What is Face Contouring and When Should You Use it?

Enhancing natural features and shaping the facial structure can both be accomplished through contouring. It’s a cosmetics technique that aids in bringing attention to the shadowed portions of the face, like the jawline and forehead, as well as the high points, like the cheekbones and the bridge of the nose. In the end, it gives the face, as well as other portions of the body like the décolletage, shape and definition.

Correct contouring can create the appearance of defined jawline, smaller forehead, pinched nose, and chiseled cheekbones. It’s a creative approach to adjust or improve the contour of your face because it enables you to draw attention to your favorite characteristics while concealing your least favorite.

When should you use contour?

The goal of contouring is to use cosmetics to enhance or alter the structure of your face, but the results don’t need to be overly dramatic. According to makeup artist Jenna Nicole, who is located in Los Angeles “From 2012 to 2018, contouring based on your face shape was seemingly very important,”. “Less is more,” she says now, and she embraces “natural, dewy skin.”” Now, instead of trying to change your entire face, contouring and highlighting are all about giving your face depth and dimension that looks natural.

What is the difference between bronzer and contour?

The distinction between bronzer and contour products is negligible because both are intended to give your face and makeup more dimension. However, bronzer is only used where the sun would naturally shine and is primarily intended to warm up your complexion. Contrarily, contouring is a less subtle technique that cosmetics artists recommend. It not only gives your face depth, but it also defines, structures, and casts shadows on it. Avoid contouring with bronzers because this will make your skin look overly warm and possibly orange rather than defined and sculpted.

Where do you contour your face?

Decide first where you want to put the emphasis and what you want to emphasize. Your face could appear a little flat after applying foundation, so a nice location to start to add depth is directly behind your cheekbones.

Is it better to apply foundation first, then contour, or vice versa?

The application’s sequence has evolved along with the contouring notion. You may have already applied your foundation, followed by the blending of your bronzer and highlighter. Now, however, apply a cream or liquid highlighter first, followed by your foundation, and finally, add a contour to enhance dimension. Instead of seeing an apparent highlight line, you may still see the skin’s texture by blending foundation over your highlighter. Basically, the highlighting under the foundation will make your skin appear naturally glowing.

What do you need for contouring?

You need a product that is three shades darker than the tone of your skin and stays in the same undertone family for the ideal contour. If you have extremely light skin, avoid using a tint that is just three shades darker than your natural skin tone. If your complexion has cool undertones, pick a cooler grayish-brown hue, and if your skin has warm undertones, stick to a warmer red-brown shade.

Next, you must choose between using a cream and a powder. When choosing the proper formula, take into account your skin type and texture in addition to your own preferences. Choose a cream contour if your makeup has a tendency to settle into fine wrinkles or if your skin is exceptionally dry. You’re in a bind. Another option is a matte brown or taupe lip color. Use the warmth of your clean hands or a damp makeup sponge while applying and mixing liquid or creamy products to make them dissolve into the skin.

How do you contour with powder?

Use a powder if your complexion is oily or if you simply prefer a matte finish. Powder formulas can’t be blended with your fingertips as easily as creams can, and A+ blending is crucial for achieving a natural-looking contour. Instead, decide which makeup brush will best suit your desired look. Use a brush with blunt bristles to create an extremely sharp chiseled appearance. A fluffy angled brush can help you distribute the product as you sculpt for a softer finish. You’ll also need a tiny shading brush to contour minor areas, like the sides of your nose.

Powder contouring follows the same fundamental stages as cream contouring in terms of the actual application technique. Apply the product first in the areas where you want the color to be the most intense. Then, to soften the line and make it appear more natural, apply sweeping motions with your brush.

Can you contour without highlighting?

Whatever you want to do is allowed. In fact, a lot of makeup artists are avoiding the classic cheekbone highlight altogether in favor of giving your face a gloss that looks incredibly natural all over. The secret is to blend a few drops of facial oil with a few drops of foundation and apply the mixture all over your face for an integrated highlight.

Do you put powder over contour or highlighter?

Putting a lot of powder over cream makeup is known as “baking,” which is claimed to keep it intact for longer. If you want your cream-based makeup to linger all day, skip your contour and instead softly dust a setting powder over just your forehead and the area beneath your eyes. Then apply a setting spray to your face to smooth down any sharp lines and blend everything together.

Step-by-by-Step Instructions for Contouring

Depending on your bone structure and face shape, contouring should improve your natural facial features. It will vary from person to person.

  1. Prep the face. As always, begin by taking care of your skin. Wash your face and moisturize to prevent makeup from sticking in areas with dry skin or pronounced wrinkles. Primer is optional, but if you’re going for a more elaborate makeup look, you might as well. In order for your skincare and makeup products to function better and last longer, primer works as a barrier between them. Apply a small amount of foundation or concealer to your skin to even it out and conceal any blemishes or imperfections in colors that complement your natural skin tone and undertone.
  2. Shadow. Using your darker shade to cast a shadow beneath your cheekbones is the simplest and most common approach to contour. By sucking in your cheeks and running the product around the hollows of your cheeks, following the contours of your jawline and temples, you may locate your cheekbones. You can place your shadow in one of three locations, depending on the shape of your face and your distinctive facial features: along the sides of your nose; in a “3” shape that follows your hairline, beneath your cheekbones, and along your jawline; or in an upside-down triangle shape framing your cheeks. Find the appearance that suits you by experimenting with various lines and using shadows to shape your face.
  3. Highlight. To regions of your face that reflect light naturally, such as your forehead, the bridge of your nose, the tip of your nose, the top of your cheekbones, your cupid’s bow, and the area surrounding your eyes and brow bone, use a lighter tone or a highlighter. Use an eyeshadow or highlighter that is shimmering (not dazzling!) and somewhat lighter than your skin tone.
  4. Blush. It’s not required to apply blush to the apples of your cheeks for a contouring appearance, but it can make your makeup appear more natural by serving as a transitional color between your shadow and highlight areas.
  5. Blend. Blending is crucial because you’re using colors that don’t match your skin tone. Blend your shadows and highlights into your skin or foundation layer using a large, fluffy brush, blending brush, or makeup sponge until the lines you drew appear more natural.
  6. Set. Use setting spray or powder for a flawless finish.


Enhancing your facial bone structure and adding depth can be done with contour cosmetics. Shadowing and highlighting techniques are used in contouring to define and shape your features in the most attractive ways possible. Additionally, it makes your makeup appear more blended and skin-like.