Contouring & highlighting on fair skin

Contouring like a Kardashian is probably the most blogged about subject of the last two years. Of course contouring (Kontouring?) wasn't founded by the Kardashians and they aren't the ones to give credit (Kredit?) for it. However, the Kardashian sisters (mostly Kim and Khloé) wear a fully contoured face almost every day in their reality show and that's how it became a popular make up routine. Contouring like a Kardashian became such a populair blogging subject and I'm sure every single one of you has at least read once or twice about it. However, contouring is one of the hardest things to do right and if it's done wrong, it will look wrong. Today I'll share my wisdom on contouring on pale girls like me.


What is contouring and why would you do it?

Contouring is stage make up, you bring shadows to your face to make it look more defined. On stage you have a big spotlight on your face and that can cause your face to look flat. The Kardashian sisters wear this make up every day but it's not really something that we, you know normal people, usually do. A fully contoured nose is a little unnecessary for everyday wear but I personally like a good contour on my cheecks to create (the illusion of) cheeckbones. If you're very unsatisfied with your nose, you can make it look smaller or straighter through contouring. Here is a quick sketch of where I apply my contour, the darker blue being the contour product, the lighter blue being the lighter product and the pink means blush. Of course this can be different to anyone. 
Also, if you want to contour you'll have to wear foundation. If you're not a foundation-wearing type of person, contouring is probably not for you. Contouring is all about brining back shadows to your face, for that to work, you'll have to start with a blank canvas (which means, foundation - preferably a high coverage one). 

The products

For contouring you'll need a product a few shades darker to your skin tone, and a product that's a few shades lighter than your skin tone. You can also add a highlighter on the lighter bits. You can use liquid or powder products to do this, that's all personal preference. I prefer to use powder products because they're easier to match my skin tone (and it's cheaper). Also, us pale girls have a hard time finding a foundation to match our skin tone as it is. Finding an even lighter foundation or concealer on a drugstore budget isn't just going to work. 

Contour and bronzers

Let me start by saying don't use a shimmery bronzer to contour.  You can use a matte bronzer, a taupe coloured blush or an eyeshadow. I use an eyeshadow because I already owned it and it works perfectly. Just because you shouldn't use a bronzer to contour, doesn't mean you can't use it at all. I really like bronzer to create a sun kissed glow. I like to apply my contour with the Real Techniques Contour Brush (I still haven't written a review on these brushes oops!) and I like to apply my bronzer using a large blush brush, except for the liquid bronzer, I apply that with my fingers and the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. 

Top row are my favourite bronzing products; beautyUK bronzer, Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess Luminous Liquid Bronzer, HEMA Shimmering Bronzing Powder. The palette on the bottom row is from Flormar, it's the one I use to contour, I use the shade in the third pan. It's a nice ashy taupy colour.

Beauty UK bronzer, HEMA bronzer, Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess (unblended, Estée Lauder Bronzo Goddess (blended), my contour eyeshadow.


Highlighters are an important part of contouring. This is the fun part; schmearing glitter on your face! The Kardashians wear a lot of highlighter and I'm not really opposed to that because I'm a lover of anything glittery and shimmery. My favourite highlighter is a white shimmery pigment (Essence pigments in Fairy Dust) mixed with Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream. It's nice because you can mix it yourself, therefore you're able to decide if you want your shine to the max or just a subtle shimmer. 

Shine to the max it is.

Catrice eyeshadow in Bring Me Frosted CakeNYX Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator in Sun Beam, Essence pigments in Fairy Dust, Catrice Prime and Fine Highlighting powder, Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream.
Left to right: Catrice eyeshadow, Catrice highlighter, NYX liquid illuminator, Elizabeth Arden + Essence pigments.
Of course I don't put all these products on my face at once, I like to rotate. A sublte golden highlighter is sometimes nice, but a frosty white one is nice too. It all depends on what I'm feeling like that day. Today I was feeling the Hema bronzer, the Estée Lauder bronzer and the NYX highlighter. All on top of my usual contour.

don't mind my bad hair day.

I hope this was helpful to anyone, if you have any questions let me know! I'd be happy to help. It took me quite a while to figure out my contouring routine, it's just about finding out what works for you.

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