How to Choose the Perfect Contour Shade for Your Skin Tone


Did you know contouring can be just as diverse and creative as any other makeup?

As a beauty buff, you wouldn’t restrict yourself to a single shade of lipstick or one eyeliner or eyeshadow when recreating the famous Cara Delevingne smokey eye.

In that sense, then it’s not logical to be limited to a single hue when choosing the best sculpting shade for your contour.

Of course, simple contouring would require only one shade, but if you’re looking for that defined sculpting, you need two or three if you’re bold – a deeper shade to highlight the lines of your bone structure, and one or two lighter shades to create a shadow.

But, one would ask, which colors should you use? How do you know what will work for your skin tone and what won’t?

Well, it doesn’t matter if you’ve been staring at YouTube tutorials trying to figure this out or you’re a contouring newbie.

We’ve got you covered. Ahead, a detailed guide on the tricks and techniques you can employ when trying to find the perfect contour shade.

The Trick is in the Shadows

Source: IPSY

If you need a refresher course on contouring, you’ve landed on the right page.

Contouring simply means darkening specific areas of your face that require more definition. These areas include the cheekbones, forehead, jawline, nose, and chin.

It doesn’t matter if you have a diamond, pear, or oblong face shape. Contouring helps enhance, define and recede your facial structure.

Being attentive to the color of the shadows on your face is vital when selecting the ideal contour shades for you.

You need colors that closely resemble or imitate said shadows.

Your foundation is the perfect place to start when kickstarting your contouring journey.

Think colors in the same shade family as your foundation, but one or two shades darker than your natural skin tone.

Keep in mind that you can also build a product to achieve the desired results.

Putting in some extra time is essential for newbies looking to start with a subtle contour and work their way up to a more sculpted look.

There’s No One-Size-Fits-All

Different shades of contour powder

Your skin’s undertones should be a vital factor when choosing a contour shade, and since skin tones vary from one person to another, you need to familiarize yourself with your skin to understand what contour shades suit you best.

And thanks to the reinvention of the color wheels, many beauty brands today are an extensive range of bronzers, foundations, and even contours.

For instance, Fenty Beauty launched its first-ever powder bronzer in eight shades.

So, one question remains, how to land the right shade for your skin tone?

It’s pretty simple.

• Fair to medium skin tones – think taupy neutrals that lean on the cooler side

• Tan to olive skin tones – opt for golden hues since they naturally offer you a warm feel and look

• Dark skin tones – go for shades that have the perfect balance of blue and red undertone

Top Tip: Before settling on a specific hue, be sure to test your contour products on the inside of your arm to see how it’ll look on your natural skin.

That way, you’ll know what works seamlessly and what doesn’t.

Use the Ideal Blending Tools

It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to achieve a flawless natural makeup look or a defined one; blending tools can make or break your look.

That’s why it’s crucial to choose the right brushes and blending tools so they can help enhance your appearance and apply products seamlessly.

When it comes to contouring, for instance, there are some things you need to consider:
Fluffier brushes should be your go-to if you’re going for a natural look.

Those looking to achieve a more defined look should choose a sculpting brush while those looking for a sculpted appearance should go for a dense brush like a kabuki brush.

Cream vs. Powder Contour Palettes

Since cream and powder products have varying textures, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with each kind and see which one works best for you.

Powder contours, for example, can be perfect for oily skin types and provide you with a flawless matte finish.

On the other hand, cream contours work effortlessly on dry skin types and offer a more luminous finish.

You can also use your everyday bronzer to contour if you don’t feel like shopping for new products (God knows it’s hard enough to keep up with the ones we have already).

Don’t Be A Humdrum – Have Fun Contouring

The most vital tip? Have fun.

Don’t feel pressured to create that red carpet-worthy contour on your first try.

The more you practice, the more you’ll discover what works for you and what doesn’t.

Be sure to also test out with various products, textures, and blending tools until you find what suits you best, and you’ll become a contouring connoisseur in no time!


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