By Joshua Pierce, Head of Education at Credo
Contouring has been in the spotlight for a few years now. The overall concept has hung around through the decades for its use on stage. Theater performers, drag queens and even clowns have used the technique to make their bone structure more prominent at a distance and under bright stage lights.
These days, thanks to beauty influencers and Kardashians, contouring has had a major renaissance.
In the beauty community, the concept of contouring is the same as it is for stage and can be seen in a variety of intensities. Ranging from subtle shadows to full blown facial reconstruction; contouring can give an instant glam effect to your skin. Any way you like to approach it is great by us. Makeup is meant to empower those who wear it. If contour is your power… more power to you!
Understanding clean beauty product choice and pigment placement is the secret to mastering this technique. Let’s talk about the basics of contouring with contouring 101.
Picking your contouring productsFirst, you want to establish which products will give you maximum impact for your skin. If you’re on the drier side then I would contour and highlight with creamier products that will hydrate the skin. Oily skin types will prefer powder formulas since they won’t add unwanted moisture. We suggest choosing whatever product is the closest to your skin texture.
Foundation sticks, concealers, contour sticks, powder bronzers are all great options for contouring and will ultimately have the same outcome. The real insider secret is to choose a contour shade that is a little deeper than your skin tone. The deeper the shade the more dramatic the look will be.
Texture is very important here. Contouring is meant to make your features recede into the natural shadows of your face. For instance, everyone is loving high cheekbones lately. The hollow of your cheek, under the cheekbone is where you accentuate the contour. The best way to maintain the shadowy dimension is to use contouring products that are MATTE. No shimmer, no shine. Shimmery shiny products reflect the light and will create a glare in the areas you want to contour and sink in.
Check out these gorgeous products you can use to contour the skin. If you need help with a shade recommendation you can log into our live chat at the bottom right of your screen. Our Clean Beauty Experts are happy to help you choose!
Jillian Dempsey Spot Stick Concealer
Westman Atelier Face Trace Contour Stick
How to Apply Contour?Where do you apply the product? This is where things get exciting! Well, it all depends on what makes you feel good. Contour is what you make of it. Soft and demure, mild and lovely, maximum glam! You choose what level you want to explore. The placement of product will stay the same. What changes is how much of the product you use!
The simplest way to see where you should contour your face is to stand under overhead lighting. The natural shadows that the light casts to the low planes of your face will show you the exact placement for your unique bone structure. It’s pretty safe to say that the hollow of the cheek, the depth under your brow bone (eye crease), and under the jaw line is where you’ll see the most intensity of shadow.
If you are dipping your toe into contouring and trying to figure out how to contour (and can’t find an overhead light) then I’ll give you a super easy technique that works every time. Imagine a huge number three on the side of your face. Starting at your hairline, tracing around the outside of your face and under your cheekbone, then flowing from the center of your ear down to your jawline. Following this path with your contour creates shade and dimension on all the prominent lowplanes and can be applied in a snap. Easy symmetry every time.
The Necessary Makeup ToolsNow, you’re definitely going to want a brush to apply your contour. If you’re using a cream product then brushes with dense bundles of fibers are best. This approach will give you a pretty defined contour… so it may be helpful to practice it a few times. Check out these brushes for cream contour.
Kjaer Weis Blush-Foundation Brush
Jenny Patinkin Complexion Brush
Ere Perez Eco Vegan Multipurpose BrushFor powder contour your best friends will be brushes that are fluffier! Fluffy brushes deposit less pigment and will allow for a more airbrushed finish. This means the contour will look more natural. Smaller brushes are great because you’ll have more control over the application. Look at these little fluffy babies.
RÓEN BEAUTY Blush & Blend Brush
Vapour Powder Brush
Want to learn more? One of the best ways to learn how to contour and how to apply contour is by visiting a local Credo store near you. Our Clean Beauty Experts can help match your to the perfect shade and texture of contour as well as walk you through the tools you’ll need to complete the look! If you like to shop from the comfort of your couch and want some advice, just click the link at the bottom right of your screen to live chat with one of our team members.