Contouring for Pale Skin 101

Contouring isn't exactly the easiest make-up trick to get right. Let alone for some of us who are on the very pale spectrum. Of course these products, tips and tricks can be used for anyone, but finding products to suit especially the lighter skin tones, that also look realistic, can be half the challenge.

I get asked a lot what the difference between bronzing and contouring is. And it's quite simple really. Think of contouring as being more structural and defining and bronzing as more of a "sun-kissed" and glowy. Where the line blurs is and the confusing begins I think, is that some bronzers can actually be used to add contour for a more "natural" effect.

The trick, personally, in getting it right is being very light in application and blending, blending, blending. I actually keep my foundation brush at hand for this very reason, because who want's brown stripes on the side of their face..? When applying products I always work from the back, closest to my ear, and pull forward for this very reason. It's also important to keep in mind to work like with like. If you're wearing liquid foundation, you're ready to go in with a liquid/cream product. However, if you're wanting to use a powder contour, remember to set your foundation with a translucent finishing powder first. Again, this comes back to the all important blending factor. Another thing to consider when contouring, is knowing which areas do you want to recede, or draw back. For instance, when wondering where you should be contouring your cheeks, either make a duck face and see where the shadows lie, or press your finger up against the bottom of your cheek bone.

Now onto products! If you truly want to contour, you'll want to look for products that almost have a "grey" hue, as this will create a more realistic shadow effect. Examples of these include the cult Kevin Aucoin Sculpting Powder in Medium and the Illasmasqua Cream Pigment in Hollow.  But for everyday ease, I've included some other products that tend to be easier to perfect.

Swatches L to R = products clockwise from top left.

Products L-R = 1-7
1. Kevin Aucoin - The sculpting Powder in Medium
2. Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow
3. Bourjois - Delice de Soleil Bronzing Powder
4. Sleek - Face Contour Kit Light
5. The Body Shop - Honey bronzing powder in 01
6. Bourjois - Delice de Poudre Bronzing powder in 52
7. Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Hollow

In terms of application, I quite like to use brushes that are suited for where you want to use them. So for the cheek bones, something that is slightly tapered and is good at blending tends to be what I go for. For other areas, such as the nose, you may want to consider something smaller, such as an eye shadow blender brush. 

Brushes L-R = 1-6
1. Bdellium - Maestro 945 Contour
2. Wayne Goss -   Brush 02
3. Real Techniques -  Contour Brush
4. Zoeva Luxe Sheer Cheek Brush - 127
5. Real Techniques - Cheek Brush
6. Real Techniques -  Kabuki Brush (I think this may be discontinued..)

Finally, don't take it too seriously. It's make-up, if you don't get it right, take it off and try again.

Ellen Rozalia xx

** Disclaimer: All items mentioned were purchased by me and as always, my opinions remain honest and entirely my own.
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