Contouring – The cat’s out of the bag!

Today I want to talk contouring. The secret weapon of make up artists across the globe………………….well until Kim Kardashian let the cat out the bag!

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To check out the images of Kim on my ipad go to:

Since Kim tweeted images of Scott Barnes contouring her face there seems to have been an explosion of contouring products every where you look. 

But what are they for? What’s it all about? The answer in short is to mold your face to perfection. Accentuate your assets and hide your weaknesses. The key word is definition!

When it comes to the technique of contouring there are better people out there that can help you with this my lovelies. Many of the masters of the make up world are sharing their long held secrets. Some of my favourites are: Mario Dedivanovich, Scott Barnes, Rae Morris and Wayne Goss.

I would encourage you all to check out Wayne Goss on youtube. This guy has taught me so much about the technique of make up application. His no nonsense, straight forward tutorials are just fantastic and I am eternally grateful to him for sharing his wisdom, I would be lost without his teachings!

If any of you are looking for a good Christmas gift for any make up lovers out there I would suggest MAKEUP The Ultimate Guide by Rae Morris. There is a great section on contouring, along with highlighting, eyes, eyebrows, skin prep, colour charts, foundation application and much more.

OK so what I really want to discuss in this post is what I know best, products! What do you need for contouring and where can you get it?

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As you can see in the picture above I have rather a few products I use for contouring. Some are designed specifically for the job and some are your basic bronzers, blushers and concealers. As Scott Barnes says “you should never close your mind to how you use a product, there are no rules!”.

The key to finding great contouring products is to concentrate on finding light and dark powders or creams in natural shades. They need to be lighter and darker than your own skin tone, obvs. The best tip I have picked up along the way is do not use shimmery products for the job. Save that for highlighting areas such as the cheekbones, inner eyes or brow bone after you have finished with the contouring!

Right then lets have a look at a few products you can use to sculpt your face to perfection.

First up is Daniel Sandlers – Scult and Slim-Effect Contour Face Powder 

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This little compact will set you back about £24.50. Beautifully packaged in a black on gold compact with a good sized mirror inside. It has a lovely dark matt powder that will work well on lot’s of skin tones.

In my opinion the lighter powder is more of a highlighter. It has a lovely natural tone to it, but it is rather shimmery. As I said above if you’re going for a full on contoured face as seen on Kim K above you need matt shades for both your light and dark. For instance where you see all the light cream on Kim’s face to slim her nose etc, this would not look good if done with a shimmery powder. I can’t stress enough, save it for your higlighting people!

The product is water resistant, perfume and paraben free. It blends beautifully, making it easy to apply even for a make up novice. I would recommend  it for anyone looking for a nice matt dark contouring shade and a pretty highlighter. If however you want an all in one kit, in my opinion this doesn’t do the job. I would need another light cream to complete my contouring look.

Illamasqua – Bronzing Duo

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After I purchased the Daniel Sandler compact I remembered I had something very similar in my make up case already. This little guy is almost identical to the Daniel Sandler one. Price wise it’s pretty similar coming in at £26.00.

Again it blends beautifully making it easy to use. It’s staying power is fantastic as is the case with all Illamasqua products. As with the DS compact the darker shade would be perfect for using in the darker areas such as under the cheekbones, but the lighter powder is again more of a highlighter.

Looking at these two compacts drives home the point that you can purchase something especially designed to contour, or you can have a rummage through your make up collection and find something that will do the job just as well!

So after routing through my collection here are a few of my fave contouring products. None of them were designed with contouring in mind, some of them you can’t even buy anymore! Which just goes to show that probably everyone of you will have the perfect contouring products at your finger tips already, you just need a little imagination and time to experiment and you’re off!

POUT – Bronzing Duo

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Oh POUT how I miss you. I haven’t been able to get my hands on any of their products for a long time as they closed their doors in 2007. Any products I have left I use sparingly, lovingly santising them and storing them away periodically.

Again this proves the point that after a rummage through your make up, new or old, you will probably find something magical that will do a fab contouring job.

NYX – Butt Naked Palette

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The first powder on the left which is the darkest shade is fab for contouring. Again the other two are more of a highlighter but look fantastic applied after the job has been completed. 

Have a look through the palettes that you have stored away guys. It’s easy to overlook the little treasures that are hidden on the bottom tiers of our all rounder palettes.

Urban Decay – Face Case in Anarchy

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You may have seen my review on this amazing little palette. Not only does it have the holy grail of eye liners in it, an amazing lip stain, eye shadows, blusher and highlighter, but also a fab blusher that does a beautiful understated contour job!

NYX – HD Concealer set

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My personal holy grail for contouring. I get mine here.

For £10.00 you get a concealer wand and pot duo. They do an array of different shades for differing skin tones. The concealer wand is the perfect choice for the lighter areas of your contouring task. The pot concealer is better suited if you have any areas that need a heavy cover, such as dark circles.

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The first two shades on the left are the porcelain duo and the second two are the fair duo.


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You can buy contouring brushes but that isn’t always necessary. Have a little look through your stash and see what you have. Anything that will help you apply your product at sharp symmetrical angles is perfect. Above are a few of the brushes I use for applying and blending.

Beauty Blender

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One of the make up industries hidden gems, this little fella will help you achieve perfectly blended make up. Simply saturate in water and squeeze out, then pat across your face and voilá……..perfection!

I suppose the moral of the story here is that all you need is a light concealer and dark matt powder/bronzer. Throw in a few good brushes, some youtube tutorials and a beauty blender and jobs a good’un!

So guys, do any of you have any good contouring products? I’d love to hear your thoughts.


Sonya x

One thought on “Contouring – The cat’s out of the bag!

  1. Pingback: Cult Classics………….#2 | ONCE UPON A GLAM....

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