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  • Stefan Howarth

Tips & Tricks for a natural contour

Contouring has been big in the beauty world for many years now, and it’s something I have played with and practiced on my own face for a long time. Now with many people asking me about my cheekbones over the last few months I thought I would show you what I do on my own face, and give you some hints and tips along the way. Contouring isn't something we HAVE to do with our make-up, but the truth is that most of us are hooked and do it every day! Why? Because contouring visually restructures your entire face making you look and feel better. It makes your nose smaller, cheekbones more prominent and jawline more pronounced giving you features that you may not naturally have, or enhancing features you do have that you love. Last month I actually dropped my favourite Contour Palette, so this month I popped onto Notino, my favourite online beauty store to stock up on a few newbies.

How to contour

I bought myself 3 non-expensive palettes from Notino, two by Make-Up Revolution and one by Freedom, all of which contained universal shades perfect for almost everyone to contour their favourite features. Now that I had the right tools, it’s onto my tips and tricks to a basic contour.

1) Apply foundation: Now to some people this seems obvious, but it’s a question I have been asked many times. Do you apply foundation first or contour first? The answer is to always apply your base foundation first.

Above is a photo of me with my base foundation and a fixing powder on top. As you can see, my skin looks pretty plain and one dimensional in colour, but a little contour will fix this.

2) Bronzing: The first step to contouring is to use a dark powder to dust over your prominent features, or features you'd like to be more prominent, such as cheek bones and your jawline. I found that the Makeup Revolution Ultra Sculpt & Contour palette contained a good selection of shades, with a dark powder, for bronzing, a highlighter and a blusher shade. While bronzing your cheekbones, a good tip is to use a little blusher that is contained in this palette to sweep over your cheekbones just under where you have bronzed. It adds depth of colour to your make-up and helps those cheeks look healthy, contoured and glowing.

I also add a little bronzer in the corners of my forehead near my hairline. It helps define my face shape to help make it look more appealing. Contouring for me has been a lot of trial and error, so it’s always worth having a play and seeing what works best for you.

3) Highlighting: The next step to contouring is to highlight. I personally highlight just above my cheekbones, above where I have contoured, around the inner corner of my eyes, down my nose and on the cupid bow of my lips. Highlighting is a great complement to contouring as they go hand in hand. As traditional contouring basically darkens the areas of your face that are in shadow naturally, highlighting lightens the areas that the light would naturally hit. Taking the extra step of highlighting enhances the overall effect of contouring for a more flawless make-up finish.

A good tip for people who want to slim down their nose is to highlight the highest point of their nose, down the bridge and the tip. Then use a darker bronzer to lightly dust down the sides of where you just highlighted, down each side of your nose, and then gently blend together. The darker shade makes your nose look thinner in size and the highlighter helps feature the best part of the nose. Trust me it works, try it!

4) Contouring on the go: Contouring can be a timely process, and sometimes when you are rushing off to the office you just don’t have time. While I was shopping on Notino I did spot this Freedom Pro Contour was perfect to either quickly do at home or while you're on the tube to work. It contains two shades, a light and dark powder, which you can quickly dust over your features with a powder brush. Within seconds you'll have a more defined face, and you'll feel fierce for the rest of the day. You can even use the lighter shade to touch up throughout your day to help combat shine, certainly a good little palette to have!

These are my small little tips for contouring. A few changes to your morning make-up routine that can enhance the features you already have, or create new features to help make you look and ultimately feel better, more confident and happy throughout your day. Are you already a contour queen, or are you a contouring newbie?