I am a huge proponent of contouring. But contouring nowadays is mocked as heavy, dramatic, unrealistic ‘instagram’ make up. I’m rather sad about this, because I was contouring ever since I got into make up, in 2012. Even when I only had 1 foundation and like 2 lip products, I was contouring, can you believe that?
Right now, I still contour nearly everyday. But my version of contour is definitely not your instagram slather-tons-of-product-on-your-face kind. I don’t even wear that much make up on a daily basis, but I love contouring because it gives me a bit more definition in my features. It also makes me feel just a little bit more old-hollywood glamorous, like all the stars of old with great bone structure. I mean, I could get fillers or something if I REALLY wanted fabulous bone structure, but why do I need to do that when I can just contour? 🙂
[Side note: I find that we like to emphasize things we like about ourselves. My friends with round faces don’t contour, because they don’t have much to start work with. For me, I already have features more prominent than the average Asian, so I find it easy to just draw more attention to them. In the same vein, I don’t have fabulous eyebrows (they’re just passably ok) so I’m extremely unenthusiastic about them.]
First up, my weapons of choice. I have 2 contours I use on a daily basis. First up is the NYX Taupe blush. This is a cool medium brown – it’s cheap and is subtle and works well. Am I satisfied? Very. Is it perfect? Probably not. The colour could stand to be a little more yellow on me – it’s a little too chocolatey to be PERFECT, but we’re only applying very little. I think the contour in my Zoeva Rose Golden palette may be more suitable in terms of colour, but I’m not using it yet because I’ll rather slowly put a dent in my Taupe.
I also have a cream contour – Illamasqua pigment in Hollow. This and NYX Taupe are generally lauded to be THE contour of choice for pale girls. I’m not THAT pale (around NC20), but they work. I like the Illamasqua formula – the pigment is soft and creamy and easy to blend, but it’s not too pigmented. It’s also an ashy yellow – on yellower skinned folks like myself, it’s a perfect shadow.
On a daily basis, I use Hollow to contour the sides of my nose, because that’s an area where bad blending or colours can look wrong very quickly. I use the Real Techniques Crease Brush from the Starter kit: the crease brush is fucking HUGE and it will never fit into my crease, but it’s the perfect size to do the sides of my nose. The dense, buffing-style bristles ensure that it’s well blended and you don’t apply too much product.
I use NYX Taupe with my Real Techniques contour brush from the base set and just lightly swipe a few times in the hollow of my cheeks…
along my lower jawline…
and sometimes, at my temples.
When I do want a more dramatic contour, I do the cream contour first. Because it’s such a natural colour, it doesn’t show up very much. I do the powder contour over the cream contour.
Here is the difference before and after ‘natural’ contour.
There is no dramatic difference – I still look like me, not someone else. I just have slightly more definition in my features. I especially like it when I contour my nose – you can see it sharpen ever so slightly, not like I had a nose job or something. This sort of natural contour also looks good from all angles, unlike the hardcore ones which only look good straight on.
Phew, this has been a long tutorial with a lot of pictures. Basically, I like using a very diffused contour – which is why I use the RT contour brush, which is very fluffy and blends well. It’s super quick to do, and is like a push up bra – it makes you look better but other people can’t really tell it’s there. 😛