Hi! here are a few tips on contouring, I know you only asked about the t-zone and the undereye but I thought you would like to know more about all the possibilities that contouring offers!
The first thing you should know is the difference between lowlighting and highlighting:
- Lowlighting is meant to recede, make an area darker. In order to make an area of your face darker, you should use a foundation three shades darker than what you usually go for. The foundation should also be matte (no shimmer).
- Highlighting is meant to emphasize, bring an area of the face forward. You can use a shimmery product or a matte one (whatever you prefer).
Contouring and highlighting kind of work together!
Brushes you need:
Liquid foundation: sponge, kabuki, stippling brush, a beauty blender
Hollows of your cheeks: dome brush, flat kabuki brush
Nose: you can pinch a powder brush that you already have to make the tip fit the nose area or use an eyeshadow blending brush.
Bronzer, jaw: powder brush
Main products you can use depending on the way you are contouring:
- Contouring powders (kits, palettes) OR a dark eyeshadow if you don’t have any dark powder
- Different shades of liquid foundation (dark, light, one that matches your skin tone) + a light and a darker powder to set the foundation OR a translucent powder
- A highlighter or a shimmery, light eyeshadow
Contouring according to your face shape
You have several ways to use your contouring products:
1 - Natural looking liquid foundation and adding a darker powder/bronzer to it
First, apply a foundation that matches your skin tone on your entire face. You then want to apply the darker powder on the areas that you want to contour (edge of the nose, hollows of your cheeks, jaw, temples). Bronzer can be applied lightly on the hollows of your cheeks, jaw, temples, to warm up the face.
2 – All powder contouring
You can do the same thing this time using only powder products, for this you can use sets of contouring powders or matte bronzer.
3 - Using only liquid products
You need to have two shades: one that matches your skin tone and another that is about one or two shades darker to contour. You don’t need to be very precise for this step because you’re going to blend everything afterwards. Here are a few pictures that will show you where you can put the foundation: #1 #2 #3 #4.
Areas to contour:
- Your cheekbones:
you want to contour the area right underneath your cheekbone, for this process you can use a dark eyeshadow/dark powder/bronzer. To make your cheekbones really stand out, apply a light shimmery eyeshadow or a highlighter along the cheekbones. When doing this step, you want to start from the tip of your ear, but don’t drag the dark powder all the way down to your mouth, stop about halfway.
- Your nose:
contouring also allows you to make your nose appear thinner. You can use the dark color you applied on your cheeks to contour your nose, starting from tip of your eyebrows down to the tip of the nose. The next step is to highlight the edge of your nose. You can do this with a light color, a light foundation for example (but no shimmer).
- Your jaw:
apply your dark eyeshadow/powder/bronzer along your jawline; blend it well down your neck to avoid any harsh lines. Pay attention not to go all the way to your chin, this might actually make your chin look bigger.
- You can also contour your eyes if you’re not wearing any eyeshadow
Areas to highlight:
- Your undereye:
highlighting this area can be done in various ways depending on the look you’re trying to achieve, if you simply want to brighten the area, you can simply use a concealer that is one or two shades lighter than your skintone. You can also use a light powder, or a light liquid foundation. If you’re trying to achieve a more dramatic look (like the Kim K contouring and highlighting), Wayne Gross has a great video that will show you how to do it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBLHE0ME-GA. You basically have to use a very dark color on the cheekbones and a lighter color under your eyes.
- The T-zone: you can use liquid foundation or powder, simply pat a bit of product onto this area. You can apply it in the shape of a “T”, down to your nose. To blend it you can just take a face brush of this kind or a sponge.
- Your chin
Once you’ve applied liquid products, you can blend everything with a kabuki brush, a stippling brush, a sponge or a beauty blender (wet it before using it). Blend everything together in small circles until you don’t see any harsh lines left. You can also pat the sponge/brush that you’re using to keep more definition.
Set everything with powder to avoid creasing: if you can, use a light powder on the areas that highlighted and a darker color to the areas that you contoured. You can also set everything with a translucent powder.
For both liquid and powder blending: for the cheekbones, you can use a bit of powder (or liquid foundation if you’re only using creamy products) to blend so that you can barely tell the start and the end of the line you drew with the darker color, sweep the brush down your face and then up and blend any harsh lines that you see.
* Use a moisturizer before applying your products if you don’t have oily skin
* Don’t forget to blend your foundation down to your neck
* Blend the product along your hairline
* When using liquid foundation: you can blot your face to remove the excess of product, you can use a tissue for this step.
* You can add some blush to your look
* Don’t forget to keep it natural during the day
* Practice! As you can see, there are a few different ways to contour your face, you simply need to play with your products and see what works best for you
What I like to do when contouring my face: I personally like to use only liquid foundation for my contouring; I use a beauty blender dupe to blend because it gives you a nice airbrushed look. I also like to set everything with a finishing powder (translucent) to avoid creasing.
Sources and videos:
Beautylish article on contouring: http://www.beautylish.com/a/vxyxs/how-to-contour
Powder contouring for all face shapes:
Another powder contouring video:
Foundation + powder contouring:
Another helpful video from Wayne Gross: