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Face with contouring make up

How to Contour

Learn secret tricks of the trade with make-up artist to the stars Mary Greenwell

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Foolproof contouring


Learn the art of sophisticated, subtle sculpting in this step-by-step tutorial with Mary.

Flattering for all ages and easy to achieve – make-up magic every woman needs to know

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Mary’s expert tips for foolproof contouring

Studio 10 highlighter

Step 1: Add light


Blend highlighter down the centre of the nose and across cheekbones to add instant definition

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Brown eyeshadow

Step 2: Open your eyes


Brush a soft taupe eyeshadow over the lid and into the socket crease to open-up your eyes

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Barry M contouring palette

Step 3: Sculpt and define


Contour under cheekbones, along the jawline and hairline with light brush strokes to build the colour slowly

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Make up brushes

Step 4: Blend, blend, blend


Use a fluffy brush to blend the products seamlessly into skin so the effect is soft and flawless

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Read the video transcript


Now I’m going to show you how to do contouring. The word I would rather use is sculpting because it actually is just bringing form to the face. Let’s keep it subtle. It’s really easy to do, just follow these tips. I’m going to start with a highlighter, which is by Studio 10. I’m going to put down the centre of Georgina’s nose. I’m then going to put it under the eye, on the cheekbone just here, patting it in gently. Look at her nose, how beautifully defined it is now. Next, I’m going to take an eye shadow, which is an Autograph eye shadow, and I’m just going to contour the eyes a bit. This is just intensifying the eye a little bit. I really want to balance the face so anyone can wear it of any age. And done properly, anyone can wear it at any age. I’m now moving onto this contour palette, which is Barry M. It has a highlight; it has a mid tone brown and then the contour, a deep, deep brown. Okay, I’m going to go straight for the deep colour. And now I’m going to go down from the side of the ear, just here. Suck your cheeks in. Now that is where you would stop, okay? Literally, straight down, you can always go over it again. I’m going to work very slowly. There’s a point where you can go very, very far with this, I don’t want to go too far because I don’t want any of you to be put off by this look. It’s totally wearable if used properly. The other thing that we now contour is under the chin so again, knocking the product into the brush go under the chin and just literally brush it under the chin through here. I’m now going to use the mid tone brown, just in the hairline just to warm it up a bit. Now I’m going to use a tiny bit again of the highlighter on the centre of the chin just here and then just in the centre of the forehead just here. I’m going to take the dark brown and I’m going to shade the nose. Okay so I’m going to use a shadow brush, down the side of the nose and then blend that in. And this is going to define and shape the nose at any point if you can see the line when you’re sculpting, you haven’t finished the job of blending. Now I’m going to take the middle colour. When you’re doing something like this the more brushes you have the better basically, so I’m using a clean brush again on the back of my hand, and just going to lift it up so it’s a bit warmer on the cheek. So that’s it – pretty perfect and gorgeous sculpting wise. Now I’m going to knock back the shine, so taking a neutral powder it’ll knock back the shine and blend all the products. Okay, this is really important, just through the nose and down by the mouth, really get rid of any shine there. Especially for people of a certain age, you will have maybe a little bit of a line down here and if you soften it with powder it really helps to finish it.