A makeup artist teaches us how to contour for work

The beauty world is more than a little bit obsessed with contouring right now. Gone are the days of smoothing on a few drops of foundation and a dab of blusher. But how exactly can we contour to look more Kimmy K and less zebra?

We spoke to professional makeup artist Louise Young who has given us her inside tips and tricks.

Louise has been a makeup artist for over 30 years and has worked with some of the most famous people across the worlds of film, TV and theatre. She has also developed her own makeup brushes. There really is nobody we would rather get contouring advice from.


Here are Louise’s tips for contouring your face for work.

1. What exactly is contouring?

Contouring is a professional technique used for TV and shoots. It’s such a difficult technique for the non-professional to master as all skin tones are completely different so there isn’t a one colour fits all option. Also, all face shapes, contours and shadows are completely different so it’s just not possible to follow the contouring diagrams available online and in tutorials.

2. What mistakes could people be making that they could avoid?

I’ve seen people re-create it so badly. As you are adding shadows, if done incorrectly, you can create ageing instead of enhancing the face.

3. How can we create a contoured look that is suitable for work?

If you are a contouring fanatic and still want to give it a go, despite being slightly scared, then you need to be aware of the colours of the natural shadows on your face. Try to recreate those shadows. I haven’t seen many off the peg colours that recreate this so it’s worth mixing colours. I would opt for using a taupe shadow as opposed to a darker toned foundation.

4. What about highlighting?

I would advise that highlighting is a far easier technique to master than contouring and it can create a more youthful look. Using a subtle powder highlighter on the cheekbones does the trick. Try using my LY06 (RRP £26) brush which has super soft, natural bristles to create a buffed in, professional finish.

Check out Louise’s site here

Now what?