Contouring can seem confusing, but it’s fairly easy to avoid leaving an unblended dark splotch on your face once you’re equipped with the right tools and techniques. Unfortunately, for folks with dark skin, there’s the added element of having to search for options that are deep enough. That’s where we come in with this handy list of contour products for dark skin that come highly recommended by professional makeup artists and Allure editors.
Before we even dive in, let us briefly explain what contouring is for any newbies. “Contouring [allows you to] define or recede an area to create a sharper, higher, or more defined look,” makeup artist Jaleesa Jaikaran tells Allure. “Often confused with bronzing, contouring is solely designed to add structure to the [face].” The right contouring shade for your skin tone is typically darker than your foundation. However, figuring out just how dark your contour shade should be can be tricky. Jaikaran suggests going for a hue that’s two to three shades darker than your complexion.
As for the actual application, knowing your face shape is key, Jaikaran says. (We have this detailed guide that breaks down how to contour different face shapes.) But as a general rule of thumb, she recommends swiping the product underneath the jawline and cheekbones, on the sides of the nose, and along the perimeter of the forehead with a fluffy brush that’s not too dense, such as the Jenny Patinkin Luxury Vegan Powder/Bronzer Brush, so that you won’t disturb your existing makeup underneath. A makeup sponge, like DSMD’s Beauty Sponge, also works well, Jaikara notes.
Now that you have the tips, let’s dive into the tools. Enjoy this list of 14 contour products that are as deep as a freshly pulled cup of expresso.
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