Here are a few bits of advice I have collected over time:
- be patient
Contouring takes time to get right, but that doesn’t mean you don’t keep trying. The key is to keep practicing and trying different techniques till you find the right one for you.
- know your face
Spend a bit of time figuring out your face shape - where does the light hit your face and where do the shadows appear?
- get the right shade contours
The general rule is to go two shades darker than your foundation colour and two shades lighter for a highlight colour. Also, keep in mind your undertone colour - is it warm or cool? Always contour with matte colours because any shimmer will draw attention to that area and defeats the point.
- start off by layering and blend, blend, BLEND!
Never go in heavy with the contour straightaway! The aim is to create an illusion, meaning it still needs to look natural. The best way to do that is to layer the product until you are happy with the look, because you can always add more. DO NOT forget to blend - blend till your hand hurts!
- use a Beauty Blender or a similar type of sponge
Hands down the best tool for blending contour products! Best way to use it is damp and using a dabbing motion to achieve a flawless finish. Beauty Blenders are pretty expensive and there are many other alternatives out there that do the same job.
- always begin with the darkest shade
This will ensure your highlighted areas really stand out and dark areas are muted. Please please remember to use different tools when you move on to highlight, because nobody wants a muddy look.
- cream products first
Another general rule is to start with cream contour and once you have fully blended and finished, only then move on to setting everything with powder contour to ensure nothing budges! You can contour with just powders for a more subtle, everyday look. Extra tip - I like to highlight under my eyes using a powder with a yellow tone, to cancel out any dark circles.
- end with a pop shimmer!
Once everything is set in matte shades, add some shimmer to where the light reflects off your face, like the tops of your cheekbones, centre of your forehead, tip of your nose and chin. I tend to use golden pinky shimmers as it compliments my warm skin tone.