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All About Contouring: 101!!!


     With makeup, you can alter your face shape to give the illusion of a perfect, symmetrical face. Because an oval face shape is considered the ideal, you can use a combination of shading and highlighting on all other face shapes to make them appear more oval. You can also enhance or reduce the appearance of certain features. Shading and highlighting your features in this way is called Contouring.

     The easiest way to contour is to use matte powders. You can also use  foundation, which gives a very natural, subtle finish, or use cream blushes that have no shimmer in them. It is a difficult technique, which takes a lot of practice to do correctly.

      Use contouring to play down your flaws: Double chin- shade under the chin to minimize the appearance, using a shade two to three shades darker than your skin tone. Highlight on the tip of the chin and blend all edges well. For a wide or large nose- contour to minimize  along both sides. If your nose is long, shade under the tip of the nose. If you dislike your nose, it is a good idea to draw attention to another area of your face, such as the eyes or lips. For a high or wide forehead- for a high forehead, shade along the perimeter to visually reduce the height. If your forehead is wide and you would like to reduce its width, shade the temples.

       To play up a feature such as cheekbones, use a paler shade of matte powder or foundation than your skin tone. To enhance cheekbones, apply along the top of the cheekbones. To make your eyes seem bigger, highlight under the brow bone.

Shading and Highlighting

         Whether you choose to use powder or cream to enhance or play down your features and face shape, when you are contouring, the edges should be blended really well for a seamless, subtle effect.

Where to Shade and Highlight

  1. Shading – Shade under the cheekbone to add definition, create cheekbones where they are not visible, slim the face, and add depth.
  2. Highlighting – Highlight on top of the cheekbones to bring them forward. The highlight reflects light, making them appear higher and lifting the features.
  3. Shading – Shade the temples to soften a square face or make a wide forehead appear narrower.
  4. Shading – Contour the eye to add depth, shading along and slightly above the crease.
  5. Highlighting and Shading – To alter the appearance of a wide nose, highlight the bridge vertically down the center, shade on either side of the nostrils, and add highlight on the cheeks directly next to the edge of the nostrils.
  6. Highlighting – To open, lift, or make eyes appear bigger, highlight on the brow bone under the arch of the eyebrow and on the inner corners of the eyes.
  7. Highlighting – Highlight under the outer corner of the eye for instant lift and to waken tired eyes.
  8. Shading – To shorten a long nose, shade under the tip.
  9. Highlighting – To enhance the shape of the lips, highlight above the top lip along the bow and under the outer corners.

Basic Contouring

       All face shapes benefit from some basic contouring to enhance the features. 

  1. To establish where to apply the shading, either use your fingers to feel the hollow of the cheek or, looking in a mirror, hold an orange stick, pen, or the handle of a makeup brush, against your face and line it up with the corner of your mouth and corner of the ear.
  2. Shade this area with a matte blush, first using a color one shade darker then the skin tone, then switching to one/two shades darker then the skin tone if the effect is not visible enough. Blend the edges so they are invisible.
  3. To narrow or give a more curved shape to the forehead, use shading. As a guide for where to apply the contour color on the temples, use the orange stick or another straight object. Make an imaginary line from the outer corner of the nose, through the outer corner of the eye, to the hairline. Shade above this line on the temple, making sure you blend the edges well.


            Sorry ya’ll it wasn’t up yesterday, I was sick 😦 !! I’m feeling much better today though! 🙂 Hope ya’ll like these tips and see you next Tuesday with a new blog post!!!! Oh p.s. Leave a comment with what you would like to see in future blogs?!?!



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