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Make-Up Notes
How to contour black skin
How to contour black skin Image Credit:

Contouring has become a beauty swear word of late. It’s started to invoke the same wince caused by phrases like ‘bleached highlights’ and ‘lip plumping’. All we can think when someone says ‘contouring’ is a face caked in make-up that resembles the cast members of the Rocky Horror Show and that’s not really a look we want to emulate.

However, like most beauty expletives, it started off as a carefully guarded secret that was used by make-up artists for years. But when these techniques turn into a craze they become bastardised by popular culture into something unrecognizable (remember what uncle Karl Lagerfeld so scathingly taught us: ‘Trendy is the last stage before tacky’). So try to forget all the images of stripes through faces, because if done well subtle contouring will enhance the cheekbones and slim your face.

This is particularly true of dark skin as very few people are one single skin tone. It has subtle nuances of colour, which is why foundation can make black skin look flat and one-dimensional. As not all of us are blessed with Naomi Campbell’s bone structure, we need contouring to fake it ‘til we make it and add dimension to the face. Sound good? Maybelline’s Sharon Dowsett explains how…

1. First up, foundation

“Use a medium-tone foundation to highlight, and one slightly deeper than your skin colour to contour. If you have very dark skin and can’t find a deep shade of foundation to contour with, a dark eye shadow will do the trick!”

2. Contour

“Feel your cheekbone from below and dab (if you are using fingers with a cream or liquid) or brush with a super light touch. Flick up against the underside of your bone.”

3. Highlighters at the ready

“To get the glowy highlight, first look at the curve of your cheekbone and think about where the light naturally falls on to it. Hold a mirror against skin by the window if you are unsure and see which part the light hits. Blend in the highlighter with a bronzer for a super dewy finish.”

Good to glow ladies!

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