How To Contour Like A Pro For That Snatched Look

Written by Lopa KJun 27, 2024
How To Contour Like A Pro For That Snatched Look

Like the idea of contouring but not sure where to begin? Once you master how to sculpt your features, the magic of contouring will take your glam game to the next level. It only takes a few (strategically placed) swipes to get that chiselled look that turns heads.  

Below, we detail the main purpose of contouring, recommend some of our favourite contour products and share the easiest tutorial to ace this technique. 

Contour Your Way to the Top 

There are so many ways makeup can be used to add dimension to your features. People often confuse contouring with bronzing, although they’re both vastly different techniques. And then there’s blush, and highlight... So, if you’ve found yourself Googling ‘contour meaning’ to get to the bottom of it, you’ve come to the right place.  

In the simplest terms, contouring defines and shapes the structure of the face. How? By accentuating the shadows and the lights on your face to give it extra dimension. A dark contour shade is used to mimic the shadows on your face like below your cheekbones, your temples and on the sides of your nose.  

All you need to do is choose a contour shade that is two to three shades darker than your natural skin tone. Make sure that it doesn’t have any warm undertones; the best contouring products have pure brown pigment with neutral or cool undertones.  

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The Easiest Contour Tutorial for You 

Apply the dark shade to the hollows of your cheekbones. You could also try to suck your cheeks in and notice the areas that appear darker — that’s where your contour product needs to go. The other areas of the face you could consider contouring are the sides of your nose, the temples and the jawline. 

Next, take a blending sponge or a brush to blend. The key is to keep blending until there are no harsh lines. As you blend, try not to move the product away from where you placed it. And that’s about it! 

Everything You Need to Contour 

Not sure where to start? Well, we've chosen some of the best contouring products to create a top-rated contour kit. 

contour makeup

1. Creamy Contour Stick 

Makeup sticks just may be the best invention in the world of makeup as they are so easy to carry around and touch up on the go! And now we even have contour sticks so we don’t have to worry about brushes or palettes. Just get your hands on a creamy contour stick like the Lakmē Facelift MultiSlayer Contour Stick. It blends like a dream to give you a natural finish, whether you use a brush, sponge, or a finger.  

And with a stick, you can control where you want to apply it and how much. For your nose, use the edge of the stick to draw on two thin lines. But for your jaw or your forehead, swipe it flat for a larger coverage. 

contour makeup

2. Pen Concealer  

As we mentioned above, effective contouring techniques require precision which means you need to accurately apply the product. A wonky line on your nose makes it look like you have a wonky nose bridge – that is the beauty of contouring. The best way out is to use a pen concealer like the Lakmē Absolute Instant Airbrush Concealer Pen for highlighting. It has a flexible brush tip that can be used to draw a thin line on your nose or cover a larger area like your under eyes. 

contour makeup

3. Final Touches  

Want to go all out? Do a full face of contour, highlight and blush with the Lakmē Absolute Facelift Palette.  

A touch of bronzer on the high points of the face will add some warmth and dimension too. Blush adds some colour to your face that you may be missing while a highlighter just gives that oomph that completes your daily contouring routine. 

Here’s a little visual guide to sculpt your face to perfection: 

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More Contouring Tips 

Here are all the personalised contouring tips that will help you get that flawless finish you see all over your Instagram... 

1. Jaida Essence Hall, renowned drag queen and winner of 'RuPaul's Drag Race' Season 12, who is known for giving nose jobs a run for their money simply with makeup says, “if your nose gets oily, all the work you did for the contour to make it look nice and snatched, it’s going to go away because the light is going to reflect what it’s seeing and it will see your [original] nose.” Be sure to blot your face and use a setting powder so that your contour is the only thing that shines through. 

2. Typically, you would incorporate contour after foundation in your daily beauty routine. But for a subtle and natural finish, Influencer Ankush Bahuguna suggests, using “a cream contour before your base makeup. Put the foundation around the contour. And then we blend. If your contour looks too dark, add a little bit of foundation [on it] and then blend…don’t drag the brush as it will move the contour placement. Just dab it.” 

3. You can even contour without a contour product! All you need is a dark shade with cool undertones to give that illusion of a shadow. This can be found with a dark foundation, darker concealer, brown lipstick or even a brown eyeshadow. You can also do negative contouring by highlighting the high points of your face with a lighter concealer. 

4. Should you go with powder or cream contour? Well, for effective contouring, it depends on your skin type and the weather. If you have extremely oily skin and are out sweating under the sun, a powder contour will be better for you. But powder contours can be hard to blend. If you love a more natural effortless finish, reach for creams.   

contour makeup

FAQs about Contouring  

Q1. Is bronzer different from contour? 

Bronzers are used to add warmth to the face in areas where the sun would naturally hit and tan the skin. Adding bronzer to your contour will create a multi-dimensional effect on your face. Bronzer can sometimes have a bit of shimmer in it and is perfect to jazz up your daily beauty routine. 

Q2. How is highlighter different from contour? 

Highlighter does what the name suggests. It highlights the points on the face where light hits, sharpening those features. Contouring enhances the shadows, while highlighting strobes and enhances the higher zones on the face. They can be matte or shimmery. 

Q3. How do you highlight during the contour step? 

Use a matte highlighter or a light concealer to brighten the high points of your face. This is also known as negative contouring. Brighten the outer corners of your eyes, cheekbones, and chin. Next, apply a thin line on the length of your nose and just below your brow bones. If you want a wide-eyed look, apply a little highlighter in the inner corners of your eyes and get blending. 

Lopa K

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