How to successfully contour your face

A narrower face, shorter nose, larger eyes and less prominent chin: they’re all possible thanks to contouring. This makeup technique allows you to hide small imperfections and reshape your features. Here’s a useful guide for beginners.

The ground rules

Knowing that lighter shades attract light and draw attention to shapes, and that dark colours tone down, hollow out and soften outlines, you can easily change your face’s morphology with a few brushstrokes. However, before doing the contouring, it’s essential to apply moisturizer and primer to get flawless skin. To even out your complexion, start by applying foundation or powder that’s as close as possible to your skin tone. Note that textures (of foundation, light powder, bronzer, blush…) can vary depending on your taste. Next, to sculpt your features, choose a lighter hue to enhance certain areas of your face and use a darker colour to reduce sizes. A helpful trick: always apply foundation or powder with an angled brush. You can also use a sponge to avoid lines.

Trompe-l’oeil techniques

Contouring can be used to beautify and enhance your entire face or as a trompe-l’oeil effect to hide certain flaws. A few examples:

  • To slim down your nose, apply a light colour on its bridge and a dark hue on either side.
  • To make your face seem less long, apply a dark hue on your chin and forehead, and a light colour on the sides of your face.
  • To widen your gaze, brighten the edge of your arches and below your brows.
  • To get full lips, brighten the middle of your lower lip and your Cupid’s bow.
  • To sculpt your cheeks, apply a light hue to your cheekbones and a darker colour below them.
  • To soften a square jaw, apply a dark hue to the lower part of your jaw line.
  • To widen your forehead, apply a light colour to the middle of your forehead and contour it with a darker shade.
Trompe-l’oeil techniques

Essential products

The right tools:

An angled brush to apply foundation or powder, sponges to shade and a kabuki brush to spread finishing powder.

True Match by L’Oréal Paris, a foundation available in 23 shades.

Sunkissed Bronzing Powder by Jouviance.

Face Primer by Lancôme for smooth, radiant skin.

Portfolio Professional Correctors (Beiges) by Lise Watier, a must-have palette to play with shading and light.

La Base Pro, 20 ml
Lancôme

La Base Pro, 20 ml

Perfecting makeup primer.

Portfolio Professional Correctors, 25 g
Lise Watier

Portfolio Professional Correctors, 25 g

To ensure easy application for every shade of Lise Watier’s Portfolio Professional Correctors, follow the instructions in this tutorial.

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How to successfully contour your face

A narrower face, shorter nose, larger eyes and less prominent chin: they’re all possible thanks to contouring. This makeup technique allows you to hide small imperfections and reshape your features. Here’s a useful guide for beginners.
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