Guest blog: Contouring sticks, a basic guide for beginner users
25 Oct 2017
Contouring as a beauty buzzword and concept may feel like it’s relatively new. After all, it isn’t until after Kim Kardashian made it popular did the term and practice begin to pick up in the mainstream beauty community. However, the art of using makeup to enhance facial structure and provide shape to certain areas of the face has existed for centuries.
Its origins can be traced all the way back to the mid-1500s when stage actors in England during the time of Queen Elizabeth I would apply black soot and chalk to their faces so that their audience can see their expressions much more clearly, especially in the absence of adequate light. It’s a practice that has persisted amongst members of the performance community, both on stage and in film.
The technique has become so popular that there are now a myriad of ways to achieve that perfect sculpted look. Contouring products now come in a variety of forms from cream to powder, pencil to stick, and what you choose to use is entirely up to your own personal style and preference. For beginners, though, contouring sticks may be the least daunting to use – multi use sticks such as Innisfree’s Eye Contouring Stick Edge can be used as both a contour shade for your face and eyes and as an eyeshadow to further deepen and enhance your eye shape. Below is our handy guide to the essentials: what you need to know in order to achieve that perfect contour.
The recommended contour kit
For beginners, we recommend that you keep your contour kit minimal and fuss-free. This can be made up of a foundation you already own that matches your skin tone, plus two other face products: one that’s two shades deeper than your overall natural tone, and one that is two shades lighter. These two products can come in any form that you like, or what you happen to be most comfortable with.
While contouring products can come in many shapes and forms, contouring sticks are by far the most convenient, plus they also take up the least amount of space on your vanity or in your makeup bag. There are even multi-use sticks confined to a single dual-ended tube – the ultimate contour solution for on-the-go girls.
Map your face
Using the darker shade of your contour stick (or sticks), trace your temples. You may want to trace along your hairline if you have a large forehead, in order to minimize it. Bring out your cheekbones by finding the natural curve of the cheek and applying the darker foundation there – you can do this by placing your fingers on the sides of your face and feeling for where it dips beneath the bones. Just above that space is where your makeup should go. Carry that line upwards, towards the top of your ear.
There are different ways to contour your nose, depending on its shape and size, and what you’d like the contour to achieve. In order to make it appear narrower, draw parallel lines just a little bit along the sides of your nose, along the bridge. You can carry those lines all the way up to your brows if you’d like to achieve an elongated look.
Blending is key
The key to every successful contour is to blend, and blend well. Visible contour lines break the illusion and can look unsightly, or simply amateurish. If you used a cream stick to contour, blend the product out with your tool of choice. Some use a makeup sponge, while others use brushes – it really all depends on your preference. Blend until the contour shade merges with your foundation and creates a smooth, natural finish. For your nose contour, you may use a small sponge designed for the purpose, a concealer brush, or your own fingertips.
Highlight your strengths
Next, use the lighter shade and swipe it over areas you’d like to, well, highlight. Spots like the rise of your cheekbones, the bridge of your nose, underneath your eyes and the center of your forehead are the first to catch light, and successful highlight catches that light and illuminates your face, making you look as though you were glowing from within. You can also apply your highlight shade to your cupid’s bow and your chin, if you’d like those spots emphasized. Finally, set your cream contour with a light dusting of loose powder to lock it in place.
This sponsored post was written by a guest contributor.