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

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

However earlier than you try this method, it’s vital 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 strategies, you’ll be able to effortlessly redefine and reshape your facial options, permitting sure areas to naturally emerge from the remainder.”

Step one to contouring appropriately? 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 finest for them, however one product she recommends—particularly to those that need their contour to final—is a cult favourite amongst make-up fans: tarte’s Form Tape contour. Though one in every of these tubes will normally run you $35, you’ll be able to 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 comfortable bronze


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


  • Somewhat bit goes a good distance
  • Solely two shade choices

Tips on how to contour

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

Subsequent, look at your face form. A typical mistake made by first-time contourers is making use of the product in a approach that doesn’t swimsuit their face form, Duque says, which may spotlight the fallacious options or simply look awkward. Discovering that candy spot might take some trial and error, however Duque recommends watching YouTube tutorials by individuals with an analogous 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 primary strategies 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 wish to comply with, 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 delicate shadows and dimension, so it’s vital to start out with a light-weight 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 concentrate on 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 one of the vital 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 strains is important.

After you’ve blended the contour, don’t neglect 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 verify it lasts all through the day, Duque says. Though it might take just a few tries to seek out which contouring approach works for you, Duque says to maintain experimenting and also you’ll obtain the contour of your goals.

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