All the (Many, Crazy) Different Types of Contouring
Because we're starting to lose track.
Limb contouring? Yes, for better or for worse, it's a thing and the trend is currently honing in on what may be the least sexy body part (well, depending on who you're talking to): the feet. Following the bone structure of the foot and toes, women are now shading and blending for more sculpted, sandal-worthy feet. File this under enough already.
If contouring your visage to perfection daily is just too laborious, this is the technique for you. Invented by Marissa Carter, the founder of faux-tan brand Cocoa Brown, tontouring (AKA tan contouring) calls for gradually applying self tanner to define your cheekbones. The best part? It won't wash off at the end of the day.
Taking makeup artistry a step further, beauty vloggers Shahina Aslam and Sahur Saleim have begun to use intricate henna patterns to highlight and contour their visages. But instead of going semi-permanent with natural dye from a Henna tree, they use foundation and concealer. To see them work their magic, watch their videos here.
YouTube beauty vlogger BellaDeLune took contouring to a whole other extreme when she used a clown-style makeup application to map out her face before blending. While it did yield gorgeous results (see them here), it was more of a statement than anything. "I cannot tell you how many times I have been called a clown and many other names, and been hated on, because of the way that I use this art form," she explained. "I just did this to show you what a real payasa (Spanish word for clown) looks like." Preach, lady!
An alternative to the ultra-matte, bronzed finish of regular contouring, strobing uses shine to emphasize the planes of the face that light hits naturally—namely the cheekbones, bridge of the nose, and temples. We like to call it contouring's au naturale French cousin. Learn how to strobe like a pro here.
While contouring is typically associated with makeup, trust us when we tell you: your colorist could very well hold the secret to achieving supermodel-level cheekbones. By strategically placing highlights and low lights for dimension, they can literally accentuate your desired facial features. To find out what dye job will best suit your face shape, check out our complete guide.
A fancier name for boob contouring, you can use a bronzed makeup base and highlighter to define your clavicles and amp up your chest. To ensure your look is more natural than fake bake, check out our step-by-step tutorial.
Perhaps the most extreme and perplexing contour trend of all, vontouring is the internet term for Protégé Intima, a non-invasive alternative to labiaplasty that "improves" the appearance of the vaginal area by plumping, firming, and reducing the size of lips. This is done with a pen-like device that stimulates collagen production using radio frequencies.
Kylie Jenner has made a voluminous pout the desired facial feature du jour. To fake it, we looked to Marilyn Monroe's classic technique: applying several shades of lip color and gloss to create dimension. The trick? Apply darker reds on the outer corners and lighter hues brushed on the middle of the lips. For the full tutorial, click here.
Contouring is practically the oldest trick in the makeup artist book, but there's no denying that the Kardashians have transformed it into an entirely new beast. Kim's makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic has it down to a science, not simply stopping at the cheeks, but honing in on the entire face to include the nose, brow bones, and jaw line.