Contouring Made Simple: Beginners’ Guide

You’ve heard about it, seen it on Instagram, and wondered how to achieve the perfect sculpted cheekbones yourself. Well, look no further because “Contouring Made Simple: Beginners’ Guide” is here to answer all your questions and help you master this beauty trend! This article will walk you through the basics of contouring, from choosing the right products to applying them with precision, so you can enhance your natural features and feel like a makeup pro in no time. Say goodbye to complicated techniques and hello to a flawless, sculpted face! Contouring Made Simple: Beginners’ Guide

Contouring has become a staple in many makeup routines, helping to enhance and define your facial features. Whether you’re new to makeup or a seasoned pro, this beginners’ guide will take you through all the steps to achieve a flawless contoured look. Buckle up, grab your brushes, and get ready to learn the art of contouring!

Preparing Your Skin

Before diving into the world of contouring, it’s essential to prepare your skin properly. Cleanse your face using a gentle cleanser suitable for your skin type. This will remove any dirt, oil, or makeup residue and create a clean canvas for your contouring masterpiece. Follow up with a moisturizer to hydrate your skin and help the subsequent makeup products blend seamlessly.

Once your skin is clean and moisturized, it’s time to apply a primer. A primer acts as a base for your makeup, ensuring that it stays in place throughout the day. Choose a primer that suits your skin type and concerns – whether it’s mattifying for oily skin or hydrating for dry skin. Apply a thin, even layer of primer all over your face, focusing on areas with enlarged pores or texture.

Now that your skin is prepped and primed, it’s crucial to choose the right foundation shade. Foundation forms the base of your makeup, and selecting the correct shade is key to achieving a natural-looking contour. Take the time to find a shade that matches your skin tone perfectly. Test multiple shades on your jawline or wrist to determine the best match – remember, it’s okay to mix shades to achieve your perfect match!

Defining Your Face Shape

Understanding your face shape is the first step to successful contouring. Different face shapes require different contouring techniques to enhance your features. Some of the common face shapes include oval, round, square, heart, and diamond. Take a moment to assess your face shape and identify which category you fall under.

After determining your face shape, analyze your features in more detail. Pay attention to your cheekbones, jawline, forehead, nose, and chin. By understanding your features, you can strategically contour to play them up or downplay them as desired.

Once you’ve identified your face shape and analyzed your features, it’s time to determine the key areas for contouring based on your specific face shape. For example, if you have a round face, you’ll want to focus on sculpting your cheeks and jawline to add more definition. On the other hand, if you have a square face, contouring along the jawline and temples can soften angles and create a more oval appearance.

Tools and Products

Having the right tools and products in your contouring arsenal is crucial. Firstly, select contouring products that suit your skin tone and undertone. Opt for powder or cream products – whatever you’re more comfortable working with. For a powder finish, choose a contour shade that is two to three shades darker than your skin tone, while for creams, opt for shades with a slightly cool, gray undertone.

Choosing the appropriate brushes is equally important. A dense, angled brush is perfect for applying contour to the hollows of your cheeks, jawline, and forehead. Look for a brush that is soft but firm enough to blend the product seamlessly. Additionally, a smaller, fluffy brush is great for precise contouring of the nose and temples.

You may also want to consider using a beauty sponge, like a Beautyblender, for blending and achieving a flawless finish. Dampen the sponge slightly to help sheer out the product and create a more natural look. The beauty sponge is especially handy when it comes to blending cream contour products.

Contouring Techniques

Now that you have your tools and products ready, let’s dive into the contouring techniques. Understanding the basic contouring shades is the first step. As mentioned earlier, opt for shades that are a few tones darker than your natural skin tone. This contrast helps to create dimension and shadows on your face.

Let’s start with the hollows of the cheeks. Suck in your cheeks and apply the contour shade in a diagonal line from the top of your ear to the middle of your cheekbone. Blend the product in upward motions towards your temples using your brush or beauty sponge. Repeat the process on the other side, ensuring that both cheeks have a symmetrical contour.

For defining your jawline and minimizing a double chin, apply the contour shade along the bottom of your jawline, blending it down towards your neck. This technique creates a shadow and makes your jawline appear more defined. Blend the product thoroughly to avoid any harsh lines.

Next, let’s enhance your nose shape. Apply the contour shade along the sides of your nose, starting from the inner corner of your eyebrows and blending it down towards the tip of your nose. For a slimmer nose appearance, concentrate the product on the sides and blend towards the center.

Contouring your forehead can help to reduce the appearance of a larger forehead or add definition if you have a smaller one. Apply the contour shade along your hairline, blending it out towards the center of your forehead. Be sure to blend thoroughly to avoid any noticeable lines.

To create a chiseled look for your chin, apply the contour shade along the bottom of your chin, blending it down towards your neck. This technique adds depth and definition to your chin area, giving the illusion of a more sculpted jawline.

Now, let’s move on to the eye sockets. Applying contour to the crease of your eyes can add depth and dimension. Blend a small amount of the contour shade into your eye socket, following the natural shape of your eyes. This technique creates the illusion of deeper-set eyes and enhances your eye makeup.

Sculpting your temples can help to add structure and definition. Apply the contour shade to the hollows of your temples and blend it out towards your hairline. This technique helps to create a more defined and angular facial structure.

Don’t forget to highlight and contour your lips! Apply the contour shade just below your bottom lip to create a shadow effect, making your lips appear fuller. Then, highlight the Cupid’s bow and the center of your top lip to draw attention to your pout.

Lastly, contouring your neck and décolletage can ensure a seamless look, especially if you’re wearing a low-cut or off-the-shoulder outfit. Apply the contour shade along the natural shadow underneath your jawline and blend it down towards your neckline. This technique helps to create a more unified and balanced appearance.

Blending and Buffing

Blending is the key to achieving a natural and flawless contour. It’s essential to blend out any harsh lines to create a seamless transition between the contour and your natural skin tone. Take a clean brush or beauty sponge and blend the product in upward motions, ensuring that there are no visible demarcation lines.

In addition to blending, buffing the contour can further enhance the seamless finish. Using circular motions, lightly buff the contour product into your skin. This technique helps to blend the product even more and ensures a more natural-looking finish.

If you’re using a beauty sponge, lightly bounce it over the contoured areas to blend and meld the product into your skin for a perfectly airbrushed effect. Remember, the key is to blend and buff until it looks like your natural skin – no harsh lines or obvious contouring.

Setting Your Contour

To ensure that your beautifully contoured face stays in place all day long, it’s crucial to set your contour. Choosing the right setting powder is essential. Opt for a finely-milled powder in a shade that matches your skin tone. This will help to lock in your contour and prevent any smudging or fading throughout the day.

Using a fluffy brush, pick up a small amount of setting powder and gently dust it over the contoured areas of your face. This step is especially important for cream contour products, as they can be prone to smudging without proper setting.

For those who want their contour to last even longer, consider using a setting spray. A setting spray helps to lock in your makeup and prolong its wear time. Spritz a light mist of the setting spray over your entire face, paying extra attention to the contoured areas. This will ensure that your beautifully sculpted features stay intact throughout the day or night.


Highlighting is the perfect finishing touch to your contouring routine, adding a luminous glow to your face. Understanding the purpose of highlighting is essential – it brings forward the areas of your face where light naturally hits and helps to create a youthful and radiant appearance.

Choosing the right highlighter shade is crucial for achieving a natural-looking glow. Opt for a shade that complements your skin tone – it can be a soft champagne, golden shimmer, or a pearly sheen. Just like with contouring, you want to avoid highlighters that are too stark or unnatural.

Apply the highlighter to the high points of your face, such as the tops of your cheekbones, bridge of your nose, brow bone, and Cupid’s bow. Use a small, fan-shaped brush or a fluffy eyeshadow brush for precision. Lightly sweep the highlighter onto these areas, focusing on creating a subtle glow rather than an intense shimmer.

Blush and Bronzer

Blush and bronzer are the perfect finishing touches to complete your contoured look. Choosing the right blush shade is essential for adding a pop of color and warmth to your cheeks. Opt for a shade that suits your skin tone and complements your contour. For fair skin, a soft pink or peach works beautifully, while deeper skin tones can rock more vibrant shades like coral or plum.

Apply blush to the apples of your cheeks and blend it out towards your temples. Smile and use a fluffy brush to lightly dust the blush onto your cheeks in a circular motion. This technique helps to create a natural flush and adds a youthful touch to your contoured face.

To achieve a sun-kissed glow, bronzer is your best friend. Choose a bronzer shade that is slightly warmer and deeper than your natural skin tone. Apply the bronzer to the contours of your face – along your hairline, hollows of your cheeks, and jawline. This adds warmth and dimension, giving you a healthy, sun-kissed look.

Contouring for Different Occasions

Contouring is a versatile technique that can be adapted to different occasions and settings. Here are some tips for achieving the perfect contour for various scenarios:

  • For a daytime natural contouring look, opt for a more subtle approach. Stick to lighter contour shades and focus on enhancing your features in a natural way. Blend and buff thoroughly for a seamless finish, and use a lighter hand when it comes to highlighter and blush.

  • When it’s time to glam it up for an evening event, you can be more daring with your contour. Feel free to use darker contour shades to create a more pronounced and sculpted look. Apply a bolder highlighter for extra glow, and don’t shy away from a more vibrant blush shade to add drama to your cheeks.

  • In professional settings, subtlety is key. Avoid harsh lines and opt for a soft contour that adds depth and definition without being too noticeable. Stick to neutral contour shades and focus on blending thoroughly for a seamless finish. A soft, natural highlighter and a subtle blush will complete your polished and professional look.

  • When it comes to photography or special events, contouring can help enhance your features to stand out in photos. Be mindful of lighting conditions when contouring for these occasions. Use a slightly heavier hand with your contour, ensuring that the camera captures the definition. Apply a highlighter that catches the light beautifully, creating a stunning glow in photographs.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

While contouring can work wonders for your face, there are a few common mistakes to avoid to achieve a flawless look:

  • Going too heavy with your contour can result in an unnatural appearance. Start with a light hand and build the intensity gradually. Remember, less is more when it comes to achieving a natural-looking contour.

  • Choosing the wrong shade can make your contour look harsh or muddy. Take the time to find the perfect shade that complements your skin tone. Test multiple shades and consider seeking professional advice if needed.

  • Not blending properly is a surefire way to end up with visible lines and an uneven contour. Take the time to blend thoroughly, ensuring a seamless transition between your contour and natural skin tone. Use the right tools and techniques to achieve a flawless finish.

  • Ignoring your face shape can lead to an unbalanced contour. Each face shape requires different contouring techniques to enhance or minimize specific features. Be sure to analyze your face shape and contour accordingly for the most flattering results.

  • Overlooking the importance of lighting can affect how your contour looks in different environments. Consider the lighting conditions of the places you’ll be in and adjust your contouring accordingly. A contour that looks natural in natural light may appear too heavy in fluorescent lighting.

  • Forgetting to highlight can leave your contour looking flat. Highlighting adds dimension and brings forward the high points of your face. Don’t forget to apply a touch of highlighter on areas like your cheekbones, brow bone, and nose bridge to complete your contoured look.

Contouring can seem daunting at first, but with practice and the right techniques, you can achieve a flawless contoured look. Remember to take your time, blend thoroughly, and adapt the techniques to suit your unique features. With this beginners’ guide, you’re ready to embark on your contouring journey and enhance your natural beauty like a pro! Happy contouring!

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