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

If you happen to’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 yr to strive once more—however this time with the steering of Elena Duque, an esthetician and licensed make-up artist.

However earlier than you try this method, it’s vital to know what contouring truly 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 possibly can 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 folks 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 considered one of these tubes will normally run you $35, you possibly can 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 trying 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 components
  • Simply blendable
  • Pure end
  • Buildable


  • A bit of bit goes a good distance
  • Solely two shade choices

Methods to contour

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

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

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

When you discover a tutorial you wish 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 vital to begin 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 one of the vital steps of contouring: Mixing. With a view to make the contour look pure, mixing the product out with the helpful contour brush that comes with the tarte Form Tape contour, a moist magnificence blender, or your fingers so there are not any stark strains is crucial.

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 ensure it lasts all through the day, Duque says. Though it could take a couple of 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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