To Contour or NOT To Contour? That is the question.

To Contour or NOT To Contour?  That is the question.

The technique of contouring your face have been around and utilised by many a make up artist but I believe made popular by the Kardashians.  Especially Kim, whose makeup techniques have been tried and tested by I’m sure many out there.  Not me, because I might end up looking like a 4 year old who played with her mum’s make up and look like a clown.

Contouring is great for accentuating or rather creating cheekbones you might or might not have.  But there’s always the danger of looking like you’ve got dirt on your face.  Literally.

On Friday, I was out shopping with Miss 12 for her friend’s birthday present when we spotted this lady who was about in her 20s.  Never mind her age, but what caught both our eyes was her face.  She looked like she had dirt smudged on the cheeks and forehead.  Seriously.  Now, I’m not criticising her, but in all honesty, I thought she could have done WITHOUT the harsh contouring.  She didn’t need it.  And guess what?  Neither do you, if you’re after that everyday look.

To Contour

If you’re about to be photographed or walk on some catwalk, or basically be in front of a camera, I’d say go for it.  You would usually need to be very heavy handed when applying makeup for the camera to be able to capture the shadows, lights, and colours.  Something I can never do because let’s face it, I have to face the real world without a screen in front of me, so having heavy makeup would look ridiculous on me.

Another important factor to contouring?  BLENDING!  If you don’t blend your bronzer, you will end up looking like you have dirt on your face.  Like that girl we saw on Friday.  Which is why I’d say, leave it to the experts instead.

Contouring products I recommend:

bronzers contouring

L – R: Benefit Cosmetics 10 (discontinued), ^Face of Australia Glamazon Contour Kit rrp$9.95, ^ASAP Mineral Bronzer in One rrp$29.60, ^Benefit Cosmetics Hoola rrp$51.

Not To Contour

I am honestly, of the camp – highlight.  Seriously.  It’s so much easier to highlight and add blush than having to contour your face without it looking muddy.  I do admire those who can do it beautifully, but I have to admit, when I do contour; you can hardly see it.  Might as well not waste my effort.

While some have coined the term “strobing”, as I’ve shared in a post a while back, it really is just highlighting.  You illuminate your face.  But yes, try not to go overboard and end up looking like a walking glitter ball.  Unless of course, that’s the look you’re after.

Should you? 

So should you contour?  In all honesty, it’s up to you.  Who am I to stop you from contouring right?  Just remember to take a mirror in natural lighting to see if your contouring has blended well.  Like I said – no streaks or looking like you’ve got dirt on your face. Try not to pick shades that are waaaaay… too dark for your skin.  Try a shade darker instead of two or three shades darker.   Start light instead of with a heavy hand.  It’s easier to build up rather than lighten up your mistakes.

Personally, I prefer to go for that slightly dewy, fresh and natural look.  I usually make highlighting powders my friend.  And just like contouring, I have to remember not to go overboard with all that shine either or you might have to shield your eyes from all that reflection when you do see me!

Highlighting products I recommend:

sleek hourglass


L – R: Sleek Makeup Solstice Highlighting palette USD$14.99, Hourglass Ambient Lighting powder in Mood Light rrp$70

Tell me, are you camp contour or highlight?  Do you contour well?  Or maybe you don’t do either and prefer to just use blush? 



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A mum of 3 who loves writing, sharing tips, tricks and discoveries that covers styling, fashion, beauty, lifestyle, health and so much more!

  • Mel says:

    I’m definitely in camp contour! But I’m also big on blending so it tends to work out fine. I definitely do it most when filming videos. Or if I’m going to an event that will be in darkish lighting and no one can see my face properly. lol

    • Norlin says:

      Go you! And yes! Blending is soooo important… So is actually looking at your finished work afterwards to see if they’re working well. I’m always afraid to apply too much bronzer when contouring that I end looking like I hardly have any on me. :p

  • Melinda says:

    Team contour here too! As long as it’s light and well-blended and in tones that work for your skin.

    BUT. Can I just say that contouring should be done to work with your features. Not to change your entire face so that you look like yet another Kardashian!

    • Norlin says:

      YES!!! I absolutely agree with you! While it’s fun to transform your face into someone else, I think you should use makeup to enhance your features NOT create a whole different person altogether – well, not unless you really want to. :p

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She's a mum of 3 who loves writing, sharing tips, tricks and discoveries that covers styling, fashion, beauty, lifestyle, health and so much more!  Find out more about Norlin here!

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