Contouring 101: Shapes & Shades

For the past several years, contouring has been the buzz word in the world of beauty and cosmetics. Heck, we practically see it everywhere—from celebrity endorsements of contouring products to YouTube tutorials. And it’s actually understandable since this makeup technique is pretty wonderful; especially if you’re looking to enhance the bone structure of your face. Yup, that’s what contouring can do for us—define our cheekbones, jawline, forehead, and our noses for that sexy “chiseled” look. Pretty cool, eh?

However, it may seem like this technique is pretty easy, and I agree, it is—that is if you know the basics. You see, contouring is as straightforward as cosmetics can get—that is, highlighting the good and shadowing the not-so-good. But the thing is, it’s really not THAT simple. Like in all makeup, one that works for others might not work for you. How do you make it work for you, you ask? Well, first tip is you have to master the fine (and subtle) art of shading and blending. And one key to a perfect blend is to know the shape of your face and tailor your sculpting to your own facial structure. To help you out with your highlighting and shadowing supremacy, here are different contouring techniques for four basic face shapes:



As you can see from the picture above, Selena Gomez’s face doesn’t have any sharp edges, which makes her face look quite soft. That’s the main characteristic of a round-shaped face. For this shape, the face will tend to look big, especially under a bright light. That’s why it’s best if you contour the outer perimeters to achieve a more defined look. By shading or shadowing from the temples down to the apple of the cheeks, then underneath the jawline, you’ll be able to make your face look more “structured.”


For those blessed with an oval face like the Queen B, the goal in contouring is to give the face more angles and the forehead look narrower. How? First off, from the hairline, create a triangle shape with the tip of the triangle meeting the highest point of your eyebrow’s arch. Then, divide the cheek area on the apples of the cheeks to lift where the hollows are. This will make your face look more defined and sexier.


Same as Miley Cyrus’s, heart shaped faces tend to be smaller but with a signature pointed chin. To make it look more sensual, contour the very tip of the chin. Then, create a half diamond shape starting from above the ear down to the hollows of your cheeks. This will help tone down the sharpness and push the features towards the center of your face.


If you have a strong jawline and a flat forehead, then you have a square face like Jennifer Aniston. For sexier contouring, start by contouring your hairline in an inverted C. Then make your jawline look softer by shading under the earlobe until where the jaw and the earlobe meet. This will also draw the eyes toward the center of your face rather on your strong jawline.

Well, that’s it. Pretty simple, right? Well, if you get the basics and you’re being truthful to your face’s shape, that is! Lol! Aside from knowing your face’s shape and knowing how to properly contour it, the other most important aspect of contouring is, of course, the products you’ll be using. That’s because the art of contouring relies not just on your mastery of the products, but the quality of the products themselves. So if you’re looking for quality makeup, I highly suggest these Korean-made products:


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