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So You Don’t ‘Get’ Contouring? This Will Change Everything…

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    Have you heard, contouring’s a thing? It’s hard to believe you might have missed the news, but knowing it’s everything in the world of make-up right now doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve attempted it yourself. And if you have, you may have discovered that it can add up to an hour to your make-up routine (along with three or four new products, minimum.) Which isn’t sensible or sustainable. So for anyone who’s fallen through the cracks, we’ve streamlined the process for a how to that’s a little more you and a lot less time intensive.

    Rather than spending hours sculpting a full-face masterpiece, pick one or two areas that would benefit from contouring and experiment with darker and lighter shades to suit your skin and colouring. Rimmel London has launched the Kate Sculpting Palette, neatly packing all your contouring needs into one easy-to-use product. Ideal for contouring novices and pros alike, this little number is armed with three shades for shadowing, highlighting and adding colour – in fact, it’s so easy, you can use it on the go.

    So repeat after us, highlight brings forward, shadow slims and shrinks, and no good ever came from watching clown tutorials. Here’s our easy guide to contouring, enjoy…


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    When you want… to lose some forehead

    Let’s not go down the route of radical resizing - unless there’s something you’re not telling us, your forehead is probably fine (and if there really is a problem, we say talk to your hair stylist). But a little light and shade in the top third of your face can brighten you up, balance your features and generally add dimension and glow.

    How to do it: Take your palette and dust the darkest shade lightly around your hairline, blending well to create a soft shadow give the illusion of a shorter forehead. Next, you’ll want to bring the middle of your forehead forward, so use the lightest shade to create a point-down triangle just above your nose. While you’re there, use a couple of soft eye shadow brushes to work a little of your contour shade into your eye socket, and some highlighter into the inner corners of the eye and just under the tail end of each brow. Fresher, brighter and sleeker, right?

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    When you want…. plenty more cheekbones

    ‘Thanks but my cheekbones are fine as they are’, said no one ever. So unless yours are so sharp they need declaring at airports, this is for you.

    How to do it:
    Find your cheekbones with your finger and sweep highlighter on top, just above the bone (use a fan or angled brush here). Then, dust your contour shade in the hollow just beneath (again, use a fan-shaped brush for this, as it concentrates colour in the middle of your stroke and fades out to nothing around the edges - but an angled blusher brush is also good). Get it right and the area below the bone will recede, and the area just above will pop. Finally, add blush in an upward lifting sweep, starting at the nose and ending at the top of the ear.

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    When you want… a sleeker nose

    Keep it simple and some DIY sculpting can make a prominent nose less of a problem – and even if you love what nature gave you, a little highlight is an easy win to make skin look gleaming.

    How to do it:
    Your goal here is to throw some shadow on either side of the nose to create the illusion of a slimmer nose. So, use your contour shade to darken and slim the sides, then carefully dust your highlight from the bridge of your nose down to the end, stopping short of the very tip or you’ll make it look longer than it really is (if you’re loving your work so far, the barest dusting of contour on the tip can push an overly lengthy nose back a bit).

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    When you want… a tighter chin and sharper jaw

    You know the drill by now – adding shadow has a shrinking effect, while highlight brings an area forward by catching the light and thus the eye. So, in an effort to hide that chin (what double chin?!), it’s time to pick that palette up again.

    How to do it:
    So your first task here is to slim the lower half of your face by dusting your contour shade in short, horizontal semi-circles on either side of your chin. Next, bring the very centre of your chin forward with a dash of highlighter, and finish with a parallel (but slightly shorter) dash on your Cupid’s bow, which will have the win-win effect of making your lips look fuller and drawing attention to the centre of your face rather than the surrounding area.

    Rimmel Kate Sculpting Palette, £6.99