Thursday, April 3, 2014

Tutorial: Contouring with a Fan Brush

Hey guys, it's another tutorial! This time I'm going to show you how I do my contouring.

Now if you don't like photo heavy posts and your're already over all the scrolling, here's the video:

There are plenty of ways to contour - with powder products, cream products, different shades of foundation or concealer, etc. I personally use powder products, because I fell in love with powder contour products, and I don't want to cheat on them yet. Things I use: Nyx blush in Taupe. It's a beautiful neutral/cool toned brown, perfect for looking like a natural shadow on pale skin! An nice alternative for a warmer contour is Hoola by Benefit. I used it the summer before I found Taupe, and it's really nice on pale skin. Not too orange!
As you can see, I use the shit out of this... shit.
Sonia Kashuk duo fiber fan brush (cheekbones). The duo fiber thing makes blending easy and picking up too much product hard. Perfect for what I'm doing!
Mac 217 brush (eye and nose). It's a great size for my eye/nose contour area, and it pretty much starts blending the moment it touches your face.
It's as amazing as they say.
 Fluffy brush (this one is by Ecotools).
This one just happens to be angled. Anything fluffy and soft will work.
Ok. Before I start showing you what I do, I made some diagrams. Before you start putting on product, you have to know WHERE to put it, which is one of the hardest parts of contouring. I start by looking for the TINY bit of actual cheekbone shadow I have. Can you see it?

It's ok, it took me a while to find it too. I'l help you out.
It's about right there. It makes a pretty weird shape.
Now, that's not the shape I make when I contour. I just use that as a guide for WHERE to put the shape I make, which is a lot closer to this:
Next project: contour that literally looks EXACTLY like this.
So that's what I aim for when I do my contouring. I search for where the tiny natural shadow falls, and use that to see where to put my little wedge shape. So let's get started! Here are some before photos, for reference later.
Before: no contouring whatsoever.
What I actually do: It's not that I care about people blowing up my youtube channel, but for real. Watch the video. Some of this stuff is a lot easier to explain by showing! After locating where your contour powder will go, get some on your fan brush and start to make a tiny wedge shape up by your sideburn:
 There's a little windshield wiper motion going on there, swiveling the brush as you go. I end up with this:

That's the base that I'm going to blend down into a bigger wedge shape. Which brings me to making this face:
I know.
Let me just say: I usually don't encourage anyone to make crazy faces when they do their makeup, because ultimately what we want is for it to look good on a resting face, not on some contrived face. HOWEVER, when I make this face (it might be different on other faces), it gives me a neat little canal that shows by brush where to go.
After a few swipes up and down the canal, I start blending in circular motions, keeping the brush oriented the same way:
This part is much easier to see in the video.
Video here!
I throw some plain back and forth swipes in there too.
The goal is to blend mostly upward, so the most prominent "line" is right where that canal was a second ago. Then, I make THIS sweet ass face. Basically a kiss face and a smirk at the same time. This shows me where my amazingly defined apples of my cheeks would be, if I had them.
You can already kinda see it, thanks to those canal swipes!
Then I emphasize that cute little place, so the contour is a little more visible from the front. I brush up and back.
Now, it's BLENDING TIME  just take a big fluffy brush with nothing on it, and blend, both up and down, and in big circles. I hold the brush lightly and don't apply much pressure.
blending up and down
blending in big circles
After the other side, cheekbones are done!
Here's a photo of just one side done. 
Next, it's the nose and eye contour! I'm in love with this lately. Here's what I look like with no eye/nose contour:

Disclaimer: this look isn't for everyone. It really deepens and darkens the inside corners of your eyes, which I happen to think looks really fucking cool. It doesn't lend itself to a very fresh-faced look, though, so you might want to either skip this part or tone it way down. I start by finding the point on the side of my nose that's right across from the tear duct thing. I'm using a Mac 217 brush for this part, with the same Nyx blush in Taupe.
Then I drag it up right into my eyebrow, following the bridge of my nose:
I also take it over close to my arch:
Here's how it looks when I gone over that a few times:
dat nose bridge.
Next, I go VERY lightly down the bridge of my nose. This part is kind of easy to overdo, so be careful and use a light hand!
Here's what that looks like:
Next, I do the eye contour. Basically, it works just like putting regular eyeshadow in your crease. I start kind of in that triangle shape I made earlier, and swipe to the outer end of the crease:
Make sure to connect it to the parts you've already darkened!
Here's what that looks like:
And here's everything compared to the other side:
Then I blend the fuck out of it with little light swipey swipeys all around the edges, and it looks more like this:
And that's it! Here's the finished product, both sides done:
I often use this eye contour as a base to other eyeshadow looks I'm doing,
That, my friends, is how I do my contouring. Now, before and afters!
Contouring is such a cool way to give dimension to your face. I hope this was helpful! I was SO confused when I started trying to figure out contour last year, so I tried to cover a lot of the same questions I had when started. It really helps me to see things in action sometimes, so I made a video too in case that helps more. If there's anything I didn't cover, or anything still stumping you, let me know and I'll do my best to help! Derp face signing off.
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  1. contour game 2 str0nggggGG.
    Lovely tutorial!

  2. This is the best contouring tutorial I've ever seen! You're so cute! :)

  3. This is awesome - it's REALLY helpful having the before-and-after in the same picture (only one side done), thanks!

  4. Wow, I loooove your tutorial! Great job!

    Now, I need nyx taupe.

  5. Been attempting to contour for a while, but this was definitely the best and most simple guide (especially having pictures and video together). Hopefully it will help me up my contour game!

  6. literally in love w u, actual girl crush.