Known as one of the most popular ways to change your face shape with makeup, contouring is a widely utilized technique that can instantly enhance your facial features. While you might think that contouring needs to look severe in order to work, that’s far from the truth. You can achieve natural makeup looks with contouring—the trick is knowing what products to use and where to place them according to your face shape.
Ahead, we’ve created a contouring guide that is easy to follow and will give you beautiful results, featuring expert contouring tips from celebrity makeup artist Carolina Dalí. We promise this won’t be hard.
Meet the Expert
Carolina Dalí is a celebrity makeup artist who specializes in red carpet and editorial makeup.
What Is Contouring?
Contouring is a technique that you use when applying makeup that helps to sculpt or add definition to your features. Contouring helps the face look more chiseled, and you can utilize contour to help change the shape of some facial features as well (if that’s what you’re looking to do).
Common places on the face that you can contour are the nose, cheeks, forehead, and jawline/chin area. “My approach to contouring is not about erasing and creating new features but about enhancing and accentuating the features the person already has,” says Dalí. Contouring can vary due to face shape, and, as Dalí states, “contouring that works for one person doesn’t [necessarily] work for all. We each have features unique to our face and your contouring technique should be tailored to complement your features.”
What Contouring Products Should You Use?
There are a few different formulas that you can use to contour with, but regardless of which one you use, one of the most important things to remember is that the finish needs to be matte. You can absolutely use bronzer to contour—there just shouldn’t be any shimmer. Popular contouring products are cream foundation sticks, cream bronzers, liquid concealers, powder bronzer, and face powders that are slightly darker than your skin tone. “Choose a shade of contour that complements your skin tone; it shouldn’t be too warm or too dark,” recommends Dalí, as these tones can tend to look orange or severe.
Below, a step-by-step guide for the perfect contour.