Contouring has become mainstream and is now super trendy on Instagram and among beauty addicts. Although it’s been around for decades, the  master of all masters is the one who originally brought it to the mainstream back in the late 80’s early 90’s…the late Kevyn Aucoin. This top makeup artist brought his magic to the most epic supermodel faces on the runways and biggest A-listers on Hollywoods red carpets. Nowadays we can find thousands of how-to videos and step-by-step pictures. Although it might look easy to achieve the perfect contoured face, we have to consider various aspects before getting started. So to help you contour your face like an expert, we gathered all the pros and cons along with the best tips!

Kevyn with Cindy Crawford (left), and Janet Jackson (right)

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Plastic surgery in 10 minutes

Contouring is great way to enhance your natural beauty or to create an illusion and shape your face by playing with shadow and light. Just like your eyes, your face can be sculpted and transformed as well. Whether you desire a thinner nose, or want to give your “square’ or “diamond” face shape an illusion that it’s an “ideal oval” shape, this technique offers a quick and painless “surgery” that you can wipe off at the end of the day. What makes contouring a lifesaver is that even the smallest amount of glowing highlighter or powder shader can change our entire face and make our appearance fresher and more flattering. Because this trend is fairly new to the public, it can easily turn into a big beauty blunder with poor placement, wrong shade(s), or too much applied.

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Is it always a good idea?

Although contouring can truly shape our faces and make it defined and pop in all the right areas, it is important to emphasize that there is definitely a time and place for it. We have all seen Kim Kardashian and Naomi Campbell looking gorgeous with layers of different shades of cream foundations, making us believe that contouring will look perfect in natural lighting. But with contouring, it is very easy to reach a makeup catastrophe resulting in a “cakey clown” effect. We all dream to have perfect shaped faces with high cheekbones, a strong yet alluring jawline, and a streamlined nose, and you can with contouring! But I highly advise you do your due diligence and practice. And please, lets leave this makeup trick for special occasions or going out at night. Just be careful with the amount of makeup you use –looking as natural as possible is the key to beautiful contouring. There’s one word to keep in mind when contouring…. BLEND!

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Important steps while contouring:

  1. Find the right colors – just like with foundation and powder, choosing the right shades for your skin tone is the first essential step. Make sure to double check if your chosen shades are not too orange or dark!
  2. Don’t over-apply – a little cheating is okay, but don’t over-apply if you’re using cream foundation to contour. You want to avoid cakeface.
  3. Blend, blend, blend – after applying either cream or the bronzer/highlighter technique, blend everything out until it looks super natural. Leeaving sharp, dark and light lines on your face can easily ruin your entire makeup look.