How To Achieve A Natural Contour In 4 Easy Steps

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Nervous about contouring? We don’t blame you, contouring can seem complicated. And when it’s not done correctly, the finished look can appear muddy and heavy. 

The wildly popular makeup technique refers to the process of using dark and light shades of makeup, strategically placed on the high points of the face, to draw attention to (or away from) particular facial features.

And though it may sound advanced, whether you’re after a Kardashian-level bone structure or just a natural, glowy sculpt, there’s no need for pro-level makeup skills or anything more than just two products and a brush.

Scroll down to check out exactly how we like to do a soft and natural contour. 

What products do I need to contour?

Not as much as you might think. You’ll need a bronzer that is no more than two shades darker than your skin tone, a concealer that is no more than two shades lighter, and a makeup brush or beauty blender to buff out and blend the product. 

Both powder and cream products will work. Powders will be better suited to oily, shinier complexions, however, we typically recommend cream products for contouring as they leave a more defined finish and are easier to build and blend.

After you’ve applied your foundation and concealer as normal, this is our step-by-step guide to achieving a natural contour…

Step 1: Define 

Lightly apply the darker shade in the hollows of your cheekbones, starting from the middle of your ear and finishing at the middle of the cheek. 

Next, apply two thin parallel lines down your nose, jawline and hairline. Add or remove product depending on which areas of your face that you’d like to elongate or add definition. 

Then gently blend, section by section.

We love: The Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick ($72 at Myer) And Clinique’s Chubby Stick Sculpting Contour ($45 at Adore Beauty)

Step 2: Highlight 

Although this step is used to ‘highlight’ your best features, we don’t mean to do so with a shimmery highlighter, but a brightening concealer instead. 

Highlight the bridge of your nose, brow bones, and dot along the high points of your cheekbones. If you’d like to make your face look longer and less round, consider adding some to the centre of your chin, too. Plus, a smidge on your cupid’s bow can help to create the appearance of a full pout. 

Then gently blend.

We love: The Synergie Skin Concealer ($39 at Synergie Skin) and the Mavala Switzerland Concealer ($28.95 at Mavala)

Step 3: Soften 

To ensure your highlight and contour looks seamless, go over once more with a damp sponge. 

Gently dab each section, following the lines and shapes you’ve created. This will pick up any excess product, ensuring that all edges and lines look subtle and soft. 

Step 4: Introduce warmth

This isn’t a step we’d usually include in a contour how-to, but we believe the best way to create the most natural look is by finishing with an added flush to your cheeks. 

This is best achieved by dabbing a cream blush in an upwards motion starting from your apples, sitting on top of the already blended contour and highlight.

We love: Natio Cream Blush – Dusk ($15.95 at David Jones)

Final tip: Most importantly, don’t overdo it. Contouring is meant to accentuate your best features, not make you look like a different person. Keep it light, subtle and ensure you’re using the right shades for your skin tone.

Have you tried contouring before? Would you like to?

Main image credit: @demimoore

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Comments 35

  1. Still not sure that I could still do contouring on my face even with good instructions. Just a little nervous to try it. But contouring always looks beautiful on the many Celebrities that use it. Wished that I had a makeup artist to show me how it is done properly. Because I would probably still be doing it wrong.

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