The best contouring tip for beginners

It turned out that, like painting, contouring is all about location – where you place the color is as important as what color you are actually working with. If you are a talented enough painter (or make-up artist), you know exactly where to place certain shades to highlight shadows, angles, or certain features of an object, which are important skills for effective facial shaping. But what if you don’t like one of these two careers and still want to learn to contour?

That was the dilemma I faced last week as I sat in front of the mirror, uncontoured and three minutes late for a nice dinner. Although I normally used one or two moves of the bronze where I thought it should go, I never tried to completely rip my face out … And now it wasn’t time to start. I wanted to put on makeup for the night, but apparently I didn’t make much. I didn’t need my cheekbones to look like they could cut glass – I just wanted something reliable and fast.

My salvation came, as is often the case, in the form of Tiktoku. I looked at the ‘contour hack’ and in thirteen seconds, makeup theorist Megan Lavallie gave me such a great knowledge of contouring that I wanted to shout it from the roofs. “You have one place on your face where if you punched a hole, it would touch your teeth.” If you mix it gently [after adding contour]and for the remaining two and a half minutes, all I had to do was find a place on my face where I could feel my teeth, add one dot of contour, and blend in easily. That was it!

I grabbed the contour brush and my non-contour contour, Glossier’s Cloud Paint in Dusk, and set to work. I applied one dot to each face and rubbed gently on Lavallie’s instructions. My face instantly grew larger while still looking incredibly natural. The result was unproblematic, as if I could somehow only tanned the hollow of my face. Fancy dinner or not, I knew this trick had stifled me since I saw my newly sculpted face.

Lavallie’s tip – which, by the way, has 7.5 million views – has changed the way I think about contouring. I realized that for beginners and makeup-free makeup lovers, the contour of an intimidating event doesn’t have to be filled with lots of creams, powders and brushes. I used to think it was Kim Kardashian or bust style, which led to bigger nightmares about trying the ‘3’ shape on my round face than I would like to admit. It turns out that you can still get a fantastic look using the simplified method. Instead of making product lines or dots all over your face à la instagram tutorials, the bare need for contouring is just one dot! It’s not that scary now, is it?

But Hannah, I hear you say, I’m still afraid I’ll ruin it. Fair! Contour is easy to go wrong when you don’t know what you’re doing. But I believe you know what you’re doing because you’ve come this far, and if (not if) you do the contouring correctly, you’ll be completely uplifting in a few minutes. In addition, this tip is almost durable, regardless of whether you use a cream or powder contour. You can also try it! It won’t be easier than this.

All photos were taken by Elliot Duprey


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