How to contour your face

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When it comes to make-up, each person is unique, and there’s no one-size-fits-all technique. There are countless things that determine how someone does their make-up, from face shapes, skin colors, palettes, budgets, and personal preferences. You probably also know how to do your make-up according to your face shape, but we’re going to be looking at something a little different: how to contour your face.

Contouring can subtly emphasize your best features and minimalize what you’re not so appreciative of. Today, we’ll guide you through an easy-to-follow tutorial on how to contour your face in a way that looks natural while giving you the more defined look you’d like. Let’s jump into it! 

How to Contour Your Face 

Face contouring is a relatively new trend in make-up. It involves using varying shades of foundation, concealer, and powder to alter the shapes, tones, and proportions of the face, though you can do it to lesser degrees (such as just using powder) and still get good results. 

Getting a contour kit, such as this Contour Palette from e.l.f. is a great way to get a start without buying thousands of products. 

Let’s look at some beginner contouring techniques. We’re going to break things down in terms of each part of the face, but keep in mind that all your brush strokes go upward and outward. In other words, your brush strokes should feel like you’re “lifting” your face. 

How to Contour Your Face: Cheeks and Cheekbones

How to contour your face

To lift your cheekbones, brush a diagonal line going from your ear to the center of your eye, brushing upward and outward.

Going past the center of the eye will make your face look longer. So, if your face is square and you would like an elongated look, you can extend the stroke. 

To accentuate your cheekbones, curve the line a little instead of making it straight.

How to Contour Your Face: Forehead

To shorten your forehead, draw a line close to your hairline. Brush along the width of your forehead, brushing outward and away from the face.

If your forehead is short and you want to avoid making it shorter, you can instead focus on the side a little by drawing some diagonal lines on your temples.

If your forehead is wider, the diagonal should go inward, pointing toward your eyebrows, as this makes the illusion of a narrower forehead. 

How to Contour Your Face: Jawline and Jawbone

If your face is round and you want a more defined jawline, draw a J or L shape around your face (do a J shape for the right side and an L shape for the left side).

To accentuate your jawbone or have the appearance of sucked-in cheeks, you can draw a V shape from the end of your jawbone to the chin. Then, brush up a little toward your mouth. 

How to Contour Your Face: Chin

How to contour your face

To shorten your chin, you can draw a horizontal line and brush outward. Because the chin takes up so little real estate on the face, there’s not a huge amount you need to do to alter it. 

How to Contour Your Face: Nose

If you’d like to shorten the appearance of your nose, you can brush under the tip to cast a shadow. 

To make your nose thinner, draw two lines on the sides of the nose bridge.

If you want to make it appear pointier, draw a V under the tip and a line between it and the nose bridge. You’d be surprised how much you can change the appearance of your nose with a little well-placed contouring!

Level Up Your Makeup Game!

If you’re new to make-up and the idea of contouring excites you, then why not treat yourself to some new makeup and get practicing? You can pair your new look with your favorite stackable birthstone jewelry pieces, cottagecore nail art designs, and the top fall fashion trends