Contouring is the makeup trend that blew up overnight and now everyone knows what it is, but it's not always as exaggerated as you see on social media or in Drag Shows. There's nothing wrong with that exaggerated look, and if that's what you want to wear, go for it baby! Rock it! However, contouring can be done in a subtle way and makeup artists have used this trick for a great many years.

In general, contour is supposed to be an area in shadow and makes an area of the face recede or look smaller. Highlight does the opposite. It brings attention and light to an area to make it look larger. Got a big forehead and don't like it, contour it. Got a small forehead, throw a lighter shade on there and blend it in. Want to make your nose look more narrow or wider, same thing. Want to make you face look slimmer, contour under your cheekbones, highlight the tops of your cheekbones and contour just under your jawline. Just know that in daylight, if you use shades too much darker or lighter than your natural skin tone and don't blend well, it is obvious and you may look like you have a blocks of brown and white on the side of your face. If you want obvious contour, go for it. If not, stick with at most 3 shades lighter or darker than your normal foundation color.

This chart is from This is one of those Free online resources that is so damned valuable if you want to learn. They have a ton of information, go take a look. This is just a general guideline. Seriously, go watch ALL THE CONTOURING VIDEOS! Experiment with different looks and techniques. Try cream, try powder, turn yourself into a man if you're a woman or a woman if you're a man. Experiment and learn. You can literally contour any part of your body if you're so inclined. A quick search on youtube and Instagram will find you contouring videos and looks you never thought possible, unless you already stalk current makeup trends. In that case, you've probably seen butt contouring already. Proceed.


Mykie from GlamN'Gore is super fun to watch and really creative. Here is a video of her using just contour to make herself look like Lana Del Rey. This kind of extreme contouring is really cool for pictures but only works from one angle, it doesn't translate so well in real life or in person. * Mykie isn't affiliated with us in any way, we just love to watch her videos, so go check her out.

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