Contour de Force

The new rage nowadays is contouring. Once reserved for “insiders” such as makeup artists, beauty queens, and celebs, now you can look up contouring on Instagram and see a bazillion feeds about it.

Yeah it is definitely magical because it can take chubby cheeks and pounds off your face without bucal fat removal and dieting.

I learned this trick during my beauty pageant days from observing my makeup artists do it (contouring is so powerful that you can almost make yourself look like an entire different person). This is because it alters the eye’s perception of facial angles. Dark colors on your face make things recede. Great for carving angles where there are none, or for narrowing features like nostrils and jawlines.

Here is my semi-sloppy makeup application with only about four steps. Bottom lower left corner has the “contour” lines which seem complex in charts but easily executed in real life. For the purpose of this post, I didn’t do any extreme contouring, just enough to define the cheek bones and narrow the nose. So the dark lines you see are super simplified. But that’s all you need. I also didn’t use highlights; I only used dark colors to “carve”.

I didn’t do much detail in the pic but you can definitely see the narrowing of the jaw and cheeks. Such is the magic of darker color on the outside of the face. Try it and see!!!


From left top corner:

  1. Naked face. No makeup. Moisturized with cheapo Muji sensitive skin moisturizing toner and lotion
  2. I applied Chanel DOUBLE PERFECTION LUMIÈRE LONG-WEAR FLAWLESS SUNSCREEN POWDER MAKEUP BROAD SPECTRUM 15 in 40 Beige. Then I topped it with MAKEUP FOREVER HD Invisible Cover Foundation on top in 123 Desert to “blur”, I added some Urban Decay Naked 3 eyeshadow – top lid is Dust (pale metallic pink shimmer w/iridescent micro-glitter), crease shadow is Darkside (deep taupe-mauve satin). Lined eyes with Revlon ColorStay black liquid eyeliner.
  3. The third step was to contour with my favorite contour palette from stage makeup industry leader Graftobian. This is the Graftobian Super Palette in “Neutral.” It’s not a cheap palette at $75. But it is basically the Rolls Royce of all-purpose foundation sets / contour set. The colors are very highly pigmented. It’s HD-ready and blendable (for experts only, if you’re really skilled in identifying skin tones). Some of the shades look funny in the picture but they are all varying degrees of beige and brown with neutral, red, or blue undertones. They can be used as foundation, concealer, highlighter, and bronzer. Be careful; this is not for the slight of hand. I had to blend very skillfully and very fast because it was very pigmented and dried instantly.

However you don’t need to get fancy gear. All you need for contouring is a lighter shade than you skin and a darker shade than your skin. Makeup Forever has a two-color contour compact and Anastasia Beverly Hills makes one that I also love ( Beginners should use powder because liquid makeup can be very thick and hard to blend. Use matte, because shimmer will make you look like a streaky shiny clown. And BLEND WELL or else you will look like you have dirty coal miner streaks.


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