Top Contouring Makeup Products For Different Skin Colors
Very few people are born with a sculptured bone structure. But thankfully contouring makeup allows anyone to create the illusion of chiseled cheekbones and defined jawlines by playing with light and shadow. Here are the best contouring makeup products that every woman needs to own.
Highlighting and Contouring
Nowadays it’s hard not to run across pictures and videos that involve highlighting and contouring. These two techniques are used in the makeup industry to sculpt and give the face definition. Highlighting is blending a lighter shade of makeup on certain parts of your face to bring attention to them, i.e., the upper part of your cheekbones, bridge of your nose, chin, cupid’s bow, a center of your forehead, and other areas you would want to stand out more than usual.
Contouring is quite the opposite. It is using a darker cream or powder to hide and sculpt areas of your face, i.e., side of your nose, around your jaw-line, under your cheekbones, and other areas.
You can use an array of powders and creams to create a perfectly sculpted face. My personal suggestion is to go 2-3 shades lighter than your skin tone for highlighting and 2-3 shades darker for contouring.
Make sure to blend well using a beauty blender for cream or a contour/highlight brush for powder. My favorite is MAC’s 168 brush for the cheeks and jawline and the 224 brush for the nose.
RELATED: 15 Best Under-Eye Concealers In 2020
Contouring Makeup Products for Fair Skin Color
NYX Powder Blush in Taupe
To contour porcelain, complexions choose a cool shade such as NYX Powder Blush in Taupe and work the product underneath your cheekbones, temples, brow bone, and under your jawline. Use a light hand when contouring and blend well as any contrast in color will stand out dramatically on pale skin.
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Ethereal Light
Color-infused highlighting products will show up on darker skin tones but tend to blend seamlessly into fair skin with little to no effect. Focus on illuminating instead with a pearlescent highlighter such as Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Ethereal Light.
Revlon Powder Blush in Oh Baby
The best shade of blush for ivory skin tones is the one similar to your natural lip shade. For cool, pink undertones choose a deep rose or pink such as Revlon Powder Blush in Oh Baby. Women with warm, yellow undertones look best wearing apricot.
Contouring Makeup for Medium Skin Color
Kevin Aucoin Sculpting Powder in Medium
The medium skin color covers a broad range of variations in pigments, but a great neutral color is Kevin Aucoin Sculpting Powder in Medium. Steer clear of contouring products with too much orange in them.
Burberry Fresh Glow Powder in Golden Radiance
Don’t be afraid to try darker highlighters such as Burberry Fresh Glow Powder in Golden Radiance. This product is designed to illuminate the skin but can also be used to contour.
Maybelline New York Fit Me Blush in Deep Mauve
Dusty mauve blushes such as Maybelline New York Fit Me Blush in Deep Mauve will compliment yellow undertones while women with red undertones are suited to raspberry pinks.
Contouring Makeup for Olive Skin Color
Stila Shape and Shape Custom Contour Duo
The key to contouring is building up light layers, but darker skin tones allow for a more confident application. Look for warm chocolate and caramel tones as found in Stila Shape and Shape Custom Contour Duo.
Dreamy Glow Highlighter by Charlotte Tilbury
The natural glow in your skin allows you to play with golden highlighters in warm shades, and our favorite is the Dreamy Glow Highlighter by Charlotte Tilbury. Sweep across the top of the cheekbones, down the bridge of the nose, and on the cupid’s box for sun-kissed radiance.
Giorgio Armani’s Cheek Fabric
When it comes to blush warm peach tones with hints of orange flatter olive skin; Giorgio Armani’s Cheek Fabric in Ecstasy will give your skin tone a luxurious lift.
Contouring Makeup for Dark Skin Color
Smashbox Step By Step
Depending on your skin tone you may also want to work a darker shade into your temples, underneath your cheekbones, and your chin. When combining both a dark and light product be sure to blend well. Our pick is Smashbox Step By Step as it provides three different shades to play with.
Ellis Faas Glow Up in Deep Glow
To emphasize your inner glow apply a highlighter in either a colorless or terracotta shade such as Ellis Faas Glow Up in Deep Glow. Apply it above your cheekbones, across your eyelids, on the chin, and down the nose.
Look for berry blush shades if you have a red undertone, alternatively, if you have a yellow undertone go for an orange blush. Ebony skin tones allow you to play around with brighter pigments.
Contouring Makeup Tips
- Contouring absorbs light and is used to manipulate the shape of facial features such as the forehead, cheekbones, chin, and nose. Look for matte products that are two shades darker than your skin color. In contrast, highlighting accentuates the areas of your face which naturally catch the light. Look for a highlighter two shades lighter than your skin tone.
- If you are a contouring expert, feel free to experiment with creams and liquids, but as a beginner, these products will overwhelm you and are unnecessary for an everyday makeup routine.
- To find the angles in your face look at your reflection in the natural light and take note of the shadows (contouring) and areas where the light bounces off (highlighting). Standing underneath an overhead light is an excellent way to find the best places to contour. Another tip is to suck in your cheeks; the line across your cheek is a good starting place for contouring.