Looks to Love: Contouring for Beginners
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When I started getting more into makeup (collecting it, trying it out, creating new looks with it) there was one trend that terrified me and that trend was contouring. I’m sure you all have seen the pictures on Pinterest with the diagrams of faces with brown and white drawn all over them, like some war paint. I know I would look at those diagrams and feel like I should just paint a big fat question mark over my face because they rendered me clueless. How was using all of that product and placing it all over my face like that diagram going to make me look like Kim K? I tried a couple times and failed, so miserably and promptly gave up on ever being able to master a contour.
A few months ago, I decided I was going to give it a go again because, as a self-proclaimed beauty blogger and a makeup lover, I wasn’t going to admit defeat to the contour! I watched countless beauty gurus on youtube, and practiced a couple times and I realized this: contouring doesn’t have to be super hard! Those diagrams make it look so complicated, but at the end of the day, you only have to follow a few simple steps to have a great contour!
So, what even is contouring? Contouring and highlighting is a makeup technique that allows you to give shape and enhance your facial bone structure. When you add a contour to your face, you are essentially adding shadows to your cheeks that will help give more definition to your bone structure and elongate your face!
Contouring isn’t a technique that you need to use every day (let’s be real, I do it every day because I love making my face look a little skinnier). However, for those who might not have the time, contouring is perfect for those who want to step up their makeup for a hot date night (hint, hint: Valentine’s Day is coming up!) In my humble opinion, adding a contour and highlight to a face adds great drama in such a subtle way, if that’s even possible.
And here’s the greatest thing: you don’t need to drop 50 bucks on a high-end contour kit to achieve that kind of look! Maybelline came out with affordable contour palettes back in their Spring 2016 line and they are the bomb, and I’m not just saying that because I’m working with them today. If you’ve been around the blog for long, you know that Maybelline has always been one of my favorite affordable brands, especially since I can always get my hands on it when I’m at Walmart!
Maybelline Master Contour Palette Review:
Contour shades can be really hard to get right because you don’t want them to be too warm (or else it will look orangey on your skin) and you don’t want them to be too cool (or else it will look ashy or muddy on your skin.) At the same time, you do want the contour shade to be a little more on the cooler side so that it looks more like a shadow on your face. I am using the Maybelline Master Contour Palette in the light shade and the contour shade in it is the perfect color! It’s neutral with a cooler undertone and would be flattering on all skin tones. Additionally, it’s very pigmented and creamy, so when blending it out, there is no patchiness. I honestly have no complaints about it!
Before this Maybelline released this palette, it was also hard to find an affordable highlighter. I’m so excited to say that I love the highlight in this palette as well. It’s a little on the icy side, so go lighter with it if you have an olive undertone to your skin. However, for us pale faces (especially in the winter) it sits beautifully on the tops of the cheekbones without being too glittery. And, if you’ve been around the blog for long, you also know how much I detest products with chunks of glitter. I want to glow, not look like a vampire!
I also had nothing bad to say about the blush that comes in this palette as well. It’s a beautiful neutral blush with pink undertones and is HIGHLY pigmented, which means that it goes on smoothly and lasts for quite a while.
So, now that we know that Maybelline has released an amazing and affordable contour palette, let’s tackle the next step: how to contour.
- I left my eyes really simple with just some mascara so that the contour is the main focus! The first thing I do is prep my face by moisturizing it and adding a primer. Primers are so important because they even out your skin, fill in pores and fine lines and allow a smooth and even base to apply all your makeup to. They also help your makeup last much longer and that’s super important if you are using a powder to contour with.
- After my face is prepped, I then go in with a foundation. Today, I’m using the new foundation from the Maybelline 2016 Spring line: the Dream Velvet Foundation. I was super excited when I heard about this foundation being released because it was the first I’ve ever heard of a hydrating matte foundation! Since my skin has become dryer in Arizona, I’ve had to stay away from mattifying foundations, but, I am thrilled with this hydrating formula from Maybelline. It’s a gel-whipped formula, so it goes on incredibly smooth and drys with a beautiful finish that looks more natural (not flat, like some matte foundations can look.) I also love the coverage: it’s more on the full side but does NOT look cakey at all. And, as if it couldn’t get any better, this foundation lasts ALL day long! My makeup wipe is covered in the foundation when I go to take it off at the end of the day. So, if you have oily or combination skin (or even slightly dry skin in the winter) this foundation is for you!
- I applied the foundation with the new Maybelline Dream Blender. I’m not going to lie, I was a little skeptical about it at first, but after getting it damp, it actually did a great job blending out the foundation evenly. I also liked that the shape allowed me to really get the foundation into lines around my nose, which can be tricky to do at times!
4. Next, I go in with the Maybelline Fit Me concealer in light to cover up those dark circles! I also set this concealer right away with a banana powder to prevent creasing!After, I set my whole face with a translucent powder. This does two things: it helps keep my foundation from fading or creasing and it allows my contour powders to blend out smoothly.
5. After, I set my whole face with a translucent powder. This does two things: it helps keep my foundation from fading or creasing and it allows my contour powders to blend out smoothly.
6. Okay, here comes the trickiest part of the whole thing: finding your contour lines. This is how I find mine: I use a brush and lay it across my cheek, starting where the top of my ear meets my face. I then draw a light line with the contour powder down my cheek towards the corner of my mouth. If you are new to contouring and don’t want to go overboard, I recommend taking the contour line halfway down your cheek, stopping where your outer corner of your eye is.
7. Then, using this line as a guide, I load up a face brush with more contour powder and blend powder up and out towards my hair. I always scrunch my mouth to the opposite side so I can see my cheek bone easier; I know I look like a dork but it helps! Do NOT blend down, or else you will loose the sharpness of your contour line and do not blend into your face, or else you will get muddy really fast.Next, I take the contour powder and rub some into the corners of my forehead and then trace it lightly down my temple until I reach my cheek contour line. Then, I continue to lightly trace down the side of my face and bring the contour powder along my jawline. Essentially, it’s like making a big number 3 on both sides of your face.
8. Next, I take the contour powder and rub some into the corners of my forehead and then trace it lightly down my temple until I reach my cheek contour line. Then, I continue to lightly trace down the side of my face and bring the contour powder along my jawline. Essentially, it’s like making a big number 3 on both sides of your face.
9. BLEND BLEND BLEND! Blending out this contour is key; the more you blend, the more natural it will look. You don’t want harsh lines!
10. After getting my contour set, I go over the contour with a tiny bit of bronzer just to warm up my face. This is totally optional.Next is my favorite part: highlighting! I usually highlight before applying blush because I feel like this makes the highlight look a little more natural and blended on the face then if you were to apply it last. Taking a highlighting brush, I apply the highlight shade on the tops of my cheekbones, working my way out towards my hairline. I gradually move the highlight powder down my cheeks too, to help remove the appearance of harsh lines.
11. Next is my favorite part: highlighting! I usually highlight before applying blush because I feel like this makes the highlight look a little more natural and blended on the face then if you were to apply it last. Taking a highlighting brush, I apply the highlight shade on the tops of my cheekbones, working my way out towards my hairline. I gradually move the highlight powder down my cheeks too, to help remove the appearance of harsh lines.
12. I also apply the highlight down the bridge of my nose, the tip of my nose and the top of my cupid’s bow to bring more light to the center of my face.
Last step! Appling the blush! I sweep the blush on the apples of my cheeks and work it back towards my hairline, blending it lightly into the contour and the highlight! Here’s my pro tip for applying a high pigment blush: start light and build the color up, so you don’t have big clown cheeks!
Ta-da! Contouring made simple! Below is a picture with one-half of my face highlighted and contoured. Isn’t is crazy how big of a difference it makes?! Before I added the contour, there was no dimension to my face and my jawline was pretty invisible. After adding the contour, you can see my cheek bone and my jawline! I know it may seem a little complicated, but I promise that with a little practice, you’ll be able to get it down. And with the new Maybelline Master Contour Palette, contouring has never been so affordable and easy!
Now that we’ve covered the contouring basics, I hope you practice over the next couple weeks because I’ll be coming back at you with a Valentine’s Day makeup tutorial that will for sure include this contouring routine! Think you can do it? Ready to take your Valentine’s Day Makeup look to the next level? And let me know what products from Maybelline you love or want to try!