Saturday, February 23, 2013

Basics: How to Contour


Happy weekend everyone! Today I wanted to share another "Basics" tutorial that I've gotten several requests for over the years. For some reason, I never got around to making a contouring how-to before but I finally have one here for you today! 

Contouring is one of those tricky topics because it is a very basic element to makeup artistry and yet, it's often an advanced step for the average woman to apply to her daily makeup routine. Maybe you have never thought of doing it for years and maybe, one day, you take the bronzer plunge and get ridiculously obsessed and can't imagine life without Bronzer and completely fall deeply in love with its sexy face-enhancing abilities and never look back! (This has happened before, am I right my bronzer-lovin' ladies?) 

Yes, this rather simple method to making your face look slimmer without plastic surgery, dieting, exercise, or great lighting is a wonderful trick to have for any "looking extra awesome" occasions especially when you know you will be in the spotlight where a lot of photos will be taken. Check out the video below!



PRODUCTS MENTIONED:

Urban Decay Naked Flushed Palette
Stila Bronzing Powder in 01
Benefit Hoola Bronzer
Sigma F40 Large Angled Contour Brush
Sigma E35 Tapered Blending Brush
Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Blissful

ON ME:

Eyes - Urban Decay Naked Basics (my review)
Foundation - Neutrogena Healthy Skin in 60 Natural Beige
Lipstick - Too Faced La Creme in Spice Spice Baby
Nails - Essie Chinchilly (my review)
Sweater - Modern Lux

To see as a quick guideline, here is an illustration of the basic areas that I contour. If you think about how sunlight would naturally hit your face, contouring falls where the shadows are so by adding darkness we are in essence bringing out the forehead, nose, cheeks and chin.



The biggest tip I can give with any contouring is to use a light hand, especially around the nose area. You can always add more if it doesn't show up enough but it is much harder to hide when you've added too much and your nose starts to look dirty instead of slim, sleek, and naturally straight! Also, blend, blend, blend out any harsh edges so it really looks like shadow and isn't distracting.

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and that it helps for those of you who were interested in contouring. I really want to make doing these basics lessons a priority since it seems to be one of the most helpful types of tutorials I've done so let me know in the comments if you like them and what basic you'd like to see next!

Readers, are you a regular contourer or bronzing newbie? What is your favorite bronzer? Let me know in the comments!



51 comments:

  1. Love love love your Video!
    Thank you so much :****
    xoxo

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  2. I recently use etude house color corset in #5 to contour my nose. haven't tried anything to contour my face though, hope to see before after pics in jpg format. thanks :D

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  3. I have never contoured before! O_o;; It's kinda scary to me lol! I have never tried it because I never felt I needed to? I suppose if I did and saw the differences I would probably join the bandwagon.

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    1. I don't personally feel like contouring is a "need" either but I do notice a marked difference especially in photos when I do contour so it's nice to know how to do it! You can always test it out on a non-important experimental makeup night by taking selfies/selcas. :)

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  4. Thanks for this video!! I always wondered about contouring the nose...you provided some great tips! Thanks! :)

    http://www.canuckbeautyreviews.com

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  5. For contouring, do you need to use a lot of product or are you suppose to use just a little big?
    I just found your channel on youtube and I love your videos by the way!


    http://www.mybrokeneggshells.com

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    1. The closer it is to the center of your face, the lighter hand you should use. Less is more since you can always add pigmentation. Generally it doesn't have to use much product. :)

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    2. that makes sense! I usually overdue it when it comes to foundation and stuff like that, but I don't want my contouring to look fake!

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  6. I never contour but after this I'm tempted to do it at least sometimes haha
    You can really tell the difference it makes though it looks natural!

    tht-christina.blogspot.com

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  7. Great tips! :) Just wondering, what software did you use to edit this video..?

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  8. I've tried matte eyebrow power and it works great on my nose! I also loved your acting in Phil Wong productions!

    nekodolll.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! I had an amazing time working with the Wong Fu team so I'm so glad you enjoyed watching it! :D

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  9. I really love all your makeup tutorial, jen. You're one of my role model.. ^^

    Honestly.. I'm still learn how to blend, so I can have a natural look when I contouring my face.. still hard for me to blend out a harsh edges..

    I already bought NYX Highlight & Contour Powder, but I don't think the shade is suit with my skin.. =( It's to dark for me..

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    Replies
    1. If it's too dark you can try blotting your brush on the back of your hand before applying it to your face so it's not as dense. :)

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  10. Thank you so much for the tutorial! I've been quite confused about contouring.

    Also, I have a bit of a crooked nose which is crooked towards the right. How do I contour this to make it appear more straight?

    dreamdustx

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    1. Instead of following the line of your nose, you can literally create a shadow that will make your nose look a bit straighter! Just make the contour line go straight from the front even if your nose shape curves. My nose is a little crooked too so this trick is a good thing to keep in mind. ;)

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  11. Awesome video & post, this is just so well explained! Thank you Jen for sharing your knowledge :)

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  12. will you do tips on makeup for dry skin? i'm trying to find good foundation/concealer for my skin but it always end up a bit cakey because of my dry skin. I do use moistrizers and it's fine at first, but always end up cakey after a few hours.

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    Replies
    1. Have you tried using setting sprays? There are a few that are hydrating like MAC Fix+ that can "refresh" and rehydrate your face throughout the day, and also removes the powdery look after using setting powders too!

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  13. Thank you so much for this video! I found it extremely helpful.
    I also really appreciated your bronzer suggestions as I believe we are of similar skin tones.

    savage-dreamer.blogspot.ca

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  14. Hi Jen,

    I emailed you a long time ago about the round lenses that you had on your youtube page. I just saw your blog again and I love that you did the contouring! There is a very cheap contouring compact that I have found to love. I have found it was hard to find a dark enough bronzer without it being really shimmery. E.L.F makes a REALLY great contouring palate that has blush and bronzer. it stays on your skin all day and you lasts forever! you should definitely try it and see how you like it. It is about $3 I believe at walmart, target, etc.

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    Replies
    1. I have that palette! I'll have to pull it out again and use it more. :)

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  15. Awesome video jen! Do you ever use NYC bronzer?

    http://vonnie143.blogspot.com/

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    Replies
    1. I've heard amaaaazing things about the NYC bronzer but, not kidding, every time I go looking for it it's sold out. I'm still on the hunt though!

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  16. Hi Jen!

    Nice tutorial :)

    Was wondering if you ever tried Josie Maran's Argan Brightening Bronzer Sun Spot Corrector? I find it slightly cool-ish in colour, but still works great for my light/medium asian skin.

    It's so buttery and pigmented you need to have a light hand. It's matte, but gives this lovely glow to the skin - it was the only bronzer I used all last summer!

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  17. another great video!! I'm going to go home and try your techniques. My Sigma Paris palette arrived yesterday. You look amazing in the photos (as per usual) and your shade triomphe is a triumph!!. Peace and Blessings.

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  18. Hi Jen! Great tutorial!!!
    I was just wondering, would you recommend others buying Sigma brushes separately or as in a set? Do you think every single brush from the kit are worth it?
    i'm sooo tempted to buy the Sigma brushes!

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    Replies
    1. Getting the full set is the most bang for your buck if you need a full set of brushes, but there are of course certain brushes that I like better from other brands. For instance, Sephora Professionals powder brush is softer than the Sigma one and Sonia Kashuk's blending brush is shorter and has better control than the Sigma one, but I usually mix and match just a few other brushes with a main core set from 1 company. It's just easier to manage that way! :)

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    2. Thanks for the detailed reply!!! I have BB's eyeliner and eyeshadow brushes and actually have the Sephora's powder brush.. YES! saves me some money. haha
      I guess im only one click away from buying the sigma synthetic brush set :-)
      Thanks again Jen! <3

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  19. Hi Jen,

    Great video! I love this basic tutorial, i'm learning alot!Free e-learning!Thank you! :-)

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  20. You are so cute Jen! I love you and your vids. They really give me a good mood:))))

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  21. Thanks for the great tutorial Jen! You truly simplified contouring and I loved the results! One thing-my jawline looks noticeably darker than my neck. Should I apply the bronzer on my neck too?

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    Replies
    1. You can absolutely put bronzer on your neck too! Just make sure it's blended downward well. It can all depend on your own jaw/neck shape and how much natural shadow you have there so feel free to experiment and modify exactly where the bronzer ends to work best for you! :)

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  22. Hey Jen! Love your tutorials!
    My problem is that my nose is uneven.. I have a deviated septum (not sure if that is the proper translation) and my nose is sided to the left. Can you teach how to camouflage that? Can you also recommend a more affordable product? Thank you!

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  23. jen, would you do a tutorial of your eye makeup in this video? would really like to see how you used the basic palette. thanks!

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  24. I always have a lot of trouble applying the contour to the sides of my nose. It always looks a bit dirty around that area, but I don't have the same problem with the hollows of the cheeks..

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  25. Hey Jen~~ Question, do you suggest to do any contouring for bridal make up? I saw your bridal makeup tutorial but I didn't see you did any contouring. I did a makeup trial last week and the makeup looked so flat...I didn't know why until I came across this video!!! Please help!! ~>_<~

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  26. Is very useful video but how to contour a high-bridged nose? Help me please;*

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    Replies
    1. Since contouring is to achieve the look of a high-bridged nose, you may not need to contour much! Just look at the overall shape of the nose and see where it can be straightened when you look at the bridge straight on and add color just to those areas. :)

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  27. I love your look in this video, can you please make a tutorial for the naked basics palette? :D would mean so much to me :)
    anyway thank you for being an inspiration for all asian girls out here :)
    xoxo

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    Replies
    1. I'll try to do more looks with the Naked Basics!

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  28. Hi Jen,
    When applying makeup, do you suggest people to apply makeup in a bright room, medium, or dark room? My room is medium light and I just notice that when it's out in different places, my makeup is really bad. Help.

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    Replies
    1. Definitely a bright room! Natural light is best if it's available.

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  29. apparently everyone is going CRAZY over the too faced chocolate soleil bronzer. your thoughts on it??

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  30. Since contouring is to achieve the look of a high-bridged nose. I see where it can be straightened when you look at the bridge straight on and add color just to those areas. I like to see how you used the basic palette.

    mind power

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  31. All these videos are very helpful. i will try these myself at home.

    http://www.frmheadtotoe.com/2013/02/basics-how-to-contour.html#comment-form

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  32. Hey Jen
    Have you done a tutorial with the look you have on your eyes?
    I did a search but couldn't find one.
    Ps - I'm going to Korea in April. I'm going to stock up on BB cream but is there anything else you'd recommend?

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