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Contouring is a trend we’ve been seeing from celebrities and beauty influencers for several years now. It began with perfectly chiselled cheeks and jaw lines and became increasingly popular from A-listers such as the Kardashians. Now we’re seeing much more subtle contouring techniques but contouring is nonetheless still very much prominent in the makeup world just on a softer, more natural basis.
The beauty of contouring is that it can subtly morph your face shape to create more definition. The main thing to keep in mind when contouring it’s to know how to contour for you own face shape correctly. Different face shapes require different placement of the product to effectively define the face.
What is contouring?
Contouring is a makeup technique designed to add dimension to the face by slightly darkening certain areas to create the illusions of shadows and a more sculpted appearance.
Having a basic understanding of contouring is a good place to start when finding how to contour for your face shape. Those who are already slightly aware will know contour is typically placed around the perimeters of the face, on the cheekbones and around the forehead.
Now we’re seeing much softer contour than the original ultra-sculpted contour made popular by the Kardashians but it’s still very much prominent in the makeup world just on a softer, more natural basis.
If you want to find out how to contour for your face shape, then keep on reading!
How to contour for your face shape
Firstly, it’s important to identify which category of face shape you fit into. Below is a handy diagram to help you decipher which contouring method you should be following based on your face shape.
There are four main face shapes, usually you will find your face shape is similar to one of these four shapes – round, oval, heart, square.
Remember though that contouring is never a necessity, and you should never feel as though you need to morph your face shape to fit into someone else’s unrealistic standards, you are you, you are unique, you are beautiful. However, if you love to just play around with some makeup to make your face look as snatched as possible then contouring to suit your face shape is a great way to achieve this.
If you have a round face then contouring can create the illusion of a more defined structure. Those with a round face will quite often be looking to add more definition to their face and give the illusion of it being elongating to achieve a more oval appearance.
When positioning your contour on your face apply product just below the cheekbones to lift your cheeks and dot some product along your jaw line to create more definition.
Those with a square face will have lots of definition in their cheeks and prominently angled jaw. When contouring a square face the aim is to soften the features. This can be achieved by applying product to the corners of your face. Start at the temples and forehead and apply your contour directing downwards on the cheekbones to elongate the face shape. You may also want to apply contour to the edges of you jaw to make it appear slightly softer.
Oval faces are naturally more elongated which means those with an oval face want to be concentrating the majority of product under their cheekbones to enhance them and focussing product on the top of the forehead rather than on the temples. This contour placement will help to shorten the appearance of the forehead.
Heart shaped faced faces are normally identified by a wider forehead that tapers in with a narrower chin. The majority of you contouring will be focused on the top of the forehead and around the temples to slim down the appearance of the forehead. As always, apply some product under your cheek bones to create some extra definition.
Best contouring products
Now you know how to contour for your face shape it’s time to get into some of the best contouring products to give you that snatched makeup look.
Huda Beauty Tantour Contour & Bronzer Cream
If you prefer the look of a natural contour, then this deeply pigmented cream-to-powder bronzer lasts incredibly well on the skin with its water and sweat-resistant properties. It’s super easy to apply and blends effortlessly on to the skin to create semi-luminous contour that looks extremely natural.
Charlotte Tilbury Contour Wand
If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on this rare-as-unicorn-poo contour wand by Charlotte Tilbury, then you’ll know this is perhaps the best contouring product on the market today. Yep, the hype is in fact real!
It’s liquid formula, similar to a concealer, dabs straight from the applicator onto the face and is extremely easy to buff out to a natural contour for sculpted looking cheekbones.
MAC Studio Fix Sculpt and Shape Contour Palette
Not only does this palette give you multiple shade ranges of contour to choose from but it also supplies you with the highlighting shade (we’ll get into highlighting another time) to fully sculpt your face. However, I must admit I only use the powder contour in this kit.
Unlike the previous contouring products this MAC palette is made up of powder products that give a sheer coverage to create natural shadows to create more definition on the face.