Monday, August 3, 2015

How to: Contour for Photography

Happy Monday AMW Friends!  I know I've talked a lot of times about contouring in my blog and you're probably wondering why I'm opening this topic up again!  

Firstly, contouring will never get old!  Secondly, this is a more "intense" contouring because we're talking about "photography makeup".  

I remembered during my makeup artistry days, "Makeup For Photography" gets a full day's worth of attention!  (Especially black and white photography!  I'll get to that topic if you guys wanted that!  Please let me know!)  And I'm sure at least once in our lives, we need to prettify ourselves to face the camera!  And we don't want the "I look so pale in those photos or why can't I see my makeup?"

Here's my version of how I would contour whenever I get to face the camera!  (eye makeup not included because I want to focus on contour!)
How to Contour for Photography

The basic question is, what is the best contour powder?  Sadly, you won't get an answer here because the shade of your contour powder will always depend on your skintone!  I can only share you the basic "rules" to note for ---
  • Contour powder should ALWAYS be matte.
  • Steer clear from bronzers!  They are not meant for contouring!
  • Try to pick shades that lean on to a "grayish" tint rather than orange.
  • If you don't want to think hard, choose your favorite powder foundation shade that is at least 2-3 shades darker (again, remember tip above, should not have orange tone)
  • Always test on your skin, not at the back of your hand!
For this particular tutorial, I would love to pick my favorite Happy Skin Feeling Scupltacular Kit,
but, just to prove to you that sometimes, your contour powder can also come from eyeshadows or brow powders, I'm picking up Ellana Mineral Cosmetics Eyeshadow and Eyebrow Quad.

The thing is, most eyebrow powders have non-orange tint making it the perfect contour shade!  My favorite contour shade is called "Beloved", it works for fair to medium skin.

 Now you can either suck your cheekbones or do the "duck face", I would prefer standing in front of the mirror with ample light and look at your overall reflection.  Checkout key areas of your face that tend to "lighten up naturally" and areas that tend to recede!  For reference, you can see the natural shadows from the hairline down to the hollows of your cheeks.  

If you want to "Be sure", use the handle of your brush and gently press and you'll find the hollow part in no time!

ONE CHANGE that I do when I contour for Photography?  THE BRUSH!

Instead of the usual angled blush brush, I pick my favorite SOFFIA Opulence Blending Brush.  This brush will give you more control on the key areas wherein you would like to place the shadow shade.  As for diagram, I drew an inverted triangle as shown on photo below.

Add light layer at a time, don't be in a rush!  Once you're happy with the amount of product you put on your face, time to STOP!

 Blend out using a clean brush to diffuse harsh lines.

 With the same fluffy shadow blending brush, contour your nose if necessary!  In my case, it is extremely necessary especially on photography!  #IfYouDontHaveItCreateIt !  

I like to start from the inner corner of my eyes going straight down to the sides of my nose bridge.  Keep in mind that nose contouring is very personal, you don't need to do the exact way I did because we don't have the same nose!

See how it's obvious in a natural way?

 Now let's not forget the eyelid!  My eyes are boring!  It's flat, it doesn't have much dimension at all!  So to create a fake deep crease effect, I use the same shadow I used for contouring the rest of my face and apply with light hand strokes above the natural crease line.  This method is used because I have hooded lids!  To find the perfect "shadow" to create deeper set of eyes, apply shadows with eyes open!

Blend both shadows created for noseline and deep crease together to create continuity!  This will make your contouring more natural.

Optional step but you can also add shadow on the bottom of your lip if you want to create that sexier pout!  I don't need it because I have full lips to start with, I did it just because I love you guys! :D

Finished look!  If you find some obvious demarcation, use a clean big fluffy powder brush and blend everything together.  Oh, I forgot to add that you should have your base makeup all set before you contour!  Conceal where it needs to and set with powder before you go with powder contouring.

How to Contour for Photography tutorial

Apply makeup like you normally do, just keep in mind not to use too many shimmery products!  You may now realize how I skipped highlighting!  I prefer not to on photography makeup just to make sure there won't be any white patches or white cast!

For this tutorial, I used Benefit Box O' Powder in Dallas.

Feel free to change the shade of your lipstick to see which shade works for you! 

How to: Contour for Photography photo

Overall, enjoy facing the camera, try different makeup looks to find the best one that suits you!  Don't be afraid because makeup aren't tattoos, you can always erase them if you make mistakes!

I hope you learn something from me today on a busy Monday!  Let me know if you want more how to's posts like this! 

Keep smilin'
Stay happy!


  1. Great post indeed. I have really learned a lot here.

  2. Contouring should not be that obvious. Pwede namang natural look padin! :)

    1. I know, but this is photographic contouring, at times we really need to obvious effect. Of course, in person, dapat natural na natural nga, I agree on that!

  3. I don't have any contouring powder yet since di pa ako ganun karunong. Gotta watch and read more tutorials about this. Thanks for the reco on what contouring tools we can use!

    1. Naku, it takes time to find the best contour powder for you :D Goodluck with your contour powder -hunt :) Hope you get to find it soon!


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