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BellaOnline's Cosmetics Editor

Contouring Makeup

Contouring facial features can create sculpted cheekbones, a slimmer or shorter nose, and even a slimmer-looking face. In fact, itís used by some of the top makeup artists in the world to give their clients amazing looks. When applied properly, contour should be undetectable.

What Products to Use for Contouring
Many cosmetics companies manufacture products for contouring as well as highlighting. Youíll find them online, in cosmetics boutiques, department stores, or drug stores. They come in liquid, cream, and powder formulations.

Which is best? That depends on skin type. Those with dry or aging skin should avoid powders. They can make skin appear even more dry and heavy powders can emphasize fine lines and wrinkles. A cream or liquid formula is best for dryer skin. Powders work best on women with normal or oilier complexions. Experimentation with various products makes choosing the right one easier.

Using Bronzer to Countour
Many women use bronzer as a contouring makeup. However, this approach often yields an obvious and unnatural look. Thatís because shadows tend to be grey in color, not bronze. Bronzers containing shimmer should definitely be avoided for contouring.

Bronzers were designed to provide a sun-kissed look. They do that very well. For contouring, however, its best to choose a product made for that purpose and that contains a small amount of grey tones.

How to Apply Contour
Contour is commonly applied to certain areas of the face including the jawline, cheekbones, nose, and forehead. Itís sometimes applied elsewhere as well, depending on individual needs or desires. Contouring creates or emphasizes shadows to sculpt facial features.

Apply contour just below the cheekbone to get stronger definition. Find the cheekbone with your index finger and then roll down to find the hollow just beneath the bone. Apply contour there. Imagine a vertical line that runs through the pupil of your eyes. Contour, and blush for that matter, should stop there.

The Nose
Draw vertical lines along the sides of the nose where the side meets the front. Shade the end of the nose, if needed. For example, a woman with a short nose need not contour the tip of her nose. Doing so makes it seem even shorter.

The Jaw
Brush contour just beneath the jawline for added definition. Be sure to blend well so thereís no detectable line.

The Forehead
Apply contour along the top and sides of the forehead to make it appear smaller, but only if needed.

The Importance of Blending
When it comes to contouring, thereís nothing more important than blending. No one wants an obvious stripe instead of a natural-looking shadow that enhances features. A cosmetics sponge, blending brush, a Beauty Blender can be used to blend contouring makeup for a subtle, yet striking effect.

Contouring, especially when combined with highlighting, can make features stronger, give them more definition and completely change a personís look. Just remember to blend, blend, blend!

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