I’m almost 30 [in 2.5 months, but who’s counting?], so I’ve started to fork over every penny and spend hours on end researching the latest and greatest beauty, makeup & skincare fixes. I’m also chugging more water than ever before – the greatest [and least expensive] trick of them all 😉
As part of my beautifying journey, I’m teaching myself how to properly contour my face. After all, if you can make those cheek bones pop, you shave off 10 years right there. I’ve contoured my face in some way or another for years, but I’ve just learned that I wasn’t exactly doing it right. I think I was teetering on the side of the jersey-shore-let’s-cake-our-face-in-bronzer look versus accentuating my features in a ‘classy and sophisticated’ manner.
So, I’m taking you on my journey to learning the real deal…
These are my go-to products right now. Honestly, they change all the time, especially my foundation. I go back and forth between Estee Lauder Double Wear, Kat Von D Lock-It & now recently, the Mac Pro Longer Nourishing Waterproof foundations. In my experience, these are the BEST full-coverage options, with Kat Von D being the end-all-be-all (IMHO). What else do I put on my face you ask?
- MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation
- MAC Pro Longwear Concealer – BEST coverage I’ve ever had with a concealer!
- MAC Prep + Prime Highlighter
- Smashbox Photo Op Under Eye Brightener – Love the glistening shine this gives your under eye area!
- Tarte Clean Slate Poreless 12-Hr Perfecting Primer – Made WITHOUT parabens, sulfates & phthalates, & keeps your makeup in place FOEVERRRR.
- Urban Decay Cosmetics De-Slick Setting Spray
- MAC Blush
- Fit Me! Shine Free Stick Foundation (for contour) – Found at any drugstore.
- Elf Contour Palette – For filling in my neck line and touching up my cheek bones and forehead.
Clean slate. Woof.
Before you get started, apply your moisturizer and primer. My gel moisturizer is Take a Deep Breath by Philosophy and my primer is Tarte. I LOVE the primer by Tarte because it’s not only all-natural, but it gives a very matifying look.
After, you’ll want to coat your face with a thin layer of foundation. Literally, a dollop and no more. We still have to apply our highlighter, concealer and contouring foundation or bronzer, and that makes for a lot of product. If you layer too much, it will look caky and unnatural.
Using my MAC Prep & Prime highlighter, I highlight all places that I want to accentuate or bring forward. I recommend using a liquid or cream product as it sets better and looks more natural. For highlighting, you can use a highlighting product or you can use a lighter color concealer or foundation. If you choose the latter, make sure you are getting a product conducive to your skin type. If you have oily skin and put a thick foundation on as a highlighter [on top of your actual foundation], it will suffocate your skin and cause irritation and breakouts.
Take a smaller stipple brush and blend in the highlighter. I am using an ELF brush that I got at Target for [I think] $1.50! I used to get the pro brushes from MAC, but honestly, I just can’t bring myself to pay THAT MUCH for a dang brush! I’d rather splurge on my actual makeup than brushes. The ELF ones seem to do the trick, and as long as you wipe them down each day, and clean them frequently, they’re just as good as the million dollar ones! Trick: baby shampoo is the key for cleaning brushes 😉 Don’t even, for one second, buy into the $20 brush cleaners the brands try to sell you.
After the highlighter is blended, concealer is the next step! Here is my MAC Pro Longwear Concealer and ELF concealer brush.
I apply my concealer in streaks and then blend with my brush. How you blend is the key to making those 30 year-old wrinkles disappear ;). Most of us sweep the brush back and forth horizontally or simply blend it in with our fingers. By doing this, you won’t actually be working the liquid into the cracks of the skin, meaning you won’t be doing anything for your wrinkles. Get ultimate coverage by blotting across the entire under eye area. You’ll get a much smoother, youthful look!
Tada! A much more flawless look than my starting point [thank the lord]. That’s what a little foundation, concealer and highlighter does for you. Cha-ching.
This is the stick foundation I use for contouring. You can use a concealer or foundation that’s about 4-5 shades darker than your natural skin color. I would recommend liquid vs. powder for contouring since it blends seamlessly and gives you a more defined look. Because it’s not as important as say a foundation to have top-notch quality, I went with a department store brand.
To contour your face, you’ll want to line your:
- Side of nose
- Side eye area
- Lining of the forehead
When you’re contouring, you are accentuating the points of the face you want to sink in. It will depend on the shape of your face and exactly what you’ll want to accentuate, but the above is a good starting point.
Just like with the highlighter, you’ll want to take the small stipple brush and blend in the darker color you’ve applied. If necessary, apply one more line to each cheek bone to really carve out that model-esque look.
…after contour is applied.
To ensure your neckline matches the color of your face (makeup lines are a big NO-NO!), take a powder bronzer and fill in your neck area. Go over your jawbone to make sure there’s a clear line between your neck and jaw, too. It never hurts.
…the powder contour kit I use. Although I contour with mostly liquids now, I still love the Too Faced bronzer and this kit overall. If you’re on the go and want to apply quickly, this is a good solution: Cocoa Contour Chiseled to Perfection.
Since my skin is a darker, olive tone, I use the dark cocoa to fill in my neckline and go over my already-done contour lines.
To lock in your makeup, you should ALWAYS use a setting powder and/or setting spray. I use BOTH! This Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder is the bomb diggity [it’s a pretty organic product too]. I always thought the makeup pros were just trying to suck money out of you when selling a ‘powder that makes your makeup last longer.’ Sounds like it’s too good to be true, right? But the verdict’s in: IT’S NOT. So worth the $. Add the Urban Decay De-Slick Setting Spray and your golden for at least 12 hours.
Final product. Natural, but accentuated.
Add a little lipstick for an extra ‘POP!”
…just another day. 🙂
Check out these videos to help your own contouring journey & let me know how it goes!
Jaclyn Hill talks about the HD-, camera-ready look you get with liquid contouring vs. powder contouring. Such an awesome tutorial!! Love this gal.
If you’re on a budget, Laura Lee is a great resource for drug-store contouring!
…now go have some fun!! ❤