You’ve probably heard of contouring. But you may not have tried it yourself, or you might be a pro. Although contouring the face is a common technique for applying makeup, many people want more help.

If done correctly, contouring can enhance the beauty of your features and bone structure. It may even prove to be transformative. You may be just beginning to contour or do some research on the subject. But, you must know how to choose the best contour shade for your skin tone. We have you covered, whether you’ve been watching YouTube tutorials for a while or just starting to contour. We reached out to Caroline Baribeau, an NYC makeup artist, to share her thoughts on contouring and give tips. Here’s a list of techniques and tricks that can be used to create the perfect contour shade.

It’s all about the Shadows

First, if you want to refresh your knowledge of contouring, this is the place for you. You can contour your face by simply darkening certain areas. Your cheekbones, forehead and nose are the most important areas to contour. You can contour your face to improve, refine, or recede any facial features regardless of your shape. However, it is not something you should do every day.

When choosing the contour shades you will use, it is important to pay attention to what colour your shadows are. Baribeau recommends using colours that closely resemble or mimic these shadows. Start your contouring journey with your foundation. Think of your foundation as a tone family. However, it should be one to two shades darker than your skin. That’s the minimum you need. For those who want to begin with a subtle contour and then move on to something more defined, adding a bit at a time is a great idea. You can always make a product that achieves the desired result.”

Skin Tones Aren’t One-Size-Fits-All

When choosing the right contour shade, our skin’s undertones are important. Because skin tones can be very different and beautiful, it is essential to know your skin to determine which contour shades will work best for you. Baribeau says that fair-to-medium skin, neutrals, taupes and contour shades that are more on the cool side would be a good choice. You can go lighter on golden tones if you have a more olive or tan complexion. These tones naturally reflect more warmth. Stick with neutrals that have the right amount of red and blue undertones for dark skin tones.

Make sure you use the right blender tools.

It doesn’t matter what kind of makeup look you are trying to achieve. The best brushes and blending instruments will make it easier to apply your products flawlessly. The shape of your contour can be affected by the brushes you use. Here are some tips to help you choose the right brush. Baribeau recommends fluffier brushes to achieve a natural look. She says that a fluffy brush will help keep the contour softened and diffused. You can achieve a more defined look by using a different brush. Baribeau states that a smaller, more dense brush will give you a more defined look. It is best to start slowly when using contouring products. Baribeau suggests that you start your contour by looking at the natural spots where the sun hits your face. Also, don’t forget your temple and forehead.

You may not be sure how contouring fits in with applying your makeup. It is best to contour after you have applied your foundation and concealer. Once your skin is clear, you can start to add other products. It’s possible to go back and adjust the concealer, if necessary. If blush is something you enjoy, you can apply it after contouring. Are you applying too much concealer? Don’t fret. To make your contour look natural, you can use your foundation brush to apply a little product. You can always go back and start again if necessary.

Cream Contour vs Powder Contour

Cream and powder have very different textures, so you’ll want to familiarize yourself with both and decide which one suits your needs best for contouring. Powder contours are better for oily skin because they have a matte finish. On the other hand, Cream contours can be used to contour drier skin and provide a more luminous look. If you don’t have any makeup, you can use your regular bronzer for contouring. Baribeau recommends Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Bronzer ($30) for powder. It has a great balance of warmth and a subtle bronzer look. She says, “It has been a staple in our kit for years, and anyone could use it!” Baribeau also praises Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate Palette ($89) and Fenty Beauty Matte Contour Skinstick ($26) for cream formulas. Both are easy to apply with your fingers, a brush or a sponge. They are seamless and look natural on the skin, and they have a good range of shades for all skin types,” she said. 

Enjoy Contouring

The most important tip is: Have fun. Have fun. You shouldn’t feel pressured to contour. You’ll soon become a pro at contouring by trying out different textures and blending tools. The more you practice, you will find out what works for you.

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