How to Contour for Beginners: Best Contouring Makeup Tips

01:11 AM March 10, 2019

How to contour for beginners can be a daunting task if you have no idea where to start. Whether you’re going for a full face glam-up to a “no-makeup” makeup look, a little contouring added to your routine goes a long way. How to contour for beginners is an easy technique perfect for people who are starting out with makeup in order to warm up your look, and a guaranteed way to acquire that chiseled, sun kissed radiance that everyone is going crazy about in the beauty world.

Everyone’s becoming a bit more of a beauty expert these days, which is a great thing, as you have a seemingly limitless amount of professional techniques down to how to contour for beginners being posted online all the time!


Contouring might have been reserved for supermodels and actresses on runways or red carpets back before social media, but thanks to the internet platforms(keeping up with the Kardashians, anyone?), the secrets of how to contour for beginners have started to circulate through Facebook and Instagram posts. Many women, and individuals for that matter, are learning how to contour and becoming satisfied with their new look.

If you’re here to find more tips on how to contour for beginners, look no further. We’re dishing out our top tricks on how to contour for beginners below:

TIP #1: Combine Textures

There’s a saying that “two heads are better than one.” Who knew that this could also apply to beginners learning how to contour? Sir John, a renowned L’Oréal Paris makeup artist, says two textures are always better than one. This is to avoid an oily, clogging feeling from all cream formulas, and also the cakey, broken result of some powder products.

Balance everything out, just as Sir John would sculpt the face with foundation and set it up with powder to lock everything in place. For this, we totally recommend going for a contour palette like Urban Decay Shapeshifter Palette, which has both warm and cool powders that are suitable for a wide range of skin tones.

TIP #2: Contouring with Some Sun and SPF

Try this SPF hack for a quirky way on how to contour for beginners! When you’re about to go sun bathing, put on SPF 20 all over your face, then apply a thin line of SPF 70 down the nose and in the dip of the Cupid’s bow. Go bake in the sun and when you’re done, wash your face with a Clarisonic brush to remove the sunscreen. And there you go, you’ve got yourself a natural contour to go with your all natural no-makeup look.

Plus, here’s another neat hack you can do with some SPF. Out of highlighter? SPF is actually a hero in disguise, as it can also be one of the best highlighters you’ll probably ever use! Just like how you would with a normal highlighter, pat some SPF onto your cheekbones. Try out the super combo of La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-In Sun Milk and Coola Mineral Face SPF 30 Matte Tint which won’t leave your skin shiny or greasy.

TIP #3: Subtlety is the Key

Tutorials on how to contour for beginners trending on social media might leave you intimidated to try it, as you may see textured palettes smeared onto the face into ‘strategic’ shapes and lines. With contouring, nothing can go wrong with a wearable, day-to-day look instead of an extremely shaped version of your face.


Use a darker shade of your skin tone to contour your face and blend away. According to Sir John, as a universal rule of thumb, you certainly do not want to see the lines from head on. You should only be able to see the defined features from the side, which then helps to create a more subtle look.

TIP #4: Find Your Face Shape to Slay that Contour

As we said, subtlety is the key on how to contour for beginners to achieve that natural look. While we’re at it, to get that “no-makeup” makeup look, you ought to find out what’s natural for you. What we mean is, you should know what’s best for your face to make it look more natural, rather than looking like an Instagram filter that’s been slapped on your face.

Know your face shape, and from there, customize how to contour for beginners, like where to put shadows and highlights on the ideal areas. New York-based makeup artist Ashley Rebecca shares some of her coveted contouring tips corresponding to different kinds of facial shapes.

For a heart shaped face, Rebecca recommends to follow the famous “figure 3” technique, wherein you contour along the sides of your forehead adjacent the hairline, beneath your cheekbones, and in the hollows of your cheeks using a swiping motion of the brush. An oblong shaped face, however, requires starting right above the forehead and on the sides of the jaw respectively, brushing towards the chin.

On the other hand, square-shaped heads need to slightly alter the location to complement the face shape, by dusting contour from the borders of your forehead and underneath the cheekbones, pointing down towards the direction of the chin, and focusing on smooth contrast. Diamond face-shaped individuals are the lucky ones, as they don’t need as much contouring, but can focus on the lower cheekbones near the chin area.

And for the well-known reminder on how to contour for beginners: blend, blend, and blend! Make your features shine where they’re supposed to!

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