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Just about everybody who’s ever tried contouring has some horror story they might inform—from not mixing properly sufficient so the product continues to be clearly seen in your cheekbones to following the mistaken tutorial so you find yourself wanting extra scared than snatched.

In case you’ve all the time been secretly afraid to discover ways to contour after a failed try or from witnessing the endeavors of others, 2024 is your 12 months to attempt once more—however this time with the steerage of Elena Duque, an esthetician and authorized make-up artist.

However earlier than you try this system, it’s necessary to grasp what contouring really does to your face. “Contouring is the artwork of skillfully manipulating shadows and shading to craft a visible deception of depth,” Duque says. “By strategically making use of these methods, you may effortlessly redefine and reshape your facial options, permitting sure areas to naturally emerge from the remainder.”

Step one to contouring accurately? Working with a product that’s simply blendable and is a shade or two darker than your pores and skin tone. Duque encourages individuals to experiment with totally different merchandise to seek out one which works greatest for them, however one product she recommends—particularly to those that need their contour to final—is a cult favourite amongst make-up lovers: tarte’s Form Tape contour. Though one among these tubes will normally run you $35, you may seize two of them *and* a contour brush to simply mix out the product for $43 on QVC till the New 12 months—aka you’ll spend all of 2024 wanting extremely sculpted, for much less.

tarte Sculpt Tape Bronzing Wand Duo with Contour Brush — $43.00

Initially $53, now $43

Accessible shades: cool bronze and tender bronze


  • Lengthy-lasting system
  • Simply blendable
  • Pure end
  • Buildable


  • Slightly bit goes a great distance
  • Solely two shade choices

Easy methods to contour

Now that you’ve got a makeup-artist-approved product in hand, it’s time to start out contouring. Duque says it’s necessary to start out with a clear and moisturized face earlier than making use of any make-up, so you may have a easy canvas to work on.

Subsequent, study your face form. A typical mistake made by first-time contourers is making use of the product in a approach that doesn’t go well with their face form, Duque says, which may spotlight the mistaken options or simply look awkward. Discovering that candy spot might take some trial and error, however Duque recommends watching YouTube tutorials by individuals with the same face form to yours or attending make-up workshops led by skilled make-up artists.

“Contouring is a talent that takes time to grasp, so don’t rush the method,” Duque says. “Begin with fundamental methods and step by step experiment with extra superior strategies. Be affected person with your self and embrace the training curve.”

When you discover a tutorial you need to observe, Duque suggests beginning with just a bit little bit of product, particularly the tarte Form Tape contour because it’s buildable. “Contouring is all about creating refined shadows and dimension, so it’s necessary to start out with a lightweight hand and construct up the depth step by step,” she says. “It’s simpler so as to add extra product than to take away extra.”

Since contouring is primarily used to create the phantasm of shadow, Duque says to give attention to the hollows of your face, such because the hollows of your cheeks, temples, jawline, and sides of the nostril. When you’ve utilized product to those areas, you’ll transfer on to some of the necessary steps of contouring: Mixing. As a way to make the contour look pure, mixing the product out with the helpful contour brush that comes with the tarte Form Tape contour, a humid magnificence blender, or your fingers so there aren’t any stark traces is important.

After you’ve blended the contour, don’t overlook to spotlight your face. “Contouring and highlighting go hand in hand,” Duque says. “After making use of your contour, use a lighter shade or a highlighter to intensify the excessive factors of your face, such because the tops of your cheekbones, forehead bone, and the bridge of your nostril.”

Lastly, it’s time to set your make-up with a translucent powder or setting spray to ensure it lasts all through the day, Duque says. Though it could take a number of tries to seek out which contouring method works for you, Duque says to maintain experimenting and also you’ll obtain the contour of your desires.

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