your complete guide to contouring

Your Complete Guide to Contouring

Last updated on: 2022


If you are reading this post without a clue what contouring is, you have been forgiven! If you are one of the many extremely confused on what contour techniques to follow and want a complete guide to contouring, do not worry. We’re here to explain the history of contouring and how to get started contouring yourself.

Here is your complete guide to contouring!


Where Did Contouring Begin?

Contouring has been used as early as the 1500’s. Staged actors in Elizabethan England would apply chalk to their faces in order for audience members to be able to read their expressions. However, it was Kim Kardashian’s makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic, or @makeupbymario on Instagram, who helped popularize contouring on the internet in 2014, even becoming known as ‘The King of Contour.’

your complete guide to contouring

Photo from Harper’s Bazaar Arabia

Basic Contour 101

It is important to understand the basics of contour before trying other techniques… Contouring is not a one-way-fits-all technique therefore you must customize it to your facial shape. The different types of face shapes include: oval, long, round, square, heart and diamond.

Contouring can be executed with cream, concealer, foundation, powder or a combination of those products. Begin by picking out two shades, one that is deeper than your current skin tone and a second shade that is lighter. Place the deeper shade into the depths of your face. The location of the depths can be found below your cheek bones, under your chin, your neck, and near your hairline.

Next, place the highlight onto the features of your face you would want to enhance or illuminate; for example, under the eyes, brow bones, top of the nose, bottom of the forehand and the cupid’s bow. The reason it is crucial you understand your face shape is because depths and highlight points can be located higher or lower depending on your face shape. A great hack to find the depths of your face is to follow the shadows that appear on your face naturally when you are in direct lighting.

Once the product is placed you can blend with a sponge or brush whichever works best for you. The goal of contouring is to enrich the features you currently have or create an illusion for features you would like to alter.

your complete guide to contouring

Graphic from

Blush Contouring

This one is for the blush lovers out there! Blush contouring has also been referred to as ‘blush draping’ or ‘color glow.’ Blush contouring made its comeback today but was very trendy in the 70’s when Cher’s makeup artist Way Bandy used it.

To perform blush contouring, you would place blush on the depths of your face instead of using bronzer. Additionally, you can add blush to the top of your cheek bone and your nose area where you would normally place highlighter.

your complete guide to contouring

Photo by Harry Langdon/Getty

Contour to Lift the Face

Are you aiming to get the lifted Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner look? It is no surprise that contouring to lift the face has gone viral on TikTok. This newer technique requires placing a lighter concealer at an upward angle under the eyes, the brow bone, the temple, under the nose, bottom corner of the lips and below the depths of the cheek bone. Once the concealer is highlighting those areas you blend it out. Many followers of this trend will compare the lifted side to the non-lifted side; the results are shocking!

@mekaelafarris *tries to lift my face using concealer ✔️what do we think? 👀 #concealerhack #facelift #makeup #makeuptutorial #viral #contouring #contourtutorial #highlightinghack #beautyhack #makeuphack #fakefacelift #snatchedface #howtoliftyoureyes #liftedmakeup #makeuptips #tiktokmakeup #fullglammakeup ♬ Rules x Do You – Hunny Bee

Try It Yourself!

Now that you have been given a complete guide to contouring and are familiar with some current trends, try it out for yourself! At the end of the day makeup is supposed to be fun and where you can test what works for you. Never be afraid to step out of your comfort zone while trying these techniques!

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