Just like oil painting is a fine art in painting, contouring is considered a fine art in makeup. To put it simply, contouring is just playing with light and dark colors to enhance the areas of the face that naturally stand out. The idea behind it is to contour the places that would normally have shadows and highlight the places that would protrude. The Week talked to Rofina Singh, proprietor and beautician of Serene Salon of Hair and Beauty, Pulchowk, to learn the basics of how to rightly contour your face.
For your nose
By playing with the contour, you can make your nose look slimmer. Draw parallel lines starting from the bridge to the tip of your nose. Make the lines meet at the tip of your nose, creating a triangle. To make your nose look sharp, make sure you blend along the line you drew. “Don’t make the line you draw very dark as it will make you look darker when you are done and will end up looking unnatural,” she says. If you keep the lines light, only professional makeup artists might be able to identify what you have done. While some people use brushes to blend the contour line, Singh finds it easier to use a beauty blender.
Make your cheekbones pop
Suck your cheeks in and draw a line from the top of your ears to your laugh line, taking care to avoid the side burns. Make sure that the line you draw is straight and take care while blending to not go below this line, as the jaws won’t look pronounced if you do. Blend well with upwards strokes to the top of your cheekbones. After contouring, you should highlight the top of your cheekbones to make it stand out even more.
For fuller lips
If you have flat lips and feel like after doing your makeup they just blend into your chin, apply a small dab of contour cream under the lower lip to help it stand out. You don’t need any tools to do this, just smudge it lightly with your fingers. The shadow under your lips will help you give an impression of a fuller lip. After this, you can then apply a little highlight on the cupids bow to make your lips really stand out.
“After doing your makeup with a cream contour, if you feel like it’s too light, brush in a little powder contour of the same color. But make sure you aren’t too heavy handed with it and build it up as you go,” says Singh.
Make your foreheads look smaller
Dab small amounts of contour cream across your forehead a little below your hairline. Blend it properly in downward motion to create a shadow to give an illusion of a smaller forehead. “For people with a small forehead, you can skip this step, and instead of a contour, use a small amount of highlighter instead,” she says.
Below your jaw line
Contouring your jawline not only makes your jaws look soft, it also helps to hide a double chin. Draw a line starting from below your earlobe on the jawline and draw it towards the chin. Make sure by the time you reach under your chin, the contour line goes right below your jaw. After you draw the line from both sides, look in the mirror. The lines shouldn’t be visible when you face the mirror, but it should be seen when you look sideways. Blend downwards towards your neck to maintain the straight line along your jaw. To make your contour pop, you can apply a little translucent powder in the space between the cheek line and the jawline.