When it comes to contouring, most people think of using traditional bronzer or contour powder. But did you know that you can also use eyeshadow to contour your face? Yes, that versatile little eyeshadow palette sitting in your makeup bag can do double duty and give you a beautifully sculpted look. So if you’re looking to experiment with different products or want to achieve a more subtle contour, eyeshadow might just be the secret weapon you’ve been missing.

Eyeshadow has been a makeup staple for years, known for its ability to enhance the eyes and create stunning looks. However, its potential doesn’t end there. Many professional makeup artists have discovered that certain shades of eyeshadow can work just as well, if not better, as contouring products. The key is to choose shades that are cool-toned and matte, as these mimic the natural shadows on your face. With the right application technique, eyeshadow can help define your cheekbones, slim down your nose, and contour other areas of your face with precision. It offers a versatile and affordable solution for achieving a sculpted, chiseled look without breaking the bank.

can you use eyeshadow to contour
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Can You Use Eyeshadow to Contour?

Contouring is a popular makeup technique that helps define and sculpt the face. It involves using different shades of makeup to create shadows and highlights, enhancing the natural features of the face. While contouring is typically done with contour powders or creams, some people wonder if they can use eyeshadow to achieve similar results. Can you use eyeshadow to contour? Let’s explore this topic further.

The Function of Contouring

Before we delve into whether eyeshadow can be used for contouring, let’s first understand the function of contouring. The purpose of contouring is to create the illusion of shadows and depth on the face, allowing you to sculpt and define your facial features. By applying darker shades to the areas you want to appear more sunken or receded, and lighter shades to areas you want to bring forward, you can achieve a more chiseled and structured look.

Contouring is commonly done with matte powders or creams that are specifically designed for this purpose. These products are often cool-toned, as shadows in real life tend to have a cool undertone. However, eyeshadows come in a wide range of shades, finishes, and undertones, making them a versatile option to experiment with when it comes to contouring.

Using Eyeshadow for Contouring

While eyeshadow is primarily designed for use on the eyes, it can also be used on other areas of the face, including for contouring. However, there are a few factors to consider when using eyeshadow for contouring:

  • The shade: Choose an eyeshadow shade that is suitable for contouring. Opt for a matte shade that is a few shades darker than your skin tone. Avoid using shades with glitter or shimmer, as they can create an unnatural effect.
  • The formula: Consider the formula of the eyeshadow. A powder eyeshadow may be easier to blend and work with for contouring, but a cream eyeshadow can also be used for a more seamless finish.
  • The undertone: Pay attention to the undertone of the eyeshadow. Cool-toned eyeshadows tend to create more natural-looking shadows, while warm-toned eyeshadows can add warmth to the face.

When using eyeshadow for contouring, it is important to apply it with a light hand and build up the color gradually. Start by lightly tapping your brush into the eyeshadow and tapping off any excess. Then, apply it to the areas you want to contour, such as the hollows of your cheeks, the temples, and the jawline. Blend the eyeshadow well using a fluffy brush to ensure a seamless finish.

The Benefits of Using Eyeshadow for Contouring

Using eyeshadow for contouring can have its advantages:

  • Cost-effectiveness: Eyeshadows are often more affordable than dedicated contouring products, making them accessible to a wider range of budgets.
  • Versatility: Eyeshadows come in a wide range of shades, finishes, and undertones, allowing you to experiment with different looks and customize your contouring to suit your preferences.
  • Travel-friendly: If you’re traveling and want to minimize the number of makeup products you bring, using an eyeshadow for both your eyes and contouring can help save space in your makeup bag.

Overall, using eyeshadow for contouring can be a creative and cost-effective approach to sculpting your features. However, it’s important to keep in mind that not all eyeshadows are designed for this purpose, so be sure to choose the right shade, formula, and undertone for the best results.

Can Eyeshadow Replace Contouring Products?

While eyeshadow can be used for contouring, it is important to note that it may not fully replace dedicated contouring products. Contour powders and creams are specifically formulated for contouring, with a texture, undertone, and finish that are optimized for this purpose.

Contouring products are often designed to be long-lasting, blendable, and buildable, giving you greater control over the intensity and placement of the shadows. They also tend to have a more natural-looking finish and can be customized to match a wider range of skin tones.

While eyeshadow can offer similar results, it may require more careful selection and blending to achieve a seamless and natural-looking contour. Additionally, if you frequently use eyeshadow for contouring, you may find that you go through eyeshadow pans more quickly, requiring more frequent repurchases.

Key Takeaways

  • Yes, you can use eyeshadow to contour your face.
  • Choose eyeshadow shades that are slightly darker than your skin tone.
  • Use a small, angled brush to apply the eyeshadow along the hollows of your cheeks, temples, and jawline.
  • Blend well to ensure a natural-looking contour.
  • Finish with a translucent powder to set the contour and keep it in place.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use eyeshadow to contour? Here are some common questions and answers related to using eyeshadow for contouring.

1. Can eyeshadow be used for contouring?

Yes, eyeshadow can be used for contouring purposes. Eyeshadows come in a variety of shades, ranging from light to dark, which makes them suitable for creating depth and dimension on the face. The key is to choose the right shade that matches your skin tone and desired contouring effect.

To use eyeshadow for contouring, select a matte shade that is a few shades darker than your natural skin tone. Apply it to the areas you want to contour, such as the hollows of your cheeks, the sides of your nose, or your jawline. Use a fluffy brush to blend it out for a seamless finish.

2. What kind of eyeshadow is best for contouring?

Matte eyeshadows are best for contouring because they do not have any shimmer or shine. These shades create a more natural shadow and enhance the contours of the face. Avoid using eyeshadows with glitter or shimmer, as they can result in an unnatural-looking contour.

Additionally, opt for eyeshadows that are highly pigmented and easy to blend. This will ensure that the contour appears seamless and well-defined on the skin. Look for eyeshadow palettes that offer a range of shades suitable for contouring, as it allows for more versatility in achieving different contouring effects.

3. Are there any drawbacks to using eyeshadow for contouring?

While eyeshadow can be used for contouring, there are a few drawbacks to consider. Firstly, eyeshadows are typically smaller in size compared to contouring powders or creams specifically designed for the face. This can make it more challenging to load and distribute the product evenly.

In addition, eyeshadows may not have the same longevity as dedicated contouring products. They may fade or become less visible throughout the day, especially if you have oily skin. Applying a setting spray or using a long-lasting eyeshadow primer can help prolong the wear of your contour.

4. How do you choose the right eyeshadow shade for contouring?

Choosing the right eyeshadow shade for contouring depends on your skin tone and the desired effect. As a general rule, opt for a shade that is a few shades darker than your natural skin tone. If you have fair skin, choose a cool-toned taupe or light brown shade. For medium to deep skin tones, a deeper brown or even a neutral gray can work well.

It’s important to swatch and test the eyeshadow on your skin before committing to it for contouring. You can apply a small amount on the back of your hand or along your jawline to see how it blends with your skin tone. This will help you determine if the shade gives you the desired contouring effect.

5. How should eyeshadow be applied for contouring?

Eyeshadow for contouring can be applied using a fluffy brush for a seamless and blended look. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

1. Prep your skin: Start with a clean, moisturized face. Apply your foundation and concealer as usual.

2. Choose the right shade: Select an eyeshadow shade that is a few shades darker than your natural skin tone.

3. Contour the desired areas: Use a fluffy brush to apply the eyeshadow to the areas you want to contour, such as the hollows of your cheeks, the sides of your nose, or your jawline. Start with a light hand and build up the intensity gradually.

4. Blend it out: Use the same fluffy brush or a clean blending brush to blend out the eyeshadow for a seamless finish. Make sure there are no harsh lines or visible edges.

Remember to always blend the eyeshadow well to achieve a natural-looking contour. You can also set your contour with a translucent powder for added longevity.

can you use eyeshadow to contour 2
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How To Contour & Highlight Using ONLY Eyeshadows!! Eyeshadow BEAUTY HACKS

Using eyeshadow for contouring is not the best option because it is designed for the eyes.

Contouring requires a product with a matte finish and a shade that mimics natural shadows.


  • Maria J. Morrison

    Maria is a professional Beautician and his hobby is beauty & Personal care. she has been for the last 5 years and he loves makeup while on outings as well. Based on his experience with the different types of makeup. She is sharing his opinion about various makeup so that a beginner can get started the right way. Find him onTwitter here. Happy reading.