8 Contouring Tips to Learn From the Kardashians' Makeup Artist
You quickly mastered lazy-girl contouring. You then moved on to expert face-sculpting DIYs, stealing tricks from Kim Kardashian and discovering the best contouring products along the way. Now that you're pretty much a pro, you're ready for tips from the ultimate contouring expert: the Kardashian sisters' go-to makeup artist, Rob Scheppy.
We met up with Rob as he demonstrated his famous techniques using the new Tweezerman Brush iQ tools, and we have to say, even if you don't like the way contouring looks in photos, we promise you would in person. Watching Rob work is like watching the art of a wizard. He takes his subject's best features and tunes them up while subtly (but powerfully) toning down any weak assets. When contouring at home, we advise that you ascribe to Rob's light-handed, more natural method. "Don't paint on stripes the YouTube way," he cautioned. "You want to blend as you go, blending the contour toward the highlight to create a gradient effect." This trick is just one of the reasons the Kardashians always look so flawless — read on to learn more (and see examples of Rob's work!).
Makeup can make you look thinner.
"If you're having a fat day," quipped Rob, "take your contour shade and paint it under your chin." Start directly under the end of your chin, then blend down and back into your neck to create the illusion of a sharp jawline.
Lighting is everything.
Anyone who has applied makeup in the back of a dark cab late at night knows that lighting is crucial during glam time. But bright lighting isn't necessarily the best atmosphere, either. "Aim for the lighting that you'll be in," suggested Rob. So if you'll be attending your friend's beachfront wedding, do your makeup in natural light.
Contouring can fake a nose job.
If you don't like your nose, you can pretend you have a slimmer schnoz with careful contouring. Using the Tweezerman Brush iQ Pointed Concealer Brush ($12), shade underneath the tip of your nose and along the sides, bringing the contour up, under the brow bone, and into the eye socket. This creates natural-looking definition that makes your eyes pop and your nose blend in.
Blending your contour into your hairline is essential.
"You don't want your hair to look like a lace-front wig," explained Rob. Use a sponge to buff the contour color you applied around your forehead as far into your hairline as possible so your makeup and hair look seamless.
Let your skin type dictate your contouring formula.
Rob prefers to work with cream products to create a sculpted face, but it's not what works best for everyone. "If you have oily skin, set your foundation with powder, then use powder products to highlight and contour." Everyone else? You should be using creams.
Contouring and highlighting differ by skin tone.
"It's all about creating contrast," Rob said. Fair skin doesn't need a lot of highlighter, as it's already light in color — you should be contouring this complexion to create dimension. "On dark skin, you need to focus on using highlighter. With contour, you don't have anywhere to go," he explained. Meaning, you want to add brightness to darker skin tones, which will really make the complexion pop.
You need a damp sponge in your tool kit.
Rob insisted that this is one of the keys to making your contour (and makeup as a whole!) look as natural as possible. Before you apply any cosmetics at all, take Tweezerman's Foundation Sponge, dampen it with a bit of water to soften it, then use the sponge to buff moisturizer into your skin. Later, after you've applied your contour and highlight, blend the shades with the same sponge. "Using a damp sponge will give you a softer look," explained Rob. The moistened sponge also makes it easier to blend your makeup.
The Nike swoosh can create your dream cheekbones.
"When creating a cheekbone," said Rob, "the color should graduate. You need to blend so lines aren't sharp." First, find the hollows of your cheekbone using the handle of a makeup brush or the side of your hand. Using the Tweezerman Brush iQ Pointed Foundation Brush ($22), start creating your contour line from your ear to under the apples of your cheeks. (The color should be darkest closest to your hairline.) End your line by creating a lightly sketched "little Nike swoosh" under the apple of your cheek.
That said, when asked how he decides where to stop contouring under the cheekbone, Rob said it depends on your mood. "If you want, you can continue the line down the side of the chin," he said, which will create a very chiseled, vampy look.