Contouring 101: the do’s and don’ts of #Contouring featuring HD Sculpting Powders

POSTED BY: Jon Hennessey / 0 COMMENTS

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One of the most dominant trends of the past year or so has been a rediscovery of the impact that contouring can have on a makeup application. Highlighting and shading the features of the face can work to exaggerate definition or to balance out dominant features depending on your desired end result. HD Sculpting Powders come in a range of different shades and tints to suit every skin tone. Here are the keys to creating subtle dimension for day or more sculpted definition for a night out.


face sculpting_powder1.  Remember that bronzers aren’t for contouring! Bronzers are intended to mimic the look of a naturally tanned skin. Bronzing happens on the higher planes of the face, the forehead, the upper cheekbones and the bridge of the nose. Contouring happens on the lower planes, (or recesses),  of the face, the underside of the cheekbones, the depth of the eye crease, etc.

face chart

2. Many beauty books and blogs will tell you to use 2 shades darker to contour and 2 shades lighter to highlight but what does that actually mean?  Highlighting colours range from the palest ivory to deep banana or mango shades. The undertone of your skin and the depth of its colour will determine which one is right for you. Contouring colours range from greyish taupes to coffee tones and the same information as above applies. Utilize your available resources and get a professional opinion on which of each is right for you.

3. Contouring is not meant to be “seen” it’s meant to be “suggested”. Basic art principles of “chiaroscuro” (light-dark) are relevant in this type of application. Typically, in the day, your light source is overhead, creating shadows on the low planes of the face, so don’t overdo it. Play more with highlights to exaggerate the way that light hits the high planes of the face and less with the contours.

4. Contouring is not just about colour, it’s about texture. The contours of the face should be kept matte, whereas the high points of the face, if left with a small amount of shine, will be maximized even further.

5. In order to achieve a more refined and flawlessly blended look, I first dip a soft, 1SS brush into HD or 3S Powder and then into the Sculpting Powder, this will help to diffuse the first sweep of colour on the skin and provide you with a smooth blending surface over which to build your colour intensity.

powders and sculptings

Contouring is both an art and a science. If you want more information, let us know and we’ll go more in depth.


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02 Feb