You’ve probably heard of contouring. But you may not have tried it yourself, or you may be a skilled pro. Although contouring the face is a common technique for applying makeup, many people want more help.
If done correctly, contouring can enhance the beauty of your features and bone structure. It may even prove to be transformative. You may be just beginning to contour or have been doing some research on the subject. But, it is important that you know how to choose the best contour shade for you skin tone. We have you covered, whether you’ve been watching YouTube tutorials for a while or just starting to contour. We reached out to Caroline Baribeau, a NYC makeup artist to share her thoughts on contouring and give tips. Here’s a list of techniques and tricks that can be used to create the perfect contour shade.
It’s all about the Shadows
First, if you want to refresh your knowledge on contouring, this is the place for you. You can contour your face by simply darkening certain areas. Your cheekbones, forehead and nose are the most important areas to contour. You can contour your face to improve, refine, or recede any facial features regardless of your shape. However, it is not something you should do every day.
When choosing the contour shades that you will use, it is important to pay attention to what color your shadows are. Baribeau recommends using colors that closely resemble or mimic these shadows. Start your contouring journey with your foundation. Think of your foundation as a tone family. However, it should be one to two shades darker that your skin. That’s as dark as you can go. You can always make a product to achieve the desired outcome. It’s a good idea to add a little bit at a time to those who want to begin with a subtle contour, and then work their way up towards something more precise.
Skin Tones Aren’t One-Size-Fits-All
When choosing the right contour shade, our skin’s undertones are important. Because skin tones can be very different and beautiful, it is essential to know your skin tone so you can choose the best contour shades for you. Baribeau says that if you have fair-to-medium skin, neutrals, taupes and contour shades that are more on the cool side would be a good choice. You can go lighter on golden tones if you have a more olive or tan complexion. These tones naturally reflect more warmth. Stick with neutrals that have the right amount of red and blue undertones for dark skin tones.
Make sure you use the right blender tools
It doesn’t matter what kind of makeup look you are trying to achieve, the best brushes and blending instruments will make it easier for you to apply your products flawlessly. The shape of your contour can be affected by the brushes you use.
Here are some tips to help you choose the right brush. Baribeau recommends fluffier brushes to achieve a natural look. She says that a fluffy brush will help keep the contour softened and diffused. You can achieve a more defined look by using a different brush. Baribeau states that a smaller and more dense brush will give you a more defined look. It is best to start slowly when using contouring products. Baribeau suggests that you start your contour by looking at all the natural spots where the sun hits your face. Also, don’t forget your temple and forehead.
You may not be sure how contouring fits in with applying your makeup. It is best to contour after you have applied your foundation and concealer. Once your skin is clear, you can start to add other products. It’s possible to go back and adjust the concealer, if necessary. If blush is something you enjoy, you can apply it after contouring. Are you applying too much concealer? Don’t worry. To make your contour look natural, you can use your foundation brush to apply a little product. You can always go back and start again if necessary.
Cream Contour vs Powder Contour
Cream and powder have very different textures so you’ll want to familiarize yourself with both and decide which one suits your needs best for contouring. Powder contours are better for oilier skin and have a more matte finish. Cream contours are more suitable for drier skin and provide a more luminous look. If you don’t have any new makeup, you can use your existing contouring product. Baribeau recommends Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Bronzer ($30). It has a great balance of warmth and bronzer. She says, “It has been a staple in our kit for years and anyone could use it!” Baribeau also praises Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate Palette ($89), as well Fenty Beauty Match Sticks Matte Contour Skinstick ($26) for cream formulas. Both are easy to apply with your finger, a brush or a sponge. They are seamless and look natural on the skin, and they have a good range of shades for all skin types,” she said.
The most important tip is: Have fun. You shouldn’t feel pressured to contour. The more you practice, you will find out what works for you. You’ll soon become a pro at contouring by trying out different textures and blending tools.