Contouring and Natural Makeup Don’t Go Together? Think Again!

Contouring and the Kardashians go together like Michelle and Barack.

Contouring and the Kardashians go together like Michelle and Barack.

But for those of us who prefer a more toned-down makeup look (or just want to save the glamour for Friday night), contouring can seem over the top. Don’t let face charts covered in five different shades of foundation fool you: natural-looking contours will highlight your features for that ‘oh hey, yes, I just casually happen to look like a sculpted glowing goddess in Pick n Pay’ aesthetic.

The power of three


The most basic way to contour will take all of 20 seconds. Sweep a bronzer (or foundation powder) in the shape of a 3 on either side of your face: a half-moon from forehead to cheekbone, then from cheek to jawline.

Minimise product usage

Essence Shape Your Face Contouring Palette
R82,95 at Dis-Chem

Contour kweens swear by an arsenal of products of various shades and levels of coverage to achieve a perfectly sculptured effect – but for the natural look you only need three (it’s the magic number!): a foundation/bronzer that’s a shade darker than your skin, a foundation that’s one shade lighter, and the highlighter of your choice.

Blend like your life depends on it


Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge
R130 at Foschini

Once you think that you’ve blended enough, blend some more! For formulas with a thicker consistancy, use a sponge.

Keep texture in mind
This is an important rule for all makeup application, not just for contouring. Powders, liquids and creams are great options – but when they’re layered together, they can result in a heavy, caked-on look.

Now, highlight!

Catrice Made To Stay Highlighter Pen
R74,95 at Clicks

To remember which areas to highlight, keep the golden rules of contouring in mind: darker to push back, lighter to push forward. Highlighter goes wherever light naturally reflects off skin: cheekbones, Cupid’s bow, the centre of the browbone, the tip of the nose. Choose non-sparkle options for a more natural look.

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