendar but I have not been brave enough to give it a go! I am not great with make up anyway so I do think I will leave it to the experts but thank you for the help, and for joining us at #BloggerClubUK hope to see you again this week x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. reimerandruby says:

    Wow! contouring really make a big difference. I’m not really good with make-up and every so often I watch youtube to get some ideas. Thanks for sharing! #bloggerclubuk


    1. I love Instagram for short makeup tutorials, I could watch them for hours. Thanks for the comment 👍


  5. Wow you look great, it’s good to see contouring done in a way that doesn’t look totally OTT. I don’t really wear make up but I find it fascinating! #BloggerClubUK

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m rubbish at makeup and pretty clueless, so thought I could learn something from this post. Not sure if I’m brave enough to try it out though. I’d go for a very subtle version, I guess! #BloggerClubUK


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