To Contour, or not to Contour?  See “why” when it comes to wedding makeup

To Contour, or not to Contour? 

There is no question when it comes to wedding makeup


We want to look virginal, but beautiful.  Classy but naïve. We want to create the wedding day fairytale that everyone is expecting – but that doesn’t mean we can’t use the magic of wedding makeup to help us.

People who traveled a distance to see your ceremony and bought a gift will expect to experience the magic of the union.  Even if you can’t afford a makeup artist, you can make this a reality.

It might seem silly but highlighting and contouring your face can go a long way in making this event enjoyable for everyone.  It makes you more visible and discernable at a distance and let’s face it – if you’re paying for their meal they might as well enjoy the show.

ContouringContouring can be scary.  We see people who wear contour makeup and it looks awesome.  But then we see tutorials on how to accomplish that look and it just seems impossible.  The women go from looking like medical charts to glamorous stars – when exactly did that transformation begin? And then there are the real-life examples we see that are over the top and really shouldn’t be doing that in public.

It’s a lot more complicated than it seems.  That’s why most would recommend a makeup artist to help you with your wedding makeup.  That is ideal.  But not all of us can manage that.

Photography by 26 North Studios

So – it’s time to start practicing or make your trusted friend start practicing.  We’re talking about dark and bright shades on your face.  You don’t want to end up looking like a clown.  There are benefits to be delivered, but the process to get there is not easy and practice is essential.

Steps for Creating Your Wedding Day Contoured Look Without a Makeup Artist:

  1. There are a lot of theories about how to best do this, but most agree that the first determinant is the shape of your face.  If you don’t already know your face shape, there are dozens of sites to help you out.  They range from 4 -13 different shapes depending on the site, but will give you an idea of your basic face shape. 
  2. Knowing your face shape allows you to see, objectively, the parts of your face that should naturally recede or shine when others look at you. 
  3. There are tons of makeup options out there for contour makeup – powders, liquids, and creams.  It all depends on what you feel most comfortable using.  Picking out the proper colors should involve, at minimum, a makeup artist to properly match your tone. 
  4. Start practicing.  Did you master your everyday girl makeup on the first try?  Consider this the same. You are delving into unknown territories that may be a bit unfamiliar and require a little extra time to develop. 
  5. Once you’ve mastered using the contour and highlight products, continue to monitor and test yourself.  Skin tones can change over time due to sun exposure and lack thereof, and the tone of your skin may change enough that your wedding makeup routine will need to adjust. 

The darker powders or liquids should go in the places on your face that should appear hollow, such as your inner cheeks, or the sides of your nose.  The top of your cheekbone, even if slight, can score a look from the crowd with a little highlighting makeup to accentuate the area. Dark where we want to avoid extra attention, and highlight areas that should be noticed. 

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