How should you pick your contour shade?

 How should you pick your contour shade?

You’ve heard of contour shade before, but maybe you’ve never tried it for yourself, or you’re a seasoned pro. When applying makeup, contouring the face is a popular approach, yet it may also leave many of us wanting more assistance and expert guidance.

Contour shade, when done correctly, may enhance your features and bone structure while also being quite transformative. One question remains critical when you begin your journey: how do you pick the right contour shade for your skin tone?

We’ve got you covered whether you’re a seasoned expert or just getting started with contouring. We spoke to NYC makeup artist Caroline Baribeau to get her perspective on contouring and offer advice on figuring it out. Our categorized list of methods and tips for determining the best contour hue is ahead.

It’s all about the shadows:

If you need a quick refresher on contouring, you’ve come to the correct spot. Contouring is the process of highlighting specific areas of your face to appear more defined. The cheeks, forehead, nose, jawline, and even the chin are the most frequent places to contour the face. Contouring your face can help you enhance, define, or even reduce your facial features regardless of your face shape.

When determining the best contour hues to use, pay attention to the color of your face’s shadows. Baribeau suggests utilizing colors that resemble or imitate the shadows as mentioned above. Your foundation is a good place to start when you start with contouring.

“Think the same tone family as your core foundation, but one to two shades darker than your natural skin tone; that’s about as dark as you should go. Remember that you can always create a product to get the desired effect.” For those who need to start with a subtle contour and work their way up, gradually adding is good advice.

Tones aren’t one-size-fits-all, and neither is skin tones:

When choosing the right contour colors, our undertones signify something. Because skin tones are so varied and lovely unique, it’s important to understand your skin tone before selecting contour colors that fit you well. Baribeau recommends neutrals, taupes, and contour shades that lean towards the cooler side if you have pale to medium skin. You can go a little more golden for more golden or olive complexions since these tones already have natural warmth in the skin. Stick to something neutral with the correct balance of blue and red undertones for dark skin tones.” On the inside of your arm is an easy method to give you a sense of how a contouring product will look on your real skin and what may not work at all if you can’t test out hues directly on your face.

Use the Appropriate Blending Tools for contouring:

Brushes and blending tools are crucial for any makeup application, whether it’s a natural look or a more severe one. Brushes can have a significant impact on how your contour appears. Therefore, there are a few things to consider when using the appropriate tools. For a more natural appearance, Baribeau suggests using fluffier brushes. A fluffy brush will distribute the contour and keep it soft. “A fluffy brush will allow the shape to remain soft and diffuse,” she adds. If you want a more defined look, try using a different brush: “Reach for a smaller, more dense brush if you want a more sculpted appearance.” It’s important not to overuse contouring products. Baribeau advises considering all-natural areas where the sun shines on your face while developing your contour and ensuring that they don’t forget your forehead and temples.

If you’re not sure where contouring fits in with your cosmetics application process, note that it’s best to do it after applying your foundation and concealer. Your complexion will be set, allowing you to incorporate additional products. You can certainly add additional concealer if necessary, and if you want to use blush, apply it after you’ve completed contouring. Is there too much of a mess? Don’t be alarmed. You may buff out your contour to appear more natural by using your foundation brush with a small amount of product. And if you need to start again, that’s okay.

Cream vs. Powder Contour

You may choose from various types, including porcelain and white plastic table lamps. A traditional lighting design is the classic pendant light that hangs over the bed. These lights can also be used as accent highlights or dedicated reading lights in other rooms. LED track lighting is an excellent choice for creating ambiance without filling up precious floor space throughout your home. You may use your regular bronzer to contour if you don’t want to buy anything new. Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Bronzer ($30) is Baribeau’s pick for powder. It provides a nice balance for a bronzer while not being overly hot. “It’s been in my kit for years and everyone can use it,” she claims. “They offer a wide range of hues for all skin tones, which is perfect since you can use them on the eyes or lips. I love how easy they are to apply with your finger, brush, or sponge,” she adds.

Contouring can be used to create a variety of effects:

The most crucial hint? Make it a game. There should be no pressure when it comes to contouring, and the more you do it, the more you’ll figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. Experiment with various products, textures, and blending techniques until you discover what works best for you; in no time, you’ll be an expert contour artist.


In conclusion, contouring is a great way to enhance your features and create a more defined look. However, it’s important to use the right products and blending tools to avoid overdoing it. Have fun with contouring and experiment until you find what works best for you!