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5 Tips for DIY Contouring

Clown makeup. Tribal war paint. If you have seen selfies of people whose faces have been contoured you’ll know what we mean. Contouring looks a bit wacky before being blended in. Almost like a child decided that a face would be their coloring page instead of a piece of paper. But contouring does a lot more than just spread makeup around in seemingly random lines and shapes. Indeed, it has revolutionized makeup as a whole.

That might be dramatic, but it definitely has changed the way that we think of shading when it comes to cheekbone definition and shaping.

Contouring is the process by which makeup is used to accentuate contours of the face. It is all the rage in Hollywood and has been for years – we just didn’t know it. The style is supposed to be subtle – you are supposed to see a woman’s contoured face beautifully done with natural accents and not know that the effect is created by makeup. These days celebrities are posting their makeup artists’ renderings in the form of before picture when that is the secret of it all. But such is life in a world where social media rules.

If you ever wondered how to do contouring makeup at home, never fear. You don’t need a makeup artist to do this for you. There are some basic steps you can do all by yourself. Try these steps:

  1. Remember that this makeup style is supposed to be subtle. It is art. You are truly defining shape where there wasn’t before. Go easy. The effect is supposed to be natural so choose a color palette that suits your skin, your eyes, your hair – you know the things to look out for. Don’t think fire engine red blush and teal eye shadow. If you do that, you are missing the point.
  2. Contouring makeup should be matte. Don’t use shimmery makeup. This goes back to point number one about this style enhancing natural beauty. Using powders to contour instead of crèmes is best to achieve a natural look. You can find great contouring sets at your local drugstore.
  3. Invest in quality brushes. You need different types of brushes to create this look and even though it seems like you can just use one brush, trust us, you can’t. Try a fan brush and a round and don’t skimp on them.
  4. Go all the way to the edge. This look is all encompassing so you want to make sure you blend into your hairline and under your jaw. You want the look to be complete all the way around.
  5. Start with a light touch and then build, making sure to blend. Harsh lines are a no-no – this process is all about the seamless merge from one space into another. Blend, blend, blend. You can use two different colors of foundation with the light in the center and the darker one on the outside and blend in that way to create dimension. Blotting with a wet sponge works to clean up here and there.

That’s it. Really. Steps on how to do contouring makeup reads pretty easily, but the true test is when you begin. Remember to blend and to use a delicate hand and you’ll do just fine! While you’re deciding to try out a new look, check out our September special of Buy 1 Get 1 50% off all hair care and hair color products to create a whole makeover! 


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