Hair & Beauty

Make up 101: How To Contour Like A Pro

By Rachel Stevenson
29th Nov 2015

how to contour makeup, make up tips, beauty tips, beauty advice

Contouring is the latest big trend in beauty and judging by how great the celebs that rock it look (ahem, Kim Kardashian), we can see why. So what actually is contouring? And why should you be doing it, like, right now?!

While previously reserved for the catwalk and red carpet, contouring has fast become a staple for those wishing to look Instagram-ready at all times. Contouring is basically the use of dark and light shades of makeup to define and highlight areas of your face to give the illusion of cheekbones, make your nose smaller etc etc. 

And why should you care, you ask? In a time of oversharing and Instagramming at every opportunity, a girl always wants to look her best. Oh okay, and it’s quite fun to play around with too!

So, do you have to be a makeup artist to nail this trend? Sure, it helps, but it doesn’t stop us mere mortals from giving it a good hard go too. While a bit daunting at first, here’s a handy step-by-step guide to help you contour like an A-list makeup artist (sort of):

1. Get the tools

To contour like a pro you’ll need a highlighter, which should be a foundation two shades lighter than your normal skin tone, a non-shimmer bronzer to contour with, and a matte setting powder.

2. Work the highlights

Use said light foundation on the bridge of your nose (to slim), between your eyebrows, under your eyebrows and on the high point of each of your cheekbones.

3. Create definition

Using your matte bronzer, start to contour on either side of your nose to make it look slimmer and more defined. Carry on by contouring the tip of your nose in a v-shape to shorten the length, along your jaw line to add definition and slim your face, around your forehead to shorten it, and finally one inch above the temples to add depth to your face.

4. Blend, blend, blend!

Blend the edges where your light foundation and bronzer meet to create a flawless finish and top with a pressed matte powder to keep all these layers of foundation in place. 

So, what now? It might take a few attempts to get this look spot-on, but once you do, get snap happy at every opportunity with your newly contoured look (a la Kimmy K)! While we don’t think this is an every day thing, contouring is definitely a great skill to have when you want to put in a bit more effort for those special occasions.

Here are some of our fave contour kits:

Smashbox Step-by-step Contour kit available from Smashbox
Nars Contour Blush Duo available from Mecca Cosmetica

Image credit: Mecca Cosmetica

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