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Contouring is the latest craze in the make-up world. It started with pros getting stars ready for the red carpet and it soon exploded. Now, the rest of us are all a buzz about the newest trend. It’s relatively simple once you know what you are doing but not everyone does so here are a few contouring tips.

How Does Contouring Work?

Highlighting and contouring work hand in hand. You really shouldn’t try one without the other. Highlighting (or strobing) creates a balance to contouring. To strobe like a superstar, use a concealer that’s two shades lighter than your skin tone. If you prefer, you can use a highlighter. But, make sure and use one that flatters your skin tone and complexion. The highlights will catch the light, accentuating certain focal points on that stunning face of yours. Contouring is the opposite. It’s the practice of darkening certain areas. You will want to use a bronzer or cream two shades darker than your skin. You can reshape, contour and define areas like your nose and cheekbones.

Identify Your Face Shape and Contour Accordingly

First things first, you’ll need to identify your face shape. This is easy, but it is important to know that there are actually quite a few different face shapes.

  1. Diamond: A diamond face is very symmetrical and a bit pointy. Your face is longer than it is wide and your chin is a bit pointed. Contour underneath your cheekbones. Begin at your ears and extend to the middle of your cheeks. Highlight under the eyes, in the center of the forehead and on the chin.
  1. Square: Your face is very symmetrical. It is about as long as it is wide. Your cheeks and forehead do not protrude far from your hairline. Highlight in the same places that you would if you had a diamond shaped face. Contour the sides of your forehead, below your check bones, and beneath your jaw bone.
  1. Oval: Your face looks like an upside down egg, with a longer jaw than the width of your cheekbones. Your face is not pointy and you have no hard lines. Contour the temples just slightly and below the cheekbones (down from the ears as you would if you had a diamond shaped face). Highlight in the same places that you would if you had a square or oval face.
  1. Heart: You have wider cheeks that protrude past your jaw bone, a widow’s peak, and a narrow chin. Contour along the sides of your forehead and temples, below your cheekbones and right below your chin. Highlight under your eye and in the middle of your forehead.
  1. Rectangle: If you have a rectangular face, the width of your hairline and jawline are just about the same but your face is longer than it is wide. Contour on the sides of your forehead, along the hairline, under your jawbone and below your cheekbones. Highlight in the middle of your chin and under your eyes.
  1. Round: If your face is round it is as wide as it is long and quite symmetrical. The points on your face are soft. You should contour along the temples and below your cheekbones. Highlight the middle of your forehead and chin. Of course, brighten.

Let’s face it—this is an art. Do it right and you’ll look like a red carpet celebrity. Do it wrong and you’ll remind people of Bozo the Clown. You will need practice and shouldn’t expect to get it right the first time. But, if you identify your face shape and take your time, you should be able to get the hang of it soon enough.