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How to Use Contouring to Make Your Face Look Slimmer

Start with bronzer and highlighter. Add magic...

Contouring can mask a puffy face — been weeping a lot? On Prednisone? (I’m looking at myself.) It had been a rough week; there was a break-up and a low-back disaster, resulting in a week on steroids (cue puffy dough-boy face). And I had a date. A date!

I tried the traditional methods of reducing inflammation and general beautification – a cold compress on your face, ice pack /frozen cucumbers on eyes, even marshmallow-based moisturizer to combat redness, coffee-berry based, caffeinated eye cream.

I still looked pretty rough.

Then, it hit me … hello, contouring! I had always poo-pooed the look, as something a Kardashian type might go for, but not me. And, I had actually always liked my fair skin and felt no reason to bronze or sculpt it. But, now I was in a pinch. Contouring was my only hope.

What you will need:

  • Matte Bronzer – 1 to 2 shades deeper than your skin
  • Brightener
  • Highlighter - 2 shades lighter than your skin
  • Crème blush
  • Powder blush
  • Beauty blender and/or blending brushes

1) Moisturize and apply light foundation.

2.) Apply bronzer: brush upward in the hollow of the cheeks. Sweep angled brush across hairline for deeper effect and/or add bronzer at the temples.

More: Add bronzer at the temples.

2) Highlight the center of your forehead. Use a light hand — you can always add more. When in doubt, ask yourself where the light naturally hits, then apply to those areas.

3.) Lightly apply blush to the apples of the cheeks.

4.) Blend everything so it is seamless! You do not want 80s-style lines of demarcation!

5) Dust a bit along the neck to keep things looking natural.

6) Highlight the center of your chin — just a dot will do — and blend.

7) The nose: Highlighter down the center of your nose, bronzer lightly along sides (from inner eye down).

8.) Step out looking gorgeous!

If you want to get all technical about it, you can research special techniques for specific face shapes, cream-based contouring vs. powder-based contouring, and specialty brushes. I recommend getting in front of a mirror with some natural light and practicing before heading out. Once you're finished take a selfie in natural light and see how you did!

[Image via Getty]

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