The right way to contour

Woman with contouring | © iStock / puhhha

Define, accentuate, highlight: Contouring has been a popular makeup trend for years. Which technique suits which face shape, what you need for it, as well as helpful tutorials to copy.

What the contouring trend can do

The special make-up conjures up a mix of light and shadow on our skin. Individual parts of the face come into focus with light colors, and into the background with dark tones. Contouring not only conceals small blemishes, but also emphasizes the assets. The nose narrower, the lips fuller and the cheeks more prominent? No problem! Contouring is the perfect way to sculpt the face and set the scene perfectly.

Products: What do we need for it?

Concealer& Foundation

To ensure that the contouring colors are well blended into the skin, it is recommended to use a foundation beforehand as a primer. To hide dark circles under the eyes, it is best to use a concealer.

colors& Consistency

It makes sense to have a complete contouring palette that contains all the makeup shades (light and dark) you need. For a summery golden effect, as if kissed by the sun, a slightly shiny bronzer can also be used.

Which consistency? For oily skin or combination skin, contouring powders are more suitable. The dry consistency prevents our face from shining unflatteringly. Creams are ideal for dry skin, they provide additional moisture. Caution: Beginners prefer to use powder, as it is easier to blend. With creams, contouring, misapplied, quickly looks artificial.

Learn which skin type you have here: skin types

Brush or sponge

Powder is best applied with a fluffy contouring brush. Creams against it with a wide foundation product. Alternatively, you can also use a beauty blender.

How to do it right: Contouring guide

Not all contouring is the same. Which parts are best shaded and lightened depends on our particular face shape:

face shapes | © iStock / GMint

Contouring instruction for heart-shaped face

A broad forehead and tapered chin mark a heart-shaped face. To even out the difference, shade the temples and in an arc past the ear down to the cheekbones. The light shades are applied to the forehead, chin and under the eyes.

Contouring instruction for angular face

A square face quickly looks hard and severe. For this reason, you contour it a little softer, so that the edges move into the background: Apply the dark color in an arc to the base of the forehead, to the left and right below the jawline, and to the cheeks. Contouring highlights come on the forehead, chin as well as large areas under the eyes.

Contouring instruction for round face

A roundish face is made up a little narrower with the contouring technique: the dark shades come on the outer sides of the forehead, over the temples, down to the jawline. Highlighter is applied to the forehead, chin, bridge of the nose and generously under the eyes. Do not forget to blend well!

Contouring guide for oval face

For an oval or elongated face, it is best to use little shading: Below the cheekbones, a little at the base of the forehead, as well as below the chin. When contouring, apply light tones very generously to the entire forehead and under the eyes. On the chin as well as in the small gap between mouth and nose also a highlighter goes.

Go’s& No gos when contouring

⦁ The color for shading should be no more than 2-3 shades darker than your own skin color.

⦁ If no highlighter at hand, you can also use light eye shadow. Simply dab with your finger on the contouring areas to be emphasized!

⦁ A wide nose can be made up narrower by emphasizing the bridge of the nose lightly.

No Gos:

⦁ Less is more: Don’t apply too many layers of contouring, otherwise your face will quickly look like a clown’s. Even with bridal makeup, only apply extremely discreetly.

⦁ Either/or: Never use powder and cream together – both variants create completely different looks.

⦁ Contouring means highlighting assets and concealing flaws. In no case try to change the face so that it no longer suits a self.

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