makeup contouring

Subtle Makeup Contouring for Every Day

Makeup contouring sounds extraordinarily glamorous and like it’s better left to the professionals or only for a fancy night out on the town. But contouring can actually be a subtle, uncomplicated addition of sophistication to your everyday routine.

The following tips will teach you how to subtly and easily contour your way to looking fabulous every day of the year.

Make up woman face. Contour and Highlight makeup. Professional C

First Things First: Prep and Prime

Before you can get started on your subtle contouring, you first need to make sure your face is prepped. Your skin needs to be fresh and clean before applying any contour makeup, so start by washing your face. Next, apply moisturizer and wait until it has fully settled into your skin. If you apply highlighter and contour on overly moisturized skin, it’ll bounce around too much and give you the opposite effect of what you’re going for. Lastly, you’ll want to apply a primer, like Bloom Cosmetics’ Prep and Prime Primer, to ensure your makeup glides on smoothly and evenly.

Know Your Steps

Contouring can seem like a complicated, harrowing process involving weird light and dark makeup stripes all over your face. But subtle contouring really only involves two main steps: You use darker shades to create shadows where needed and highlighters (or lighter makeup) to illuminate where needed. Basically, the darker shades recede certain areas of your face and highlighters make other areas of your face look larger. You will need to apply the darker shade first, then follow up with the highlighter.

Woman With A Foundation's Face Correction

Simplified Contouring Makeup

You don’t need to spend a lot of time (and money) on special contouring and highlighting sticks. All you really need to achieve a subtle contoured look is your everyday foundation along with a foundation that is one tone darker. You can maybe stretch it to two tones darker, but never, ever more than that. Then you’ll just need an illuminator, like Bodyography’s Radiance Boost Liquid Luminizer, or a concealer that’s a shade or two lighter than your natural skin tone. And that’s it!   Now, you just need to know where to darken and where to highlight, which brings us to our next topic.

Map Your Face

As we mentioned earlier, this might seem like a complicated process, but it can be simplified for the gal on the go. You just need to know the key contouring areas of your face to map. For the contouring, apply the darker foundation on each temple, right below the hollow area of your cheekbones, as well as on your jawline and the sides of your nose. Once you’ve done this, apply highlighter to the area right above your top lip, your upper cheekbones, the bridge of your nose and your brow bone.

Blending and Brushing

After successfully mapping out your face and applying your contour or highlighter, you’re going to need to blend, blend, blend! Use a beauty blender (a regular makeup sponge will work as well) to gently tap and blend the contoured areas of your face. Take care to blend it really well into your foundation, ensuring there are no streaks. After you’ve successfully blended, use a large makeup brush to apply translucent powder all over your face, making sure the contouring makeup sets and stays in place.

About the Author

Jeff Chiarelli
Jeff Chiarelli is the Head of Marketing for Ogle School. His responsibilities include leading Ogle School's marketing and branding strategy to amplify Ogle School's passion for helping create future beauty professionals in the communities Ogle School serves.