When it comes to choosing the right shade of contour, it’s all about creating natural-looking definition that enhances your features. Did you know that using a contour shade that is too dark or too cool-toned can make your face appear muddy or gray? That’s why it’s important to find a shade that is just a couple of shades darker than your skin tone, with a warm undertone that mimics natural shadows. This will give you a sculpted look that still looks like your own skin.

Understanding the history and background of contouring can help you in selecting the right shade. Contouring has been used for decades in the world of stage and film to enhance facial features under heavy lighting. However, the technique has become mainstream in recent years thanks to the influence of popular celebrities and social media. One key aspect to keep in mind when choosing a contour shade is to consider your skin undertone. If you have warm undertones, opt for a contour shade with a warm undertone as well, while cool undertones should go for a contour shade with a cool undertone. By selecting the right shade, you can achieve a beautifully sculpted look that enhances your natural beauty.

what shade of contour to use

What Shade of Contour to Use?

Contouring has become a popular makeup technique to enhance facial features and add dimension. One of the key decisions when it comes to contouring is choosing the right shade. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to determine which shade of contour to use. In this article, we will explore the factors to consider and provide guidance on selecting the perfect shade for your contouring needs.

Understanding Your Skin Undertone

The first step in choosing the right shade of contour is understanding your skin undertone. Undertone refers to the subtle color that shines through the surface of your skin and remains constant. There are three main undertones: warm, cool, and neutral.

If you have warm undertones, you will notice yellow, peach, or golden tones in your skin. Cool undertones, on the other hand, will have hints of pink, red, or blue. Neutral undertones tend to have a balance of warm and cool tones. Determining your undertone can help guide you in selecting a contour shade that complements your natural skin color.

For warm undertones, opt for contour shades that have a warmer tone, such as taupe or bronze. These shades will enhance the natural warmth in your complexion. If you have cool undertones, look for cooler contour shades with ashy undertones, like gray or taupe. Neutral undertones have the flexibility to experiment with both warm and cool contour shades.

Considering Your Skin Tone

In addition to your undertone, your skin tone plays a crucial role in determining the shade of contour to use. Skin tone refers to the lightness or darkness of your skin. There are various skin tones, ranging from fair to deep.

For fair skin tones, it is best to choose a contour shade that is only a couple of shades darker to create a subtle contour. Too dark of a shade can appear too harsh on fair skin. Light to medium skin tones can experiment with a wider range of contour shades. However, it is still important to choose a shade that is not too stark of a contrast to your natural skin color.

When it comes to deep skin tones, it is crucial to select a contour shade that is significantly darker than your natural skin color. This will create a more noticeable, yet seamless, contour effect. Darker shades of contour, such as deep browns or rich chocolates, work well for deep skin tones.

Considering the Occasion

Another factor to consider when choosing the shade of contour is the occasion or setting in which you plan to wear it. The intensity and depth of contour can vary depending on the desired outcome.

For a natural, everyday look, opt for a contour shade that is closer to your natural skin color. This will create a subtle contour effect that enhances your features without looking too heavy. On the other hand, for special occasions or nighttime events, you can go for a deeper, more dramatic contour shade to add more definition and dimension.

Consider the lighting as well. If you will be in a well-lit environment, a slightly darker contour shade can help add dimension and prevent the features from appearing flat. In dim or low-light settings, a lighter contour shade may be more suitable to avoid the contour looking too harsh.

Trying Different Formulas and Textures

When choosing the shade of contour, it is also important to consider the formula and texture of the product. Different formulas and textures can have different effects on the skin.

If you prefer cream-based contour products, opt for a shade that is close to your natural skin color but one to two shades darker. Cream contours provide a seamless blend and can create a more natural-looking result. On the other hand, if you prefer powder-based contour products, choose a shade that is slightly darker to ensure it shows up well on the skin.

It is also worth mentioning that some contour products have matte finishes, while others have shimmer or satin finishes. Matte finishes create a more natural-looking contour, whereas shimmer finishes can add a subtle luminosity to the skin. Consider your overall makeup look and personal preference when deciding on the finish of your contour shade.

Seeking Professional Advice

If you are still unsure about which shade of contour to use, consider seeking professional advice. Makeup artists and beauty consultants can provide personalized recommendations based on your unique features, undertones, and preferences. They can guide you in selecting the perfect contour shade and even demonstrate proper application techniques.

Experiment and Have Fun

Ultimately, choosing the shade of contour is a personal preference and can vary depending on the desired outcome and individual features. The best way to find your perfect shade is through experimentation and practice. Don’t be afraid to try different shades, formulas, and techniques to discover what works best for you. Contouring is a versatile makeup technique that allows you to enhance your natural beauty and have fun with different looks.

What Shade of Contour to Use: Answered

After exploring the factors to consider when choosing a contour shade, we hope you now have a clearer understanding of what shade of contour to use. Remember to assess your undertone, consider your skin tone and the occasion, experiment with different formulas and textures, and seek professional advice if needed. The key is to find a contour shade that enhances your natural features and makes you feel confident and beautiful. Happy contouring!

Key Takeaways – What Shade of Contour to Use:

  • Choose a contour shade that is two shades darker than your skin tone.
  • Consider your skin undertone when selecting a contour shade.
  • Opt for a cool-toned contour shade for a natural-looking result.
  • Test the contour shade on your jawline to ensure it blends seamlessly with your skin.
  • Blend the contour shade well to avoid harsh lines and achieve a natural-looking contour.

Frequently Asked Questions

When it comes to contouring, choosing the right shade is crucial for achieving the desired effect. Here are some commonly asked questions about what shade of contour to use and their answers.

1. What are the different shades of contour available?

Contour shades typically come in various shades of brown, ranging from cool-toned to warm-toned. Some common shades include taupe, deep chocolate brown, and ash brown. These shades allow for different levels of intensity and undertones, catering to various skin tones and desired contouring effects.

It is essential to choose a contour shade that is a few shades darker than your natural skin tone to achieve a natural-looking shadow effect. For fair skin, a shade with a cool undertone works well, while warm undertones are flattering for medium to deep skin tones.

2. How do I determine the right shade of contour for my skin tone?

The best way to determine the right shade of contour for your skin tone is to test different shades on your jawline or the side of your face. Look for a shade that creates a subtle shadow without appearing too dark or muddy. It should blend seamlessly with your natural skin tone without looking too obvious or ashy.

Remember that contouring is about enhancing your natural features, so the shade should be just a few shades darker than your skin tone, enhancing your bone structure without creating any stark contrast.

3. Can I use bronzer as a contour shade?

While bronzer can be used to create a subtle contour effect, it’s essential to choose the right shade and formula. Bronzers often have warm undertones and a shimmer or glow, which may not be ideal for achieving a natural-looking shadow.

If you decide to use a bronzer as a contour shade, opt for a matte formula with a cool or neutral undertone. Apply it lightly and blend well to avoid an overly warm or shimmery appearance.

4. Are cream or powder contour products better?

The choice between cream and powder contour products depends on your personal preference and skin type. Cream contour products are excellent for achieving a seamless and natural-looking contour, especially for those with dry or mature skin.

On the other hand, powder contour products are more suitable for oily or combination skin and offer a longer-lasting effect. They are also easier to blend and build up for a more intense contour.

5. How can I make my contour shade look more natural?

To make your contour shade look more natural, it’s essential to blend it well into your skin using a blending brush or sponge. Start with a light hand and gradually build up the intensity, ensuring a seamless transition between the contour shade and your natural skin tone.

Avoid harsh lines or edges by using a sweeping or circular motion while blending. Set your contour shade with a translucent powder to ensure longevity and prevent smudging or fading throughout the day.

what shade of contour to use 2

To achieve the best contour, it is important to choose the right shade. You should select a contour shade that is one to two shades darker than your natural skin tone.

Using a shade too dark may result in an unnatural and harsh look, while a shade too light may not provide enough definition. By choosing a shade that closely matches your skin tone, you can create a subtle and natural-looking contour.


  • 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.