Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Beauty Talk | #Contour Mania or Overload? - How to navigate this #1 Trend

Image/Makeup:  Kevyn Aucoin - The Book "Making Faces".

"This photo is really an illustration of the contours of the face. The application is exaggerated and not to be taken too literally. It's just to show how highlighting and contouring (when sparingly applied and carefully blended) can add definition to the face...You may never do this for everyday life, but for special occasions or photographs, it can really make a difference." 

We have all seen the countless images of Contouring. The mass number of before and after pics showing the painted makeup 'maps' on faces. Instructions for the proper placement of light and dark makeup to achieve the perfect contour. The faces almost look like a mask of sorts which is now being referred to as a"contour map". Nonetheless, the after photo is always gorgeous, flawless and the makeup looks like perfection.

I have had a lot of my clients and people ask me about this trend. As much as it's popular it has also deterred clients from trying the trend. Especially if you are a person who has never worn makeup or maybe want to see how it's done, the images and videos can be overwhelming.

For this post, I am going to share the types of contouring and my tips of how you can make this trend wearable and simple, whether it's fierce or everyday!

BIRTH OF CONTOURING - Who and where it's used?

  • Photography & Movies | Works well with the Flashing lights of Cameras.
  • Celebrity | Typically seen on Instagram and with their respective Makeup Artists
  • Drag Makeup | Ideal for stage performance to emphasize facial features against the bright lights

Contouring has become extremely popular via Instagram. The trend was really cultivated and developed by many drag performers who understood that to look fierce on stage, they needed to emphasize their makeup.

It works well for Photography because with the extreme flash effects from cameras, a person's face can end up looking too flat or one dimensional. Therefore this makeup technique helped to emphasize and re-create the dark and light areas on a person's face for the best photos.


  • To define
  • To accentuate facial structure 
  • To balance light and dark
  • Makeup artist technique which is great for Weddings and Special Occasions


Fierce Contour
This effect is achieved with Extreme Highlighting and contouring by using Concealer/Highlighter and Cream Foundation

Time: Half Hour
Best Product To Use: A mix of Liquid Foundation, Cream Concealers, Liquid/Powder Highlighters
Celebrity Inspiration: Kim Kardashian

Image Courtesy: kimkardashian.com

Evening Contour
Medium effect achieved when using a Contour Kit that has all of your go-to shades from light to dark, a blush shade and a highlight shade.

Time: 15 Mins.
Best Product To Use: Contour Kits i.e. Anastasia Beverly Hills or BH Cosmetics
Celebrity Inspiration: Jennifer Lopez

   Image Courtesy: google.com/images

Everyday Contour
Light and wearable version for Daytime. Using the natural bone structure as a guide on placement and then using a soft light Bronzer to define and adding a soft wash of blush on top. The idea is to create the shadow into the hollow of the cheek, which is right under the fullest part of your cheek.

Time: 5 Mins. or less
Best Product To Use: Giorgio Armani Bronzer or Matte Toned Bronzer/Blush
Celebrity Inspiration: Mila Kunis

Image Courtesy: google.com
Hopefully this post and the tips above can help any of those who are trying to figure out how to navigate and use this makeup trend. I do feel that there is so much emphasis on the extreme versions of contouring but it can definitely be achieved with fewer products so it's easy, simple and beautiful. At the end of the day, do whatever works for you, whether it be extreme to light.