I find contouring is particularly challenging for everyday makeup. I have tried different ways of contouring my face over the years, and I have finally figured out a way that enhances my typical Asian bone structure. The reason I said that is because if you are an Asian like me – you would probably realize by now that there are a lot of makeup tricks that work on other races but do not work on Asians/Orientals. That’s because our bone structure, facial features and skin tone are completely different to that of Caucasians, so one solution does not fit all..
To make contouring work, you really need to study your face and this exercise is more important than the amount of tutorials you watch/read. I have made a few generalization of standard Asian features which might apply to some of you.
Cheekbones: Asians generally have a bigger, flatter and wider face (sad but true…) Contouring cheekbones is never a mainstream makeup application as the highest point of our cheekbones is already over the nose bridge. Hands up how many times you have given up a pair of sunnies because it is sitting on your cheekbones rather than on your nose bridge?! Whereas for the Caucasians it is the other way around. The placement of our cheekbone is slightly different too. They are normally more prominent (slightly protruding) on the side of the face (below the temple areas), whereas Caucasians’ cheekbones are more prominent to the front.
Jaw: The gold standard of Asian beauty is that we don’t want chiseled jaws. We want a v-shaped face!
Nose: Kindergarten knowledge! Asian noses are much flatter, lacking of a prominent nose bridge, with a rounder or wider nose tip.
So based on the above ‘general Asian features’, I have put together this contouring tutorial.
Cheekbones: Apply the contouring product starting from the hollow of the cheekbones all the way up to the temples. More product is applied on the side of the cheekbone for a slimmer face effect.
Nose: Apply the contouring product starting from where your eyebrow begins to fake a v-shape for the nose bridge. Bring it all the way down to the bottom of the nose for a more refined nose tip. I also applied a bit of product along the nostrils for a slimmer nose effect.
Jaws: Apply the contouring product starting from the side of your chin up to the cheekbone. More product is applied to the side of the jaws.
Blend, blend and blend. I find that a good blending brush really makes a big difference to the result. Start light-handed, and do not apply too much contouring product in the first place. Start blending within a small area then blend the residual product outward – that way it gives a natural looking gradient of shading.
How much to blend is really your personal perference. I wish my face was that small (see pic)! I just blend the contouring shade to cover the areas covered under my hands.
Left: With foundation only – my face is looking flat without contouring and highlighting applied.
Right: Final look.