Contour for Every Age

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As you age, it’s essential to revamp more than just your wardrobe to match your age. When it comes to makeup, what worked for you as a teen and 20-something may not be the best fit as you mature. Updating your contour routine is a simple and effective way to ensure you’re letting your best self shine.

Contouring is adding darkness and depth to your face to change its shape. The goal of expertly placed and blended contour is to create subtle shadows to minimize areas you would like to divert attention from. Typically, contour is applied from temple to mid-forehead along the hairline; from top of ear to mid-cheek in the middle of the cheek; and along the jawline. These strokes almost make a number three when applied, and the contour helps minimize the forehead, thin the cheeks and sharpen the jawline.

Just making a number three with the contour brush doesn’t always work as we age. For starters, once you enter your 30s, it’s time to replace the bronzer with contour. While the warmth of bronzer can still work for special occasions, for an everyday look, contour is the ideal choice. Choose a contour that is two to three shades darker than your natural skin tone. While there are many contour palettes available, you can also use a concealer or liquid foundation that is a few shades darker than your skin. By using a concealer or foundation in the same line as your other products, you can ensure the undertones of your contour will match your all-over products well.

When developing your new make-up routine in your 30s, focus on the shape of your face. If you have a pronounced forehead, adding contour can slim your entire face. Apply moderately along the entire hairline, and use a contour brush to blend. As you blend, you can blend down in a V shape slightly in the middle to create a widow’s peak for even more shape. When applying contour to your cheeks, raise the line from mid-cheek to just under the cheek bone, being sure to stop halfway from the ear to the lip. This will thin your face in a more natural-looking way.

As you enter your 40s, remember that less is more. The days of caked-on makeup are long gone, and the goal is to create a beautiful, natural look. If you haven’t already done so, swap out that powdered contour for a cream or liquid one. Powders are likely to settle into smile lines and crow’s feet, and by switching to a product with more hydration you can avoid drawing extra attention to those areas. Likewise, swap out the dry contour brush with a slightly damp blending sponge. This will support hydration and minimize cracking, dry patches. Always use short, gentle strokes as you blend to keep the contour from spreading to undesirable areas.

If you are looking for an even more natural look as you mature, apply and blend your highlight and contour before applying foundation. This allows the shadows and depth created by the contour to be muted, leaving only a subtle shaping under your foundation.

For the mature faces of women in their 50s and beyond, you may need to increase the brightness of your face. As skin ages, it can droop and leave hollows in areas such as temples and the sides of your lips. By adding additional highlight to these areas, you can draw the color up to mask these naturally dark areas. When you add contour, let your changing face’s shape guide you. If you have a large forehead, apply contour at the hairline to shrink that area, blending into the hair. If your cheeks are round, you may still want to add contour just below your cheek bones, from the ear to the mid-cheek. However, if your face has thinned as you have aged, contour across the cheeks may no longer be necessary.

If your nose stands too prominent on your face, you can shrink the appearance of it by contouring the sides and highlighting the top. A little contour just on the tip of the nose will likewise bring it down to scale. A small amount of contour can also be applied just under the lower lip and just above the upper lip to enhance the fullness of your lips. Finally, for your jawline that may be giving in too easily to gravity, contour is your best friend. As you apply, draw the contour line just above the sagging skin, right on the jaw bone. When you blend, be sure to use small, downward strokes so the contour doesn’t bleed into your face. This will give your face that strong, defined jawline that came naturally in your youth.

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