The Contour Edit

posted in Makeup Artistry

The Contour Edit

Long before “Contouring” become a daily ritual, were Makeup Artists’ past and present performing this magical task without any of us realizing.

Why is it now that there has been sooo much spotlight (or should I say highlight) surrounding his age old technique?

Contouring and highlighting has been around for centuries, and would once upon a time be labelled more a corrective aesthetic rather than a social media one.

Contouring dates as far back as Elizabethan England – Read the history here.

The OG’s of contouring Max Factor, Kevyn Aucoin and Ben Nye would be laughing if they saw how the phenomenon has exploded into a juggernaut no one ever quiet expected or was ready for.

Personally when it comes to contouring and highlighting my clients there are a few different techniques I like to use. I am a fan of a natural looking contour, and I love skin to remain looking like skin.

Why and when to contour comes down to personal preference, for Red Carpet Events I tend to contour heavier (and a matte contour) due to the insanely bright flashes from photographers and lack of flattering lighting, If I am working on a fashion editorial/photo shoot I usually like to use a cream contour or highlight to enhance the skin naturally.

Read about my favorite illuminators below.

RELATED: Illuminators reviewed

MAC Strobe Cream

When it comes to creating a flawless and natural looking contour/highlight I love to layer , I start with this tube of magic that is MAC Strobe Cream (hello #strobing) I apply it to the high plains of the face (Cheekbones, bridge of nose , cupids bow) pre- foundation.


Image: Thurstan Redding



Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate

Subtle Shimmer but delivers a lovely dewy finish, non metallic but light reflecting, comes in two shade selections, best applied with fingers to warm the product.

The Contour Edit Phoebe Taylor

Image: Glensius Cal



Rodial Instaglam Compact Deluxe Contouring Powder

Available in two shades, and not orange!!! I like to use this in conjunction with the Instaglam Compact Deluxe Bronzing Powder,  if I need the contour to be a bit warmer. It’s super blendable and applies like a dream.

The Contour Edit Phoebe Taylor

Image: Getty Images


Makeup Forever Sculpting Kit

Available in 4 shades , comes with highlight and contouring options, blendable and colours are great, super lightweight packaging for my kit too!

The Contour Edit

Image: Getty Images


MAC Studio Correct & Conceal Palette

Not traditionally a “Contour Kit” as such, however these palettes are amazing for for a heavier contour, the palettes come in 4 shades- Light, Medium, Medium Deep & Dark. The beauty of them is they also have two corrector shades at the bottom of the palette so you can customize your colors, N.B – I always set these with a powder.

The Contour Edit

Image: Getty Images


NARS The Multiple ‘South Beach’

A soft bronzed contour for a photo shoot I turn to this baby, keeps the skin looking super fresh and gives more of a natural sun kissed contour rather than a highly defined structured one.

The Contour edit

Image: Donatas Bandze


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