Many women cringe when they hear the word “contouring.” I don’t blame them. The technique has a reputation for being extremely advanced, to be used by seasoned professionals only. The contoured look is also often associated with the exhaustive routine of Kim K. To achieve her look, layers and layers of makeup have to be applied to completely reshape the skin’s natural appearance. This can lead to dryness, dehydration and enlarged pores. No thank you.
Luckily, this isn’t the only kind of contouring out there. In fact, contouring can be quick, easy and not at all bad for your skin if you do it the right way. You can achieve instant glow and definition by swapping heavy toxic products for lighter cream-based options. I was recently inspired to try out this alternative approach myself after experiencing Tata Harper’s new contouring kit Luminous Definition. Tata is my go-to girl for non-toxic botanical beauty, so I knew this would be good.
To help you try the technique I have termed “clean contouring” at home, I put together a step-by-by-step guide that makes the process quick and easy. You can use the guide in the morning for a totally natural daytime look or in the evening for something simple and fresh, yet elevated. With a swipe of mascara or a little powder bronzer, you can so easily jazz up this look for additional drama.
What to know before you contour:
A seamless contour starts with a smooth canvas. Make sure to cleanse, tone and apply moisturizer to your skin before getting started. If you are a foundation girl, or simply need a little something (like my go-to fav Le Metier de Beaute Anti-Aging Complex), apply this before you contour.
Using a brush (RMS Beauty Foundation Brush is my one and only) or your fingertips, apply Tata Harper’s Very Illuminating highlighter down the center of the nose, on the Cupid’s bow, on the eyelids and right below the eyebrows.
Draw a line from the bottom of the earlobe to the lip area and blend up and out.
Create an upside-down triangle between the eyebrows and blend up and out.
Visualize a C shape and, starting just above the brow, outline the eye down to the temple then around and under your eye just above your cheekbone.
Step 2: Contour
Imagine the letter E superimposed on your face. Start at the middle of the top of your hairline (your Widow’s peak) and begin to draw the letter E along the perimeter of your face (close to your hairline) down to your temple using Tata Harper’s Very Bronzing Contour.
Suck in your cheeks to see exactly where your cheekbones are then continue down from your temple to just underneath your cheekbone (the middle prong of the letter E). Make sure that this middle prong is not as long as the top and bottom prongs. This step will elegantly accentuate the shape of your cheekbones and give you that Kate Moss-esque look.
Go back along the underside of your cheekbone to the ear then down towards your jawline. Finish the E by sweeping the brush just underneath the jawline. Blend the bronzer down into the neck. The more bronzer you apply, the more pronounced your neck will be. I like to really blend away down the neck.
Step 3: Glow
Use fingertips (or a brush, I am obsessing these days over RMS Beauty Blush Brush) to apply a small amount of Tata Harper’s Volumizing Lip & Cheek Tint in Very Charming for a little glowing pink color.
If you want to make it really last, finish it off with a dusting a translucent powder. I could not live without RMS Beauty “Un” Powder. I focus on the area around my nose and my forehead, because these are the areas that get the greasiest.
Dress by Ulla Johnson.