Makeup is an amazing thing to increase our confidence and feel better about ourselves.

In this article, we’re uncovering the history of contouring. The hype behind this makeup technique isn’t going anywhere soon, so we want you to have the best makeup palettes to achieve a desired look.

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A Bit About Contouring

Chances are high that you've at least heard of countouring in recent years. Celebrities have brought a particular boost to this practice with their flawless looks. However, if you're unsure of where to start, contouring will leave you frustrated. Let's dive in to understand everything you need to know.

The History of Contouring

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It feels like everyone’s doing it, but where and how did contouring begin? This all began in the early 1500’s during theatre shows. Actors would apply chalk to their face – specifically under their cheekbones and around the eye area – so the audience could clearly see their facial expressions. Fast forward 300 years, and performers began using makeup to accentuate their looks during performances. Not only did this accentuate their emotions on stage, but enhanced their looks too.

In the 1920’s, contouring made an appearance in film and TV too. Famous actresses would accentuate their face and lips by using makeup to sculpt their face shape. The lighting in the studio also affected the overall look to make the face appear slimmer a and lips fuller. 30 years’ later, and we saw Hollywood glamour through the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and more infamous actresses. Specifically, contouring carried through to art, as artists began applying shading and definition to the face. Many makeup artists kept contouring a secret at this point, so portraits accentuated the overall look.

It’s difficult to talk about contouring without referencing the Kardashians. In 2012, Kim Kardashian posted a before and after selfie of her makeup look. The before showed unblended contouring to her face which created sharp cheekbones and a thinner nose and face in the second picture. It was from this point that the mainstream makeup industry really began pushing contouring and selling palettes and kits around the world.

What are the Benefits of Contouring?

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Contouring is a huge makeup phase right now, and with so many benefits, it’s not hard to understand why. The main benefit of contouring is that is makes your face appear slimmer by turning a round face into an oval one. Also, contouring is a way of making your forehead appear smaller and your cheekbones and eye area tighter and lighter. Using contouring makeup on your forehead ensures that the area appears smaller. With the added benefit of highlighting, you create a light and darkness effect which plays with the appearance of size.

Many people choose to contour their temples too, as this makes your face appear slimmer. This particular makeup technique works well if you have a square or round face. Contouring is also hugely beneficial if you have a large nose and want to make it appear slimmer and shorter. Also, by using highlighter across the end of the nose, it plays with the lighting to create the illusion of a shorter nose.  

However, the most popular area of contouring is the cheekbones. By doing so, the cheekbones appear higher and more defined. As a result, this creates the illusion of a thinner and tighter face. By appearing that the face is more lifted, it can also make you look younger.

How to Achieve the Perfect Contouring

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To achieve the perfect contouring look, there are plenty of beauty tips to follow which can help you look and feel your best. Firstly, ensure that you use a bronzer after applying your liquid foundation to leave your skin looking and feeling natural. Then, you want to create a line under the cheekbone towards the ear. You can achieve this by using a thin brush, and blend using a beauty blender. Then, apply the bronzer to your forehead – near your hairline. The key to a perfect contouring look is in the blending.

Although you might not associate powder with contouring, it’s a great makeup tool to sculpt the face if you’re new to this makeup process. When you use a powder, gently dab off the excess product from the brush by tapping the end on your wrist. Of course, not everyone wants the same affect with contouring, and this is mainly down to personal preference and your face shape. To create a more defined contoured look, choose your shades correctly. This is probably the most important factor to achieve perfect contouring. It’s crucial that you’re careful and don’t rush this process, as choosing a shade which is too orange will look unnatural and be difficult to blend. However, if you opt for a natural, cooler colour palette, this’ll create a shadow effect on the cheekbones and make it easier to blend.


The Best Contouring Palettes to Try Today

In order to create the perfect contouring look, you’ll need a high-quality makeup palette which can help you achieve the desired effect. Here are some of the best contouring and highlighting makeup palettes available on the Internet right now.

1. Face Contour Kit by Luscious Cosmetics

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No matter if you’re a beginner or advanced in contouring, this contouring kit is a great way to highlight and define your facial features. By using light technology, this ensures that you will always be left with a natural makeup look. You can use this contouring palette on all areas of the face to play around with lighting and create an illuminous glow. We love that this cosmetic product is vegan and not tested on animals. By not using parabens too, this ensures that the makeup is natural and healthy for your skin. Therefore, you’re not putting any toxins into your body through makeup.

In total, this contouring kit includes four powder shades which are easy to blend together. When combined, they work well together to create a perfect contoured appearance. Also, all of these powders use an advanced light formulation, so that no matter what lighting you’re in – natural or artificial – it’ll maintain a natural, long-lasting appearance. Enhance your natural beauty by defining your jawline. Simply apply the makeup underneath the jawline to create a tighter neckline. You can also accentuate your cheekbones using this contouring kit. In addition, it’s also a great product to create fuller lips when you apply the makeup around the lips – and use the lighter shade on top.

2. Aesthetica Cosmetics Cream Contour and Highlighting Makeup Kit

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With this Aesthetica contouring makeup kit, this has all the makeup and tools you need to enhance your natural beauty. However, this helps you to cover up your problem areas and accentuate the parts of your face you’re happy with. As a result, this contouring kit leaves you with a beautiful finish every time, without little effort. Designed with high-quality ingredients, this is one of the best contouring kits for beginners. As it’s so easy to apply to the face, you can use this makeup palette each day before work without having to set a lot of time aside.

We love that this contouring kit is ideal for mixing and matching to all skin types and tones, as well as for all ages. If you use the darker contouring creams, this will help to make your face look slimmer. Also, it’s great for defining your features if you have a darker skin tone. The highlighting cream is effective at brightening and enhancing your features. This includes your nose and the top of your cheekbones. Light bounces off of the highlighted areas and creates the illusion of a slimmer and more sculpted face.

Aside from the qualities and results, we love that this palette is packed with a mirror and comes as a travel size. Therefore, it’s easy to transport around and perfect to top up your makeup as you’re on the go.

3. Dermablend Loose Setting Powder

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Once you’ve finished the contouring process, don’t let all of your hard work go to waste by it rubbing and sliding off. Instead, allow your makeup to stay put for hours by using a high-quality setting powder. This particular product is ideal for baking, setting and touching up areas of your face which require some added attention. It keeps your makeup on your face for 16 hours – even if you’re sweating. This is great if you’re a busy woman who’s constantly on the go. Available in a translucent shade, it’s ideal for a variety of skin shades and tones. Also, as it’s weightless, you don’t need to worry that it’ll weigh you down and feel heavy on your skin.

Use after each makeup application and blend to make your complexion matte and reduce the chances of any shine. Simply pat the setting powder over your finished makeup and leave on for two minutes. Then, use a clean makeup brush to buff away any loose powder for a flawless finish.

4. Cream Contour Palette Concealer Face Palette

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This is one of our favourite contouring palettes because it contains a variety of shades – including light and dark ones – to cater for all skin types. Its silky texture makes it easy to blend into your face, and you can use your finger to achieve the look you’re aiming for. With skin conditioning elements, this palette won’t dry out your face. As a result, it’s even suitable for dry skin. The added bonus of this contouring face palette is that it comes with a brush. Therefore, this makeup technique becomes simpler and it enables you to achieve a more defined look.

This face palette also delivers more than just contouring. Use the different shades to cover up any pink, red and yellow patches. This is particularly effective for pimples, dark circles or any discolouration under the eyes. Use the white shade to add a natural glow and stunning radiance to your skin for those moments when you need a boost. On the other hand, you can also use this white on the collarbones to highlight this area

5. Tom Ford Soleil Collection Contouring Compact Illuminateur

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If you’re looking for a luxurious contouring face palette, then this Tom Ford makeup set is a great choice for you. Add some glamour to your makeup and inject some life and colour to your skin. This contouring set comes with a blush, highlighter and bronzer in a creamy powder to effortlessly glide onto your skin. As a result, you’re left with a soft and smooth appearance. With a stunning area of colours, this set leaves you with a sun-kissed finish all year around. Not all contouring palettes focus on providing a healthy glow and radiant finish, but this set goes above and beyond.

Aside from sculpting and defining your facial features, this makeup palette provides a medium coverage to flawlessly cover up any blemished areas. This contouring palette also makes a wonderful gift for a loved one as it’s embossed with the Tom Ford logo.    

6. Kryolan HD Micro Foundation Contouring Palette

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We love this makeup set because it’s a foundation and contouring palette combined. By using high-quality, refined pigments, it provides optimum coverage and leaves skin effortlessly covered and blemish-free. Presenting itself in a luxurious format, this contouring palette makes applying makeup easy. Despite providing excellent coverage, this contouring palette leaves skin looking natural and offers five different shades which easily blend together.

This contouring palette also comes with a defined brush to make applying makeup easy. Therefore, it’s an ideal solution if you’re new to contouring and looking for a product which is easy to use.  


Do You Have Any Tips on Contouring?

If you’re new to contouring, we hope the above tips and facts have helped to make this makeup technique more possible. Also, the above contouring palettes are aimed at people looking to achieve a more defined and sculpted face.

Do you have any tips on contouring? Or, perhaps you have some recommend makeup products. If so, share your thoughts in the comments to keep this conversation going.

Related Article: Makeup Brushes Worth Investing In For a Flawless Face

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