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Basic contouring
September 17, 2017, 2:54 pm

It seems that just about every makeup-loving gal has been granted VIP access to the contouring club, where elusive women have mastered the art of chiseling, putting those Renaissance painters to shame. The rest of us, however, end up feeling like pariahs who have yet to pick up a contouring palette. Heck, even locating your cheekbones can be a challenge, let alone refining your chiaroscuro.

To help you perfect your makeup look, here are some tips to ensure the seemingly difficult makeup technique within reach.

Mix textures: Two textures are always better than one. This way you avoid that oily, clogging feeling from all-cream formulas as well as the cakey, cracked effect of all-powder products.  You can sculpt your face with deeper foundation that helps keep the look natural and works on everyone. Then, set with a powder that will lock everything into place.

Try a SPF Hack: Don’t feel like playing Picasso with your makeup? No problem.  When you go to the beach, apply SPF 20 all over your face and apply a thin line of SPF 70 down the nose and in the dip of the cupid's bow. Then, after being in the sun, wash your face with a Clarisonic brush to remove the sunscreen. After you cleanse, you will notice a natural contour effect.

And while you are on the topic of SPF, try this other contouring trick on for size. Use SPF as a highlighter. Pat a little SPF onto the cheekbones just as you would a normal highlighter.

Don’t overdo it:  There is an extreme version of shaping your face that is not very flattering or suitable. With contouring, it’s always best to go for a wearable, day-to-day look. Use your darker foundation color to start to contour near your earlobe and bring it down. Taper away as you bring the shading forward to the front of your face. As a general rule of thumb, you never want to see the contour lines from head on. You should only see the definition from the side and this helps create a subtle look.”

One contour does not fit all: While on the topic of keeping the contouring natural, let’s discuss what natural means for you. Not all faces are the same shape and size, so why would each face follow the same contouring technique? You could end up with shadows in places that need to be highlighted and highlights in placed that need shadowing. It is very important that you contour for your unique face shape. Here are some quick tricks on how and where to contour your face shape: 

Heart shape: Contour along the sides of your forehead near the hairline, underneath your cheekbones and in the hollows of your cheek area.

Oblong shape:  Contour right at the top of the forehead area and on each side of the jaw, blending toward the chin.

Oval shape:  Only contour underneath your cheekbones to make them appear more prominent.

Round shape: Contour on the sides of your forehead, underneath your cheekbones and along the jawline.

Square shape:  Contour on the sides of your forehead and below the cheekbones pointing down toward the chin.

Diamond shape:  Contour the lower cheekbones, toward the chin area only.

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