My face has more curves than angles. Because of this, even if I’m only doing the most natural of makeup looks, I contour daily. Unless I’m on some form of social media and using one of the many beauteous filters you probably don’t even know that I contour (the filters can really make contour pop), but it’s a necessary thing for me because I like to give my face the appearance of being more than just “round”. Character, y’all!
To get the naturally contoured, sculpted look do note that all brushes are not created equal. In saying that also note that all good brushes aren’t going to cost you your rent money for a set.
Step 1: Decisions. Decide what needs contoured. Just because YouTuber X and Beauty Blogger Y are contouring literally every area of their face doesn’t mean you need to. Maybe they’re just showing how to do all of those areas in a tutorial. Maybe their nose needs slimming and yours is fine. Check yourself out and decide what needs done. For me, I’m always getting at the hollows of my cheeks, the temples and the jawline. Basically that “3” trick for contouring.
Step 2: Brushes. It’s imperative that you use the correct brushes to do your natural contour. The wrong brushes can deposit product unevenly, not blend well… the last thing you want when your going for natural is to have a patchy, dirty looking mess on your hands.
For my contour in this post I used the Real Techniques Sculpting Brush. It’s perfect for getting right into the hollows of the cheeks (I make that fishy face to really get in there) and it’s not overly large so it works well for the temples and jaw to cover just the right areas. To sharpen the contour you can take a clean brush and dip it into invisible setting powder and tap the product right under the lower part of the contour. Sharp doesn’t always have to equal overdone and this trick keeps my cheeks on point.
If you would like to contour your nose or smaller areas I’d recommend the Real Techniques Bold Metals 301 Flat Contour Brush. It’s a little smaller and more precise for that type of area.
Step 3: Blend. You hear this all the time from makeup artists. Just when you think it’s blended perfectly blend some more. A little trick I like to do is walk away from the mirror for a bit. When you get used to seeing something it doesn’t appear as harsh so it’s a good idea to step away and let the makeup settle on your face, oxidize… let whatever needs to happen, happen. Brush your teeth, fix the kids lunch for school… After a few minutes go back and check it out. It’s likely at this time you’ll notice it needs to be blended out just a bit more. For blending I prefer the Real Techniques Retractable Kabuki Brush which is a brush that isn’t too firm but that definitely isn’t flimsy. Since it’s retractable you can toss it in your makeup bag just in case you get out in the natural day light and have a “YO … MY FACE NO” moment.
Basically, what I’m saying is, don’t go in all Terminator at your face. Apply lightly, build it up if you need to and then blend, blend, blend. Then bring your Real Techniques Retractable Kabuki Brush and blend some more while you’re in the car line for coffee.
Step 4: Finish it off. After all of that work perfecting your natural contour be sure to get at yourself with a nice highlight and a blush. Dust the highlight on with a fan brush so you keep it on the tops of your cheekbones. The Real Techniques Limited Edition Sculpting Kit (an ULTA Beauty exclusive) has everything you need to highlight and contour to perfection!
How do you keep your contouring natural? What are your favorite brushes to do this with? Chat with me in the comments below!