To say there’s a gold mine of contouring info on the Internet would be an understatement. But in spite of all the how-tos out there, most of us aren’t even close to mastering the sculpt. In fact, it’s super easy to get it wrong! So to help you hone your technique, we’ve listed 5 common contouring mistakes and exactly how to solve them. Bookmark this, beauties!


For every day at the office, you don’t need a contouring roadmap stamped in bold across your face. While shading your nose, hairline, and jaw looks amazing in photos, the effect can be a little harsh under the fluorescent lights of real life.

THE FIX: Focus your efforts on a subtle cheek contour in the daytime. Use the product residue on your contour brush to add the softest shadow along your jaw and, if you really need to, down the sides of your nose. This will keep everything looking built-in and natural, even in bad lighting.


A friendly word of warning: using a warm-toned bronzer as a contour powder can yield muddy results. Because real shadows are cool, not warm, yellow- or red-toned bronzers can look unnatural. They’re the quickest way to make your contour verge on the dreaded orange tan.

THE FIX: Look for cool-toned bronzers: the kind specifically designed for contouring. These blue- or gray-toned browns create depth and dimension without warming up the face. Translation: the contour you blend under your cheekbones will look hollow, and the line you buff along your jawline will look sharp. Again, like actual shadows.

TRY: Sooper Beaute Contouring Kit, P350, Banila Co. So Contouring Twin Stick, P895, Suesh Contour & Highlight Palette, P1,036


At best, you’ll end up with uneven application. At worst, you’ll find yourself with some big ol’ streaks down the sides of your face. No to tiger stripes!

THE FIX: Blend your contour layer by layer and with a thorough hand, at that. Apply the product gradually and make sure to buff it out every step of the way.


If you’re using your foundation or blush brush to contour, don’t! The wrong brush can pick up too much pigment and leave you with the exact opposite of what you want: subtlety.

THE FIX: Use a proper contour brush. This type of brush is often angled to sit in the hollows of your cheeks and along the line of your jaw. Its bristles will also be much thinner than a regular brush’s, so it picks up just the right amount of product. Ultimately, a contour brush will help you place a discreet shadow exactly where you want it.

TRY: The A-List F104 Contour Brush, P220, Pro Studio Beauty Exclusives Curve Contour Brush, P299, Soffia Beauty Opulence Small Cheek Brush, P1,500


Don’t get us wrong, highlighter is an important part of contouring—you just don’t want it to be the star of the whole show. Adding too much shimmer can actually detract from the effect of a good sculpt.

THE FIX: With highlighter, it always pays to be conservative and apply it strategically. Dust a light amount above your cheekbones, along the bridge of your nose, and right over your brow bones. Then, control yourself, girl.

We know, we know: contour, like kilay, is life. So heed these words and before you know it, you’ll have the sculpting prowess of a Michelangelo!

Credits: Video by Kat Echon. Illustrations by Carli Dagdag. Don’t forget to follow BeautyMNL on Facebook and Instagram!

All in Good Time by Alumo

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