I’m sure all of you have seen these photos circulating on Pinterest and Instagram of girls with 10 different shades of foundation on their face- looking like a scary, tribal alien?!! It seems extremely complicated and time consuming… who the heck has time for that? I barely give myself enough time in the morning to brush my teeth, let alone spend 40 minutes contouring my face with different shades of brown and light beige. Ummm… no thanks. During any small frame of free time I have, I’ve been playing around trying to master a much faster and easier way to get the contoured look with only using 2 or 3 different shades, as opposed to 6 or 7!
First of all- no one wants to use messy, liquid foundation when doing this, right? Why not use powder!? It’s quicker and looks a lot better in my opinion! Right now my favorite powder contour kit is by Anastasia Beverly Hills. It comes in 6 different shades that you can use separately or blend together to customize your own favorite shade. And what’s nice about this kit, is that the powders are removable, allowing you to re-order certain colors and replace them without having to buy a whole new kit!
My other favorite palette is by It Cosmetics. It’s almost exactly the same as the Anastasia one for $2 less but unfortunately these powders are not removable. The shades are pretty much the same and are waterproof- which is great during these hot, muggy summer days we’ve been having.
For the more simple girls out there, that only want the very basic contour colors- Motives Cosmetics makes a palette with only 3 shades: contour color, bronzer, and highlighter. Easy enough, right? Also, it’s a little cheaper than the others PLUS you get cash back on any item you order from Motives. Awesome makeup AND money back just for shopping with them? Yessss please!!!!!
Well, now that you’ve selected your favorite palette…. make sure you have the right brushes. An angled brush is the best brush to use when contouring! It’s slanted, making it easier to apply along your cheekbones, hairline and jawbone. A little tip when applying under the cheekbone is to only draw the line out half way. Do not bring it all the way to the corner of your mouth. We don’t need you going around looking like the Joker. Not cute.
My favorite angled brushes are (in descending cost):
Sigma Beauty- F40 Large Angled Contour Brush: $22
My #1 all time favorite contour brush to use is by Nars called Kabuki Ita Brush. This literally is the holy grail for contouring- however, it is a whopping $55! If you have the money to splurge- then by all means do so! This brush gives you the most controlled application you will ever have. Love love love.
For the contoured areas along the sides of the nose, I wouldn’t recommend using a brush any larger than your pinky finger. This allows you to make more of a defined, chiseled line on each side of your bone structure- giving the illusion that you have a perfectly skinny, straight nose. My favorite brushes to achieve this look are:
For highlighting the upper part of my cheekbone, forehead, top of my nose and chin- my favorite brushes to use are:
The whole purpose of contouring is to enhance your bone structure, making your face appear much more defined and slimmer. Making sure you have the best shades and brushes when doing so is key to the perfect contouring experience! Anywhere that you add the darker contour color will be shadowing you- giving you a much thinner illusion. When you highlight, that is enhancing what you want to draw attention to. And always remember to blend blend blend! You do not want to go out in public with dramatic lines all over your face! Take a deep breath… it’s a lot easier than all of this seems. Practice makes perfect, so take a few extra moments to try out different shades and techniques that you feel works for you.
Here is a handy diagram (thanks to Smashbox Cosmetics) that I personally like to follow:
Happy Contouring Ladies!
Stay Bronzed & Beautiful,
Laurie Berry is a professional makeup artist and stylist. In addition to being the Beauty Correspondent for Flower City Fashionista, she also blogs about all things preppy, fashionable, and fabulous at Upstate Stylista.