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Contouring – what a beast. Over the years it has become one of make-up’s most important sectors, rivaling the red lipstick and kohl eyeliner for most desired beauty look. Thousands of YouTube clips are dedicated to the art of application and every brand under the sun has brought out its own sculpting palette. No one’s immune to the contouring-bug; you’ve probably given it a good old bash yourself, but for every successful attempt, some poor bugger’s been walking around with cheekbones that look like a zebra’s coat. Because the thing is, there are so many different recommended techniques out there – we’ve all drawn the number 3 down our faces – it’s difficult to know which one is the fool-proof way to achieving the natural, chiseled look we all so desire.
Consider your desires granted, by yours truly – Powder. We spoke with the man who basically invented contouring – Mario Dedivanovic, aka Make-up by Mario, probably best known for doing Kim Kardashian’s makeup (arguably the Kween of Kontour). He began the conversation by telling us that contouring is essentially, “A diet for the face that washes off at the end of the day.” A great start, I’m sure you’ll agree. He went on to explain that creamy textures look more natural as cream mimics skin, so if you’re looking for a super duper natural look, then stick to them. However, if you’re going for impact, powders are your best bet. He also suggested using Urban Decay’s new Naked Skin Shapeshifter Palette (out on 8th June), as it has every texture and colour you could need for a flawless finish, “it’s so pigmented, which I love. A little goes a long way, so you don’t need to use much - use with caution.”
But what we really wanted from him was a simple step-by-step guide on how to contour, which any one can follow at home to get the same look that many of his clients regularly rock on red carpets and in photoshoots. So here goes…
How to contour in 10 simple steps:
Step 1: Start with an emollient moisturiser. Anything you put on top will adhere nicely
Step 2: Apply either a liquid or a cream foundation
Step 3: Pop concealer onto any blemishes
Step 4: Using an angled brush, work a warm contour cream, with reddish undertones, into the cheek hollow. Either suck your cheeks in and apply the cream to the indentation or go from your ear diagonally to your mouth. Blend this out with a wet sponge
POW_ER TIP: Blending is key – you want it to look like a natural shadow, not a bold stripe
Step 5: Set this straight away with a translucent powder
Step 6: With a rounded brush, dust a contour powder, in a similar warmish shade, onto the hollows of the cheeks, retracing where you applied the cream
Step 7: With the powder that’s left on your brush, dust around the hairline and then along the jawline
Step 8: For the nose, use a lighter powder in a shade with grey undertones (for a more natural look) either side, all the way up to the brow
Step 9: Blend out everything with a damp sponge
Step 10: Finish the look with a highlighter – cream or powder, depending on your preference – on the parts where the light hits your face: on top of your cheekbones, middle of your forehead, down the bridge of your nose, on your cupid’s bow and a little touch on your chin
So there you have it. How to contour by a contour legend.
Why don't you test the palette out yourself?