Using A Contour Palette: A Beginners’ Guide

Do you know how to contour? If not, you can take comfort that beauty writer Chloe Metzger has provided Marie Claire with a beginners’ guide to contouring.

However, even if you have mastered the basics of contouring, there could remain plenty of scope for you to up your contouring game. 

To this end, you could learn how to get to grips with what is known as a contour palette, which can help you to even better serve the contouring goal of adding more dimension to the face.

What is a Contour Palette?

Operadon explains that a contour palette “contains different shades of concealer, bronzer, and highlighter that can be used to create an illusion of shadow and light on the face.” 

In essence, then, a contour palette can keep supplies of various beauty products in one easily accessible place. Those products don’t have to be limited to the types listed above, either.

Cosmetics brand ICONIC London offers a contour palette featuring three shades for concealing, highlighting and brightening and another three shades for contouring, defining and bronzing.

Go for Cosmetic in the Right Shades 

The ‘right’ contour shade will depend on your skin tone, as the contour colour needs to be two shades darker. For example, a cream contour would work well on fair skin, while a warm-toned shade would be better if your skin is of a medium or dark tone.

Meanwhile, any highlighter shades on the palette ought to be one to two shades lighter than your authentic skin tone — as, that way, the finish will come across as more natural.

How to Apply Bronzer

On a contour palette, bronzer is likely to be in a relatively dark shade. The product is intended for use in adding more discernible sculpture to the face.

Obviously, though, you want that effect to look natural. That’s why the first places you apply the bronzer should include the hollows of your cheeks. Remember to suck them in before you start!

Some bronzer should also go underneath the jawline and be blended down towards the neck, as the jawline can be left looking more defined as a result.

How to Add Highlighter

Highlighter on a contour palette will typically be lighter in shade than the bronzer. The highlighter is meant to be used for accentuating particular facial features.

These can include the cheekbones as well as the nose’s bridge if you are seeking to emulate a natural look, since these parts of the face are high enough to catch the sun. Highlighter should be applied to the cheeks’ highest points before being blended out towards the temples. 

Blend for a Natural Look

The word ‘natural’ has been used a lot in this article, and for good reason — as you don’t want to end up looking as though your face is caked in makeup.

The trick to achieving a subtle effect is blending different shades together. A clean brush or sponge can be used for merging the contour and highlighter shades, while bronzer can be blended in after that.

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