I've been planning on doing a video about contouring for a long time now. There are too many things to say and I find it easier to explain like that.
After reading all that you will understand why I won't do a demonstration on myself. Everybody has a different face, seeing my contouring won't help doing yours.
- The goal of contouring :
The goal of contouring is to create or reinforce a natural looking shadow on your face. This is meant to be a " face correction ". Contouring will frame your face and gives it more dimension. Knowing how to contour a face, anyone's face, is an essential base that as a make-up artist we need to perfect. Unlike a lot of people think, being able to contour anyone's face the right way is not that simple.
Knowing how to do it, is a big part of being successful as a make-up artist. Being able to perfect any make-up basics is what a professional make-up artist should be able to do.
In a classic beauty way, contour is used to create an oval face shape. Or at least something that can be as close to it as possible.
When it comes to more high fashion / catwalk contouring, it is used to create more of a feline face shape.
- Contouring no no :
Sucking your cheeks / doing the fish face and voilà ! This is a very basic wrong way to contour your face. Thinking that this method will work on everybody's face is just wrong. Everybody has a different face shape. Some round, some long, some square, ... That's why you need to adapt the direction of your contour depending on what face shape you're contouring. If you already have a long face shape, you don't want to go in direction of your lips. This will do nothing but making your face even longer. You better go in direction of your nose. If you have a round face shape then you are more likely to go in direction of your lips and it will elongate and slim down your face.
Of course they are tons of different face shape. And most of the time your entire face is not fully round, fully long, ... You can have a round face when it comes to the middle of your face (cheeks), a square face when it comes to the top part of your face (forehead) and the lower part of your face long (chin and jaw line).
That's very important to be able to guess each shape of your face to be able to do your contour the right way.
Using a bronzer as a contour color. I see tons of people using bronzer as a contour color everyday. This is probably the n°1 mistake that people make. Most of bronzers have shimmers in them. Contour is all about creating a shadow on your face. A shadow meaning a matte shade to create depth and definition. Anything that has shimmers in it will reflect the light and highlight a part of your face. This is in fact the opposite thing that you want to do when you contour a face.
You're probably going to say that if the bronzer is matte there is no problem anymore. You are wrong. Bronzers are meant to give a natural glow to your face / creating a fake healthy tan look. That's why bronzers, no matter if they are shimmery or not, are warm based. A shadow is not warm, it's a cool tone color. That's why even if your bronzer is matte, it doesn't make it a right color for contouring. I see many people contouring their face with a matte bronzer and they end up with a very unnatural looking contour / warm brown contour.
What you want to use is a cool tone color. You can contour with a cream based product or a powder. I tend to prefer using a powder. But this is a personal choice.
For light skins, I use a light matte taupe brown color. This gives me the perfect natural looking contour.
For people who have medium to slightly dark skins I mix 2 colors together most of the time. Any eye shadow in the brown family (not too much warm based) and a taupe or grey color. For people who have an olive skin tone, I sometimes even add a little bit of a green eye shadow. Yes green ! And trust me it works. Of course when you mix powders together you should be very precise and not just take a ton of green eye shadow. It should be the undertone color of your contouring not the main color.
For people who have dark to very dark skins I mix, again, 2 matte colors together most of the time. A black and a blue. Once again the black should be the main color and the blue the undertone.
People contouring when then don't need it. No you don't need to contour your cheeks, your nose, your forehead, your chin, your jaw line. I see some people who have a nearly perfect oval face with amazing bone structure and yet they contour the hell out of their face and end up looking like a drag queen. I have nothing against drag queens and think they are amazing at what they do, but let's face it, it has nothing to do with classic beauty.
If you only need to contour your cheeks then just contour your cheeks ! Just because other people contour their entire face doesn't mean you need to do it too. As I said everybody has a different face shape.
- Things to do when contouring :
Always start by contouring your cheeks. Sometimes when looking in a mirror, you think you're gonna have to contour your jaw line and your forehead. Trust me, cheeks contouring can actually make you change about doing that. Being the middle of your face, it tends to balance the rest of your face. A great cheek contouring can avoid a jaw line contour. Now it doesn't always work, most of the time you still need to contour your jaw line.
When it comes to contouring your forehead, this is something that most of the time your hairdresser should be concerned about. A good hair cut matching your face shape can actually avoid a contour there. A long forehead would look shorter with bangs, a square forehead more oval with side bangs. If you don't have a haircut that suits your face shape, this will influence your entire face. But of course most of the time forehead is the first part concerned.
Contouring your cheeks in a triangular way. When you are contouring your cheeks, you don't need and shouldn't contour all the way down to the direction you're taking. That means, if you happen to go in direction of your lips, to never bring your contour down to your lips. This is horrible looking. The right way to do it, is to imagine a contouring in a triangular shape. Of course the longer side of triangle should be close to your hair line / ear and the pick of the triangle should be were your contouring stops. Contouring your cheeks in a triangular shape will avoid you to go too far with your contouring as it reinforces the direction of the shadow by itself.
Contouring your jaw line under your actual face line. Never contour your jaw line directly on your jaw line (if that makes sense). If you do so you're more likely to end up with a fake beard color effect that is, no need to say, ugly. Always contour just right under your jaw line and blend it down your neck.
Being precise. Contouring is way more precise than most people think it is. For example when it comes to contouring your jaw line, you don't always need to contour your entire jaw line. A good example to explain what I mean are mature people. Most of the time, they have a little part of their jaw line (just around the chin) that falls down. If you just contour under that part, this will reduce that effect. But if you go ahead and contour the rest of your jaw line, this will neutralize the effect you just created. Adding shadow everywhere is not the right way to contour. Only add that shadow where you truly need it.
And I think it's about it !
When it comes to contouring my own face, I do have naturally an oval face shape. But I like to give it a more feline look.
I hope it was helpful to some of you !
If you have any questions please let me know.
Talk to you guys later ! :)