While trying to master the art of contouring, beginners and beauty gurus alike can agree that the process is a recipe for things that can go wrong on your face. Celebrities and women everywhere can acknowledge that blending the correct shades of concealer, foundation, powder, and highlighters to look completely naturally airbrushed and contrast your cheekbones can be the most frustrating process in the universe.
The space between a perfectly contoured face that lasts for hours and a total disaster is also very narrow. I know, because I constantly struggle to make my face look normal on a daily basis. When given the challenge of contouring back when Kim Kardashian made it famous, I was somewhat in denial. I have always been a supporter of bare faces, but the way some of amazing makeup artists on Instagram made themselves look in just a few minutes was astounding and I was jealous.
That being said, they all have many brushes and a supply of great products to help create a believable look, as well as the also have the validation of hundreds of thousands of subscribers to back them up. I had two large brushes (one for bronzer and one for my liquid foundation) and a whole lot of questions.
After several periods of trial and error and a very intense magnifying makeup mirror, I realized that there was a lot more skill to it than there looks. There are things that go very, very, poorly very easily. Here they are.
1. The Lighting Will Make Your Face Look Different
If you are doing your makeup in the dark to go out, your face will look different than when you do it in the morning in the bathroom, or touching up outside. Different environments will make your makeup look different on your face, and sometimes it can be hard to tell what's really going on when applying that contour in the bathroom mirror. Stars get caught for this all the time!
2. Your Bronzer Or Contour Shade Will Be Too Dark
If you do not want to look like Lindsay Lohan in court circa 2010, it's important to contour with the right color. Bronzer can make you feel confident in even the coldest of Winter Storm Jonas nights, but it is a powerful tool. With great power comes great responsibility!
3. You Will Go Too Ham With Highlight
Much like bronzer, a little bit of highlight goes a long way — but it's so fun to apply! It's easy to get a little trigger happy, but highlighters are meant to be bright and or shimmery while the rest of the face is matte-toned. The highlight is meant to keep your face bright and fresh looking, but too much can wash you out big time unless you are going for the strobe.
4. You'll Be In Denial About Your Tan
Sometimes you have an amazing summer tanning in a remote location for three months with your hot, hot, lover, and finally start to develop a shimmery bronze tone in the last month before you leave to go back to the heartless and fearsome winter of the East Coast. Your foundation color and all of your makeup slowly becomes a cruel reminder of the skin you once had, but you don't want to let go. Best to make sure the makeup you're using is actually right for your current shade.
5. You Won't Blend Enough
Sometimes, you might fall in love with the sharp lines on your cheekbones and jaws and forget to remember that, oh yeah, you look insane with an unblended contour. Like, Jared Leto Joker insane. The blending is what makes the look au naturale! It is the entire point.
6. Your Blush Will Make You Look Like You Just Ate A Ghost Pepper
I have never been one for blush; I have a constantly flushed face almost all the time. It gets embarrassing to really run in public. The concept of a good blush was instantly lost on me. However, when contouring, you want a sense of what a nice amount of blush looks like versus what a clown looks like. This is important, because clowns are terrifying.
7. You Will End Up Caking On The Product
Too much of a good thing can mean, well, a really unnatural look. It's so easy to end up piling on the product with contouring, because it involves so many different types of things, from the foundation to the concealer to the contour shade to the highlight. That being said, makeup can also boost confidence and be fun, so it really depends on personal preference.
I hope that when you do decide to contour, you do so responsibly. I hope it's the contour you've always dreamed about. Lastly, I hope that you are confident and happy with your face all the time: with or without makeup!
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