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Key Contouring Secrets for Beginners

By on June 12, 2015

Contouring has been around forever, but it’s risen to particular popularity since it was revealed as the secret to Kardashian-esque cheekbones, a slimmer nose, and the elusive ten-pounds-thinner effect. Just because it’s popular (and because you can find a wealth of information on the web) doesn’t mean that it’s not intimidating—after all, attempting to restructure your face with makeup will always have some scare factor. If you’re just getting familiar with the world of contouring, these four secrets should serve you well.

You don’t have to buy a contouring-specific product.
There are a ton of great creams and powders on the market meant specifically for contouring, but because your contour shade should be in the same tone family as your complexion, a “one size fits all” contouring product simply doesn’t exist. If you’re not finding anything that suits you, try a foundation that’s two or three shades darker than the shade you generally use.

Use your facial structure as a guide.
Rather than taking a formulaic approach to contouring by copying a face chart, use your own bone structure to help you figure out where you should place your contour.
For natural-looking, everyday wear, consider the features that you want to highlight and refine rather than every single place a chart suggests you contour. You can also use your face as a physical guide: Sucking in your cheeks to locate the exact curve of your cheekbone and contouring just beneath that is the easiest, most effective way to add some shape to your face.

The right brush is key.
Angled brushes and flat, straight brushes are two options for contouring. You can choose whichever you’re most comfortable with, but formula plays a part, too:
If you’re using a cream product, a flat brush with synthetic bristles is your best choice, as the smoother texture makes for better placement and blending. Powders should always be paired with soft natural brushes—an angled blush brush is perfect.

Finish the rest of your face first.
For contouring to look natural, it needs a base to adhere to, so attempting to contour on a makeup-free face is a no go. Laying down your canvas first is essential—a liquid or cream foundation works great, as it helps everything layered on top blend better.
That said, contouring should be one of the final steps in your makeup routine. Do your eyes, lips, brows, and what have you first before moving on to contouring, then blush, because you risk over-applying and creating a look that’s too dramatic once you see it in the context of the rest of your makeup.

Do YOU contour your face or do you think its just a waste of time?

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