If the idea of contouring conjures visions of a heavily carved, chiselled complexion that feels more daunting than doable, you could be forgiven for dismissing this beauty trend as one that is simply not for you.
Before you write it off for good though, take inspiration from Victoria Beckham, who this weekend shared her elevated contouring technique with her army of Instagram followers. A minimalist take on a maximalist trend, the elegant way to sculpt your face relies on not just the right tool – in VB’s case her own brand’s Contour Stylus – but also a reimagined approach to application.
As Victoria demonstrated, the trick is to create a subtly sculpted look that will naturally enhance your face’s own structure – rather than re-drawing it altogether. To do that, the small, narrow tip of her contour pen is ideal. A creamy crayon designed specifically to hug the natural contours of the face, the pen helps create delicate definition in a way that chubby bronzing sticks or powder palettes sometimes can’t – the effect is imperceptible, rather than obvious.
Happily for beginners, the main thing to note with this method of application is that less is more. For subtle sculpting, start with your nose. Add a thin line down each side, before drawing a little V over the end to create the illusion of a narrower silhouette and a slightly turned up tip. To keep things looking seamless, Victoria recommends blurring the lines into skin using just your fingers, taking care to blend well to connect the lines to the inner corners of the brows. To add extra definition to eyes, add a line of contour into sockets and underneath the lower lashline. Blend in gently with a small angled brush.
Continuing with the same technique, Victoria revealed how she adds shape to her face by tracing two short lines on the cheeks (one on the cheekbone itself and one just underneath), which she then buffs into skin using a firm, angled brush. MAC’s 170 Synthetic Rounded Slant Brush is perfect for this. To finish the look, repeat with two short lines on your temples. Blend out well ensuring you bring the brush down on to the tops of your cheekbones, to connect the contouring and avoid any harsh lines.
This article was originally published on British Vogue.