A Beginners Guide to Contouring

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Contouring is pretty simple. Few things in life changed my entire makeup game like the idea of contouring did. In fact, I often wonder just what I looked like before I discovered the power of contouring with bronzer. Now, at the time I didn’t realize this was “contouring”. I thought I was just “using bronzer.”
The whole idea of contouring is to create a contrast between light and dark which gives the illusion of a thinner frame. Therefore there are highlights and lowlights.

While most of the time I just use some bronzer to create a contrast between light and dark, when I need to step it up for more coverage, I use the Marc Jacobs light filtering contour powder duo. It’s super easy and the powder is creamy enough that you can  apply it with your fingers. The color combination is already set, which might seem like a con since you can’t pick and choose your own custom color combo, but I like to think of it as one less decision for me to make during my day. If you aren’t using a cream contouring duo, then you will most likely need to grab two foundation sticks: one in a light shade and the other in a darker shade for contrast. I recommend the bobby brown foundation sticks. I’ve used them as a concealer before when the bags under my eye were large enough to warrant some real attention. They work great.

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Step 1.) After moisturizing your clean face, draw a map with the darker shade of your contouring duo. I like to use my fingers because I feel like I have more control that way. But, there are lots of contouring brushes out there, and they aren’t hard to use if getting make-up on your fingers isn’t your thing. I really like this one at Sephora.

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Find an area that creates the natural shadows of your face to help draw the map. Typically it’s right below the cheek bone, along the jaw line, at the hairline, and maybe a little on your nose if you like. This is where to apply the lowlights (darker shade).

Step 2.) Wait for it…. with a damp beauty blender tap the top of the dark foundation to blend it into your base foundation or skin. I just discovered the beauty blender last month. I am sure most of you have been using this for a while. I was shocked at how well it worked and understood immediately why all these little knock offs started showing up in drug stores every where.

Step 3.) Take the highlight (lighter shade) and mainly blend it in under your eyes. Again, I usually start off with my fingers and then use a brush to blend in the edges more. I also like to add a little under the shadow I created right below my cheek bone with the darker shade for a more dramatic contrast.

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Step 4.) Take a contouring brush or use your fingers to bend everything together gently.

Step 5.) Most contouring instructions will tell you to dust over with some loose powder next. I don’t do that…mainly because at this point I’m tired of putting on make-up. And, also because sometimes I feel like loose powder is the last stop before I look in the mirror and think, “wow, I have a lot of make-up on.” So, what I usually do is wash my hands, pat down my face making some last blends and so forth. Then, I spray water on my face and let it set in. I use La Roche-Posay thermal spring water.

Finally, for a more natural look, try adding some blush to the apples of your cheeks. And, that’s it.

I’d love to know your experiences with contouring and if it’s something that you do daily or only for special occasions? Personally, it’s turned into something I do daily with a powder bronzer or cream.

***beauty always comes from within, photos & drawings by Amanda Teague, xoxo amanda***

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