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Introduction to Contouring/Contouring for Beginners

Introduction to Contouring/Contouring for Beginners

By: Vivian Chen

Whether it’s on Instagram or makeup vloggers on Youtube, you may have you heard people talk about contouring. But what are they talking about?Countless celebrities (including Kim Kardashian) and different makeup brands have endorsed and released contour palettes designed to slim and highlight certain parts of your face.

Whether you choose to use a cream, powder, or liquid product, contouring is a great method to help highlight, shade, and accentuate different parts of your face. Contouring may also help bring back some of the natural colors and dimensions of your face after you have applied foundation and concealer.

Choose your product

Whether it be a drug-store palette, high end product, cream, powder, or liquid contour product, choose a product that you feel comfortable using. Feel free to sample and try out different products. If you are brand new to contouring, it may be best to start off with a shade that is only a little bit darker than your natural skin color, so the results aren’t too extreme. Blending will also be your best friend!

Draw a brief outline and map out where you plan to contour

One of the most common contouring methods is the “3-E” method. Begin by lightly applying contour onto the sides of your forehead, down the side of your face, moving into the hollow of your cheek and finally along your jawline (to form a “3” or an “E” depending on which side of your face you’re working on). If you are unsure where to apply contour near your cheek, try making a “fish face” and contouring the area where your cheeks go in.


Be sure to blend out any harsh lines along your face with a clean brush. This will make all of your contour look more natural!


You will want to highlight where light naturally hits your face. You can accomplish this by using either concealer (that is one shade lighter than your natural color) and highlighter. Concealer can be applied to areas like the center of your forehead, the center of your chin and under your eyes (by making an upside-down triangle). You can also use a shimmery highlighter to really highlight your cheekbones and center of your nose for a complete look! Don’t forget to blend everything out with a clean brush!

Set Your Makeup

Set your hard work with some setting powder or makeup spray so the contour stays in place all day or night!

We hope this article helps provide you with an easy introduction into the basics of contouring!

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