How to Contour Without Looking Fake
Contouring is a means to slim down your face. Many people worry about contour lines looking fake. While contouring is dramatic, there are steps you can take to make it look natural. Select the right products. Matte products work best for contouring and you'll need to start off with a layer of foundation that matches your skin. Stick to minimal contouring. Dramatic changes to your facial structure are best left for professional makeup artists. A few light contouring lines on your cheekbones, and strategically applied highlighter, is enough to give your face definition without your makeup looking fake.
Laying Down the Foundations
Start with the right shade of foundation.Foundation is meant to match your natural skin tone. It should not lighten your skin or give you a tan. You will be applying a layer of foundation prior to contouring, so make sure you select a foundation that does not change your skin tone.
- As with any makeup product, some experimentation goes into finding the right foundation. Try buying several small containers of foundation to find one that matches your skin. If you're shopping at a department store, a worker at the desk may be able to help you find a match.
- You can add a small swab of foundation to your hand or jawline before applying it to your face. This can help you see if the foundation matches your skin. Some stores may let you test products prior to purchase.
Buffer in the foundation.If your foundation looks caked on, the contour lines you apply on top of it will suffer. When applying your foundation, make sure it gets buffered on smoothly. Use the right tools for the product you're applying, and always use circular motions to apply foundation.
- Unless you're very skilled at makeup, go for a buffing brush over a flat brush for most foundations. All you need to do is buffer the foundation into your skin, swirling the brush in circular motions.
- If you don't have brushes, you can use your fingers to apply foundation. However, this tends to work best with cream products. Dab a dot of foundation on your forehead, cheeks, and chin. Swirl the foundation into your face using your middle and ring finger.
Gather the right materials for contouring.The products you use have a dramatic effect on your contouring results. You need bronzer, highlighter, and blush to contour.
- Select matte products for contouring. Shimmery products tend to make contour lines look obvious.
- You will need at least one large, fluffy brush to smooth contouring lines when you finish.
- You should have a separate brush for each product you're applying. For the bronzer, go for a very narrow brush. This makes it easy to draw on thin contour lines.
Evaluate where to apply each product.Contouring should enhance where the sun naturally hits your face. This will assure it looks natural. You do not want to create contour lines in areas where they would not naturally occur, so observe your face under sunlight prior to contouring. Notice how the light hits your face and focus your contouring here.
- Notice where the sun naturally hits your face. The sun usually falls around the top of your cheekbones and your forehead. This is where you will apply bronzer. You will then use your blush and highlighter to add the illusion of depth to these lines.
- Pay attention to where shadows naturally fall on your face. This is where you'll be adding blush and highlighter to enhance the bronzer.
Creating Contour Lines
Apply minimal every day makeup to your cheeks.You will start off contouring by applying your every day look, using products such as foundation and concealer. Avoid applying too much makeup near your cheeks. You want the amount of makeup here to look minimal in order for your contouring to look natural.
- If you prefer to do your eyes and lips first, you can do your eye makeup prior to contouring. However, you can also do your eye and lip makeup after finishing the contouring process.
Start by adding a contour line with bronzer.Bronzer should be used to add two lines to either cheekbone. Use your thin tipped brush so you can draw the lines precisely.
- Start your line near where your hairline and ear meet. Following the natural direction of your cheek bone, draw a line angling downward.
- You should draw your line about an inch and a half in length.
Blend out your contour lines.Take your flat brush and sweep it back and forth alone your line, something like the movement of windshield wipers. This will cause the contouring line to blend out into your face slightly. This will create a more natural look, as the line will not look too drawn on or obvious.
Add a line of blush above your contour lines.Use a wider, fluffier brush to apply your blush. Make sure to add the blush above, not below, the contour line you just drew.
- You will start your blush line slightly below your contour line, on the apples of your cheek.
- Move your line upward, following the contour line. Make sure not to cross the contour line as you follow it.
Completing Your Look
Select a highlighter slightly lighter than your skin tone.The highlighter should brighten up your face slightly, making your bronzer lines more dramatic. Therefore, select a shade that's slightly lighter than your skin tone to get the highlighter to show up. Unlike foundation, highlighter should not be an exact match for your skin tone.
Add highlighter to the top of your cheekbones and under your eyes.To start, you will want to brighten up your contour lines slightly, and add additional light elsewhere. Using a fluffy brush, dust on some highlighter above your blush and contour lines. Then, dust some highlighter under your eyes to reduce dark circles.
- Use gentle, sweeping motions to apply the highlighter.
- Sweep over your highlighter several times. This will assure that your makeup blends more naturally.
Target your chin and nose.From here, dust some highlighter onto your chin. In addition to making your face more angular, this has the added bonus of covering up blemishes.
- When applying highlighter to your nose, move the brush in a back and forth motion across the bridge of your nose.
Add lines to your jawline.You should also run two lines down either jawbone using highlighter. This will give your face a more angular appearance. Sweep the highlighter back and forth over your jawlines to create a smooth, defined look.
Dull any obvious lines with a blending brush.If you want your contouring to look natural, blending is a vital step. Take a large, fluffy brush and dust it over your face, blending all the contour lines together slightly. The end result should be a look that gives your face natural angles and lines without any obvious lines visible.
- Make sure not to over blend. You do not want to eliminate the distinctions between highlighter, blush, and bronzer altogether, as this will destroy the contour effect. Just strive to have the lines blend into each other so the distinction between colors is not obvious.
- For contouring to look natural, it needs to be somewhat minimal. Remember a small amount of makeup goes a long way. Stick to one or two layers of each product, and only use a small amount on your brush. The contrast between light and dark shades will be dramatic even with a small amount of makeup.
- To make sure products work with your skin tone, test them out on your hand before applying them to your face.
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