A post on how to contour? How original. I know that just about everybody and their dog has done a post on how to contour now and it might seem like I couldn’t possibly have anything new to add. But friends, I’m going to try! In the past year I’ve learned some cool tricks and tips about how to contour like a boss. There are a lot of interesting little things you can do to really alter the shape of your face. So without further adieu, fingers crossed you find something useful here.

1. Consider your contour colour.
I’m starting off easy here. Use a cool toned powder (powders are much easier to control than creams) to shade. Most of us know by now that bronzers aren’t usually ideal for contouring. Using a cool toned colour will create a more shadow like effect, which is essentially what we’re trying to do when we contour. Tanned skin tones can get away with a warmer contour colour, maybe even a bronzer. But fair ladies like myself, we need the taupes.

2. Use two colours for added intensity.
For naturally rounder cheeks or if you just want to create a very chiseled look, try using two different tones of contour powder (the Kat Von D Contour Palette is awesome for this). Use a larger brush (like the Elf Small Tapered Brush or the Sephora Pro 79) to apply the lighter contour colour to the hollows of your cheeks. Then take a deeper colour on a fluffy eye brush to add in right into the center of the lighter shade. This creates a gradation so you can get a more dramatic effect.

3. Use directional blending.
When you’re contouring your cheekbones you want the colour to be darkest back by your ear and to lighten as it comes towards the center of your face. To achieve this you want to brush from your ear towards your mouth, lift the brush and repeat the motion. Don’t zig-zag back and forth.

4. Always blend up.
After you’re done placing the pigment with directional blending, you’ll want to blend the contour out a bit. Make sure you’re blending upwards. This really lifts the cheekbones, rather than dragging them back down.

5. Don’t contour too far in.
Your contour should always start right up by the top of your ear, but it should never go too far in. The rough guide that I use is not to blend past where your outer eye lines up.

6. Angle your contour down for an intense look.
The more you angle your contour downwards the more extreme it’s going to look. For a softer look, aim a little higher.

7. Contour the temple.
To create a more 3D effect to your cheekbones you can contour your temples. That way it look like your cheekbones are poppin’ from all over the place.

8. Contour the nose close in.
The nose is the hardest area to contour properly. It’s important to remember that the further in you contour, the slimmer your nose will look. Contouring too far out will actually make your nose look wider. Using a small brush like a MAC 217 will likely be the easiest way to contour your nose.

9. Contour from behind the jaw.
Nobody wants a chinstrap (except maybe 50 Cent), but it’s easy to create one with contouring. Make sure you’re tucking your brush right behind your jaw so you can’t see the start point of the contour. Also make sure to really blend out the contour around your jaw because you don’t want any clear lines showing.

10. Think about your face shape.
Everyone talks about this, but it’s so important. Contouring and highlighting is using makeup to lift and recede certain areas of the face. So if you have a tiny forehead like me (three-head high five!) you really don’t want to touch it with a contour powder. Likewise if you have a naturally chiseled jaw line there’s no sense in emphasizing it even further. However if you have a square jaw (again, like me) then you might even want to add a tiny bit of contour powder right on the corners of your jaw to soften it. There are infinite ways to shape the face. You just have to figure out what works best for you.