Contouring Lessons Learned

I’ve always been envious of women with perfect skin and makeup. Even skin tones and non-existent pores have always escaped me. But I want it. I want beautiful makeup. I want beautiful skin. {But I also want chocolate and alcohol. My priorities change day by day.} So when I stumbled upon YouTube makeup tutorials I knew I was on to something big.

Now I, too, could have the Cinderella fantasy come to life. Now I can get all dolled up to go to my 2nd cousin’s daughter’s half-brother’s wedding and have everyone wonder ‘who is that beautiful mysterious woman?’ Then BAM! It’s me.

After some research, I found out that contouring is where it’s at in the world of perfect makeup. It highlights the features you like while diminishing the features you might not be so proud of. Exactly what I’m looking for. I mean, have you seen that guy who can make himself look like Kim Kardashian and Megan Fox with a little contouring and a wig??? Let’s do this.

Don’t I look ready???

Step 1: Research, i.e. watch tutorials.

YouTube is Pinterest in action. It’s great at making people like me feel like experts in virtually anything after just a 5-minute video. There are literally thousands of makeup tutorials. I’m supposed to watch and be able to pick it up immediately, right? Isn’t that what it’s for?

How do I know which one to watch? I’ll start with the first one I see.   Nope. Bad decision. This chick has to be 12 years old with no flaws to speak of. Not for me. How about this one? Is she a model? Gawd. Ugh. I’ll just go with this one. Whatever. Seriously, how do these people get 4.3 million people to watch them put on makeup??? Ok. I think I have the gist. I mean, I’m a total expert. This is going to be awesome.

Step 2: Buy makeup.

Apparently, there are creams and powders, tons of colors, and even more brands. Trying to choose the best contouring makeup is like trying to find the perfect husband! I mean, I found mine but only after my first one turned out to be an asshole. What if I spend a shat-ton of money on contouring supplies that end up letting me down, breaking my heart, and leaving my flaws exposed?! It’s super hard! (That’s what she said.) Not sure which I should choose. First thing’s first, I’ll go with creams. I feel like they cover better. How do I pick the colors? I think I need a light, dark, and not so dark? Screw it. I’ll just get a contouring kit so it’s all right there. They’re all inclusive, right? As for the brand, I’ll just get the most expensive. Also, the internet says this one is the best for professionals like me so… it can’t go wrong. The most expensive is always the best, just ask my hubs. Done.

I chose the Anastasia Creme Contouring Kit in medium.

Step 3: Do it.

Easy. I feel like a pro already. It looks so simple on the videos. Can’t be too hard. (That’s NOT what she said). I feel like I should be able to use the stuff I already have. I blend all time! Just like Joe Pesci in My Cousin Vinny. No need for all those brushes that I have no idea what they do. I’m just a girl standing here asking my makeup sponge to turn me into a beautifully contoured version of myself. And it’s refusing.

Turns out, it isn’t as easy as it looks for a newbie like me.  Just check this out:

Lessons I learned:

  1. Make sure you investigate the right tools. I didn’t have the right brushes or sponges. I think it’s super important to invest in the tools of the trade. They are the foundation of the makeup and contouring is all about blending. has a great article on how to pick contouring brushes based on price. Apparently it’s not always the most expensive! Hmph.
  2. And time. Guess what? It takes longer than 5 minutes to do it yourself (that’s what she said). Don’t think you’ll pick this up on the day of your wedding and do your own makeup. Unless you’re not me. As you’ll see, things didn’t click for me the first time I tried this.
  3. Contouring isn’t necessary. Since I started wearing makeup at age 14, I’ve spent the last 7 years (shut up) doing “normal” makeup and getting by just fine. Maybe when I accept my Oscar I’ll have someone else contour ma face.
  4. I can’t contour but hopefully I’m still pretty 🙂

Have you figured out the trick to contouring? If so, please share in the comments!

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