Stop Being Scared Of Contouring!

SOHO Lashes conducts makeup lessons for any clients looking for a little one-on-one instruction for makeup technique. It’s surprising how many women either never heard of contouring, or flat-out don’t want to use it. The word contour scares people, I think. Here’s what you probably envision when you hear it:


And really, who wants to walk around all day looking drag queen-ish? As makeup artists, we commend this style of makeup because it is so transformative and creative! We are aware, though, that it isn’t ideal for our more toned-down clients’ everyday look. Contour is a huge part of drag makeup, and so contouring (and highlighting) is largely associated with this specific style. People think “harsh” and “too heavy” when they think contour. Indeed, women in fashion shoots don contour in a similarly heavy manner.

ft_0b59a31ab68b89464ef599f4e118e620So when it’s suggested to incorporate contour into your everyday beauty look, people are hesitant. Some believe that contour is meant strictly for pictures, and only looks good from one angle in a three-dimensional environment.

Well, I disagree! The difference that contour makes is too great and appearance-enhancing to neglect. The key thing that contour does is create dimension. If you look straight-forward in the mirror and feel “flat”, you can gives yourself dimension through methods of contouring and highlighting! here are some wonderful examples:

naturalcontour2 naturalcontour1

Contouring seemingly flat areas can make them appear more three-dimesnsional and warm up the face overall! Your skin naturally has different tones to it-No person’s face is just one shade. When we use one shade of foundation, it can take away those natural contours and highlights. So applying a contour or highlight overtop or underneath your foundation can restore the different tones in a neat and precise way. The key is always subtlety. You can wear contour out and about during the day, but you must apply lightly and build up to your desired coverage. Minimal product will still do it’s job in giving your shadows and highlights without creating a harsh diagonal line running down the side of your face. Here is an excellent guide for general contouring placement:


Now, depending on your face shape, your might want to apply your contour a bit differently to best flatter your face. Here are the most common contour methods:


The second most important key to contour is blending. If you  don’t blend enough, the line will be too harsh and the effect will not come out correctly. This is also why it is best to apply moderately and build your way up in coverage: the less product there is, the easier it will be to blend. Hopefully this will help encourage you to use a subtle-yet-enhancing form of contouring in your everyday life! Just wait and see how your face transforms!


  1. I used to be afraid of contouring as well, but after seeing how much of a difference it makes in a makeup look, I almost always contour or add a little blush when I’m doing my makeup. Great post!

    • Same here, but my fear was mainly just that I would do it incorrectly and it would look crazy! Once I got the technique down, I stuck with it. Thank you for reading!

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