Over the recent years, contouring has vastly become a staple and go-to technique for many women. A trick of the trade previously exclusive to in-the-know beauty editors and of course makeup artists, thanks to the internet contouring has developed an entire movement of its own that advocates for sculpted cheekbones for all. With the plethora of tutorials and instruction videos floating about the web, everyone knows that when done right, a perfectly contoured and highlighted face can look absolutely fabulous. When done wrong … well, there are plenty of Youtube videos dedicated to that aspect as well … most of the time unbeknownst to the Youtuber itself. As we all know, not every trend or technique applies to everyone, not all “universal” colors work well on different skin tones and every face shape is not created equal. But often times entire concepts like contouring only works on some. It’s quite a heavy technique that does not flatter all faces no matter what your shape is and will flat-out not work on you, period. Which, that blows because who doesn’t want to accentuate their features?
A major issue with contouring is the risk of girls overdoing it, whether that be the actual contour or the highlight – the latter which results in a stark canvas because there is a tendency to layer bright product atop of more bright product. Case-in-point, applying a concealer 3 shades lighter, followed by an actual highlighter, then set with a white powder. No bueno. Contouring plays the same position, girls pick a shade 3 times darker than their foundation and apply super heavily to reap the benefit, the end result being too heavily of a contour due to overdoing it. The risk of overdoing it are especially greater for pale girls. Naturally in Winter I turn about 2 shades lighter and I beget quite pale. However, I do love a good contour, on certain days I firmly believe it gives me my powers, but the chance of applying too much product just to see any signs of it or the even worse chances of a product showing up way too orange or ruddy are significantly increased during these months.
Luckily, I’m not one to sit down and admit defeat. So in the name of carving cheekbones for the pale bunch, I have build quite a useful reportoire over the years with tips all of the pale ladies should know about.
Know your undertone
In order for a bronzer to not appear orange, too red or ruddy, you need to educate yourself on your undertone. Fully understanding the various components of your skin’s inner workings leads to making wiser product choices – and having a product fit to suit your undertone counteracts the risk of aforementioned phenoms. Find your undertone in this previous article;
Pick the right color
As you know, not all makeup is created equal. And while I see on Youtube many gurus using either Benefit’s Hoola or the Nars Laguna, the Too Faced Chocolate Soleil, these are still not universal colors and may not work on you as they do on them. Resist the urge to purchase hype products or those that look fantastic on others. Refer to the previous tip and go on from there, connect with a professional if you really can’t figure it out on your own, there’s no shame in that;
Product quality is important
The area where everyone goes wrong is by over-applying the contour which involves multiple layers of darkness in the featured areas in order for it to show up. Invest in quality products that are generously pigmented. 9/10 Times the overdoing it aspect stems from bronzers not being pigmented enough and it requires multiple layers for any result. Assure when swatching the shade has a supreme color deposit and is not sheer in any way;
Once you commit to contouring, especially for the super pale, you need to balance the contour with an all-over bronzing application to warm up your face. Opt for bronzers in the gold undertone family as opposed to cool because warmer shades will veil the complexion in a healthy glow, as to where cooler shades can turn your skin extremely dull;
Blending is the key
As unfair as it is, pale girls need to put more elbow grease into the blending portion. Because of your skin tone harsh edges have a greater tendency of showing up due to contrast. It is of absolute importance that you buff the contour into the skin, you can do so by using a medium fluffy brush, a Kabuki brush or even a damp Beautyblender.