Jul 4, 2018

Look Book 5 | Contoured

Until recently, I had stayed away from this popular makeup trend, contouring. If the broad concept of contouring includes both highlighting and shading, then yes, I've been contouring. But, my idea of adding dimensions to the face is more about luminosity and for that, I have almost entirely relied on highlighters. I paid very little attention to shading products or bronzers. I did not own a real concealer nor did I know that many people use concealers to contour, not necessarily to cover up blemishes. 

That all changed a few months ago when I started making videos with my music partner. In our first test session, I was shocked to see that every single flaw of my complexion was visible under the studio lightings. And oh, how flat and dull my face looked! (Btw, do we really need 4k cameras? I'm not sure.) I was wearing much more makeup than usual but still, it was not enough.

A few self-educational sessions with the help of YouTube beauty gurus, I learned a few tricks and also bought some of the essentials such as Tarte Shape Tape Concealer, Kevyn Aucoin The Contour Duo, and Hourglass bronzer. And, I came up with this look.

Asian contour makeup look

This looked cakey and unnatural in real life but did serve the purpose - creating a relatively flawless Instagram photo with no additional retouching. I applied the same technique(?) for my next video shoot and it worked out pretty nicely as well.

So, I recognized the virtue of the contouring makeup, which kind of was a humbling experience. At the same time, I can't imagine myself going through the full routine on a daily basis although I am sure it will get easier over time. More importantly, I do not enjoy the look that I see through my own eyes nor the heavier makeup feel. I want something that wouldn't make me feel self-conscious about my own look. I want a natural, luminous complexion with both highlights and lowlights in the right places. I mean, why not?

(image source)

There are many contouring diagrams out there but I go by this one. I think it is the prettiest and the friendliest one, don't you? (Mimi of Makeupwithdrawal drew this herself.)

natural contouring makeup

natural contouring makeup

Basically, I kept all my favorite makeup elements such as a luminous base (sans concealer), light smokey eyes, and naturally tinted lips. On top of contouring, I also highlighted a few additional places like Cupid's bow and the tip of my nose (I might skip the nose part next time as it accentuates the pores).

Here are the products I used for this look.

natural contouring makeup products

I feel good about that I have finally embraced this popular trend but on my own terms. These days I am having more fun with makeup, too!

Thanks for looking. What are your thoughts on contouring makeup? Feel free to leave me a comment below.

Join the conversation!

  1. I don't really follow makeup trends so I really like the idea of adapting a popular trend in a way that works for you. You are so creative and always seem to be having fun with your makeup Lena :) I haven't a clue when it comes to contouring though I could probably use it ;p

    1. I was the same way and I still can't say I'm following the trend. I will have to continue with heavy makeup for a while due to filming but want to look natural as possible. Compared to those heavy contouring using stick foundation or concealers, light contouring with Kevyn Aucoin duo is so much easier and the end result is natural as well. :)

  2. I can relate to you here, i have stayed away from the contouring trend for the longest time! And when I tried it, although it looked good in pictures I hated how it looked in real life! Also I feel your face shape plays a huge role here. I don't think I have found a contour look that works for my face shape!
    I loved the look you created, I like the idea of light contouring! Btw if you don't mind me asking what is the difference between shading and contouring?
    Ankita Bardhan | Real Girl Talks

    1. Thank you, Ankita! I agree that different placing is required when it comes to contouring because everyone is unique! I could be wrong but I think "contouring" both includes shading and highlighting but many people mean "shading" by using the word. I also think skipping heavy base makeup really helps whether we contour or not. :)

  3. I am a contouring virgin lol. I can imagine I would learn very quickly though if I had to have lots of photos taken. You r makeup is lovely as always and certainly your style with a little extra oomph ;)
    With that said I should use the lovely Burberry highlighter I've been hoarding!

    1. And those YouTubers! I said to myself that I'd never judge because before this experience I detested the idea of wearing a ton of makeup and going through so many steps. I still don't enjoy it but at least now I understand. Haha. Burberry highlighter is so natural looking. You should dig in! ;D

  4. I definitely think all the makeup gurus wear way too much for every day life! But they have to because it looks SO GOOD on camera! When I try to review products, a lot of times it just washes out on camera. I think one of these days I'm just going to have to cake it on and see if I can get the colors to show up on camera haha!

    Raincouver Beauty

    1. I totally agree with you, Angela! Especially those blushes! They seem to disappear unless I look like a clown in real life. For the same reason, I sometimes wonder how useful those perfect looking swatches with layers of colors, because that's not how we wear them in most occasions. :)


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