Contour Makeup Tutorial For Beginners: A Step By Step Guide

Contouring your face with makeup can transform your face drastically. Here is a step by step tutorial of contour makeup for beginners.

By Amanda Palmer
Contour Makeup Tutorial For Beginners: A Step By Step Guide

Contour Makeup Tutorial for Beginners

Contouring your face is an essential makeup technique which many of us take for granted. The result? We may buy the same costly cosmetics our favorite celebrities buy, but we don't even come close to looking like them. The reason: They contour their face with makeup so well that it not only hides all their facial flaws but also transforms the shape of their face! It sounds unbelievable right? C'mon, it is not rocket science guys!

Contouring your face with makeup is an art. There is no scope for mistakes while applying contour as you may end up looking very artificial. Perfect contouring gives the appearance of a perfectly sculpted face. Highlight and contouring are the biggest crazes amidst fashion fanatics today. It became more popular when celebrities like Kim Kardashian shared their beauty tips through social media. 

Contouring requires some skill and finesse and when done well, it can enhance a person's features. While navigating through the world of contouring, follow our step by step tutorial below:

1. Gather Your Tools

The first step before you start with our tutorial is to gather all the essential makeup products and brushes. 

You will need:

* Your current foundation and two more stick foundations: one of them should be two shades deeper than your facial color and the other one should be two shades lighter. One great example is Bobbi Brown because although it is quite dense, it can blend easily. Some foundations are too stiff and appear cakey. Make sure you select a good brand. 

* Concealer powder or foundation powder. This too you should have one in 1-2 shades lighter and another one in 1-2 shades darker than the skin tone. 

* A sponge or a blending brush.

* Illuminators or highlighters

* Setting spray and translucent powder

If you have all these above-mentioned items ready in your makeup kit, you can begin contouring your face with the below-mentioned step by step tutorial. 

2. Determine Your Face Shape

You can now begin applying foundation with fingertips or a brush in order to even out your skin. This step just helps you create a uniform base. 

Now take the darker foundation stick and trace your temples. You have to determine your face shape before you begin this step. If you have a bigger forehead, apply the foundation stick straight into the hairline to minimize it. 

You now need to enhance your cheekbones. Find your hollow part by placing your fingers on both the sides of the face. Where you feel your skin dip underneath the bones is your hollow part. Just above the hollow part is your cheekbone where you need to apply the color. 

While contouring your nose, go a little narrow at the tip if you have a blunt nose. If you have a shorter nose, contour it with a dark foundation stick right into the brow to add length or width accordingly. 

Before you begin applying the contour, you have to determine your face shape. For each shape, you need a different technique of applying highlights and contour. 

A round face has to be contoured in such a way that it creates an illusion of length to give it an oval shape. Celebrities like Selena Gomez who has a round face use contour to add an illusion of length to her face. She contours her face with makeup in such a way that her face does not appear very round. She also chooses a suitable hairstyle to complement her makeup. An oblong shaped face needs to be contoured in such a way that it creates an illusion of a short and oval face shape. A square shaped face has to be contoured in such a way that the sharp jaw lines do not look so prominent.

Contour Make Up for a Heart Shaped-Face: 

For a heart-shaped face, you need to contour along the sides of the forehead and temples in order to create a balance between the lower and upper half of the face. You also need to contour the area below the cheekbones right from the ears to the middle of the cheeks. Lastly, you need to contour the tip of the chin. 

Contour Makeup for a Round-Shaped Face:

You need to contour the sides of the forehead and also along the temples. Next, contour the area below the cheekbones from the ears to the middle of the cheeks and then bring it down to the jawline. 

Contour Makeup for a Square-Shaped Face:

You need to apply contour on the sides of the forehead and also on the area below the cheekbones right from the ears to the middle of the cheeks. Also, apply contour under the jawbone. 

Contour Makeup for a Rectangle-Shaped Face:

Contour makeup for a rectangle shaped face has to applied along the hairline and also on the sides of the forehead. You also need to contour the area directly below the cheekbones starting from the ears right to the middle of the cheeks. Lastly, contour your jawbone. 

3. Start With the Contour

Now that you have determined your face shape, you need to apply contour and blend it perfectly so that it merges seamlessly with your base foundation. You can use a damp beautyblender and gently tap or rub over the area where you have applied the foundation. 

The illustration shown below is Kim Kardashian's selfie showing how she has used a darker foundation on her hairline to create an illusion of a shorter forehead. You can use either cream based or powder based foundations. You can even use a combination of both. 

A lighter concealer of foundation has to be applied in the areas which you want to enhance or bring forward. These areas can be the bridge of your nose, under eye areas and the centre of the forehead. These are areas where one can expect maximum focus. 

Darker concealers should be applied in the areas where you want to add some depth. These areas can be the sides of the nose (if you have a flat nose), jawlines, temples, perimeter of the forehead and the hollows of the cheeks. 

Once you have created harsh lines with both the shades of contour, you need to blend them well. Your contour should look effortless and natural. After you have blended your contour well, you need to set your makeup with a translucent powder. This powder ensures that your makeup will not wipe off quickly. Use translucent setting powder only if you use a cream based foundation.

4. Highlighting Makeup

Once you have applied the darker foundation on the areas you want to add depth to, you begin highlighting the zones of your face which you need to enhance. Apply the lighter foundation stick underneath the eyes, on the center of you forehead and on the bridge of your nose. Blend this too with the darker foundation base. 

Highlighting is also called 'strobing'. Many celebrities only get touch ups done on their highlight zones before the camera starts rolling. Highlighters also come in cream and powder base. Some celebrities also apply highlighters on the inner corners of their eyes and their brow bone. 

Highlighting is very important as it gives a fresh and dewy look to the face. It adds a bit of vibrancy and radiance to the face.

5. Last Step of the Tutorial

Use a fluffy brush to dust the entire face with translucent powder. If you have used only powder based makeup, you need to dust off the extras with a brush. Your base is now ready. 

You can now proceed to the rest of your makeup. Start with your eye makeup and bronzer and lastly apply your lipstick. 

You can use high-end products or even drug-store products, both work well only if you blend them well. Remember, there is no contouring without blending. 

Lastly, use some setting spray. Although this is optional, a setting spray helps your makeup last longer. 

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Important Tips for Beginners

You have learnt the steps for contouring from the above guide. There are some more tips which you should keep in mind while contouring your face with makeup:

* Choose the correct shade and texture of your contour:

Choosing a light foundation stick way beyond your original color will only make your makeup look artificial. You have to buy a shade only two shades lighter than your original color. Also you need to pay attention to your undertones. If your complexion ranges from light to deep, you need to invest in taupes or gray-brown shades. If your skin is dark, you should opt for warmer colors. 

* Do not try to contour your full face:

You should avoid this step until unless you want to totally transform your looks. Focus on your nose, jawline, forehead and cheeks. Contouring will not magically change the appearance of your flat nose into a pointed and sharp one but it will create an illusion of sharpness and add some definition. 

* Invisible contouring:

Invisible contouring is a layering technique in which one has to elevate the bone structure without using a lot of makeup. You need to concentrate on getting a subtly sculpted look. 

* Do not use shimmery products:

Shimmery products reflect light and so one should avoid shimmery concealers. If you use products which reflect light instead of adding a sense of depth, you will get the opposite of your desired results. 

* Add highlighters and blush lastly:

You need to balance out the contouring with highlighters and blush. 

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The tutorial above explains step by step how to contour your face with makeup to hide the flaws of your face and to enhance your best features. Blend your contour well so as to make it appear natural and not too 'cakey'. Next time, apply makeup like a pro and stun everyone with your perfectly sculpted face!