Contouring makeup is one of the most important products you can have in your makeup bag if you love creating sculpted, striking looks.
The purpose of contouring is to sculpt your face by making certain areas appear more hollowed out.
This is often used in conjunction with highlighting makeup, which makes other parts of your face look brighter.
If you want your contouring makeup to look good, though, you need to learn how to blend it properly. Otherwise, your makeup may end up looking unnatural and cakey.
Here’s how to blend contouring makeup for a flawless, refined look that will last all day (or night)!
Blending Contour Makeup: Step By Step
Prepare Your Skin
Before you even think about applying contouring makeup, or any other kind of makeup, you need to prepare your skin.
After all, your skin is the base for your makeup, and if it’s not ready to receive products, it’s never going to look as good as it could.
Start by washing your face, cleansing, moisturizing, and applying a base of primer.
This will make sure that your skin is free from impurities, fix any dryness that could give your makeup a flaky appearance, and help your makeup to stay put all day (see also “Best Goth Makeup To Give You A Dark Look“).
The next step before applying the contour is to apply some foundation. Make sure the coverage is even and that you finish the job with some translucent powder.
Choose Your Applicator
You have a couple of options when it comes to applying your contouring makeup, so choose wisely.
It’s absolutely fine to use a brush when applying contour, but you shouldn’t use the same kind of brush you use for foundation or powder.
You can get sculpting brushes or fan brushes that are specifically designed for this kind of makeup.
For actually blending out the contour, however, you can use either a foundation brush or a beauty blender (a teardrop-shaped sponge designed for makeup application).
No matter how well you blend your contour, if it’s applied in the wrong place, your makeup will look a little off.
So, it’s important to start by mapping your face. This means applying contouring makeup in streaks on the areas of your face that you want to hollow out or define.
Usually, you will apply contour in the hollows of your cheeks, underneath your jawline, on each temple, and maybe over your hairline and the sides of your nose.
Try to apply the streaks in solid, unbroken lines, taking care not to add too much. You can always add more product if you need to, but it’s much more difficult to remove product once you’ve applied it.
Blend In Circles
Now it’s time to blend your contour. By this point, you should already have either your beauty blender or your round foundation brush.
As long as the applicator you’re using is clean, you shouldn’t have any problems blending your contour.
The most important thing when blending contour is to work in small circles.
It might feel intuitive to move your blending brush or sponge in the same motion you used to apply the contour, but this will just result in moving the product around your face instead of blending it in.
Small, circular movements will ensure that your contour stays in the intended place and gets worked into the base (foundation).
When blending your contour, as when applying it, it helps to suck in your cheeks to emphasize the hollows.
This way, you can make sure the makeup isn’t getting blended out of its original positioning.
Instead of pressing down hard while blending, try to use more of a tapping motion.
Because the goal is to get a seamless blend, you might be tempted to use more pressure, but this can result in streaking and smudging. Patience and a gentle touch work better.
Blending contour in a way that looks striking but realistic is something that takes practice. The main thing to bear in mind is that small, circular tapping motions produce the best results.
Also, remember to use a different kind of brush for the initial application and the blending process.
Blending is best done with a sponge or a round brush, whereas you should use a fan brush or a similar tool to apply the product.
Always start applying and blending contour by preparing your skin and, if you’re going for a flawless look, applying a smooth layer of foundation on which to build your contouring.
Frequently Asked Questions
Both cream and powder-based contouring makeup should blend well if you follow the guidelines in this article.
However, if you have oily skin, you may prefer to use a powder-based contour that won’t contribute to that oiliness.
Powder contour often creates a more dramatic look, while cream contour may look more natural, so take this into consideration as well.
There are a few reasons why your contour might look too dark after blending. First, you might have applied too much product, making it difficult to blend in a way that looks natural.
Secondly, it could be that your contour is simply too dark for your skin tone. Your contour should only be a couple of shades darker than your natural skin color.
Thirdly, the issue could be that you simply haven’t blended thoroughly enough. Try blending a little more and see if this makes a difference.
Many people prefer to apply foundation before contouring because it creates a smooth and even base. However, this is not strictly necessary.
You can apply contouring on bare skin if you prefer. You even have the option of applying a light coat of foundation after your contour.
This can be a good idea if you want your contour to look more subtle and seamless. However, if you’re going for a more dramatic look, applying foundation first usually works better.