Contouring used to be a backstage trick that makeup artists used to enhance somebody's facial structure, recently however contouring has escaped the "makeup artist secrets" box and has been adopted by all as the new "it" trick and slowly brands are realising this and providing us with shades and products that will allow us to create filmstar cheekbones in the comfort of our own homes. I am probably sure you've all watched your fair share of contouring videos and have the technique down but I am here to provide some extra tips on choosing the correct product to use for contouring.

Soft As Butter
First thing is first when it comes to a contouring powder, you want it to be as smoth and soft as butter, a chalky powder just will not do. Chalky, drier powders a great to pack on really dense pigment but we want to createa soft and subtle contour. If you powder is soft it will apply onto the skin smoothly and blend out very easily without leaving it looking streaky or patchy.

The Grey Hue
Contouring powders usually have a slightly grey tone to them, they aren't your traditional terracota bronzers. Bronzers usually have olive or red (warm) tones to them to mimic the effect of a suntan on the skin as when we tan we usually go a little pink and red as well. We do not however tan on our cheekbones. What we want to create beneath the cheekbone is a shadow and as you all know, shadows are always a very cool grey-like shade. Now greys are difficult to work with an quite unnatural in person so the trick is to find a cool brown shade. If you are unsure then simply get your swatch on in a store or amongst your collection and when all are swatched side by side you can see which is the coolest and therefore the most suitable for contouring.

Light or Dark
This one may seem a little obvious but please find a shade that matches your skin tone. Too many times I have seen the novice fair skinned contourer with two stripes of muddy brown on her cheeks, it's not a good look. Take the time to find the right cool brown shade for you, the fairer you are, the lighter the brown and the darker you are the darker the brown. What we are looking to create is a natural, enhanced look.

It Doesn't End at Bronzers
This one is especuially for the fairest of you out there... it doesn't have to be a bronzer. If all the cool toned bronzers you have tried are just too dark for you then look for other alternatives. For example, there are an abundance of light, cool-toned eyeshadows that you can use to sculpt out those cheekbones or even a mauvey grey-toned blush can do the trick! Just keep your eyes open and your imagination wide and you will quickly find the perfect shade to contour with.

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