Beauty Tips & Tricks


How to Contour for all Skin Tones

23 May, 2016
By BeYou[tiful]
Let’s face it - contouring is hot! There are masses of tutorials all over YouTube, Pinterest, in blogs and almost everywhere else online. But if you are like me, you have to admit that most of it looks way too complicated and time consuming to try. Not any longer...

Here are some very simple guidelines to help demystify contouring and highlighting.


Q. What is contouring and highlighting?
A. A mix of light and shadow used to re-sculpt your face. The art of enhancing your best features with highlights, and de-emphasising certain parts of your face with contours.

Q. Where do I apply it?
A. Contouring is used where shadows naturally occur on your face – under your cheekbones, on the side of your nose, on your jawline. Highlighting is used on areas mostly where you would naturally catch the sun – on the forehead, the bridge of the nose, the cupids bow and under the eyes above the cheekbone.

You can also use the techniques to re-sculpt your entire face shape.  There are some hints and tips on how to correct your face shape in the BeYoutiful e-book - ‘10 Secret Makeup Artists tips’ - which you receive free with your to the newsletter.

Q. How can I keep it from looking fake?
A. For the most natural look it is recommended that you stay with powders as they are the easiest to blend. Keep the liquid, cream and stick products for a special evening out or a photographic shoot.

Blending is the name of the game. Use an angled blending brush for the larger areas and a small fluffy eyeshadow brush for the sides and bridge of the nose as well as under the eyes. You really want to buff the contour and highlight but you don’t want it to disappear, so concentrate on blending around the edges of the contoured and highlighted areas for a seamless finish.

Start with a little, take a step back and check for tones in the mirror. It’s easier to add a little more than to take away.

Q. What colours must I use?
A. The rule of thumb is to use shades 2 to 3 times darker(contour) and lighter(highlight) than your natural skin tone. For lighter skins it’s best to use a contour shade which is slightly ashy/grey in tone as these tend to provide more contrast.

The lucky ladies with very dark skin tones can often skip the contouring bit entirely and just focus on highlighting.
Here are some shades recommended for different skin tones

Watch this video on easy contouring from marlimakeup featuring one of South Africa’s well known makeup artists, Marlinette Newman, who has a wonderful refreshing, down to earth, ‘no nonsense’ approach to her tutorials.

All the (Many, Crazy) Different Types of Contouring...

What do you think? We’d love to hear your views and suggestions.

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