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The Difference Between Contouring and Sculpting, and Mistakes you Might be Making

Contouring and sculpting often get mistaken for the same technique. However, there is a big difference between the two. Here’s a quick explanation:

Sculpting is a shaping technique applied when you want to correct, change, or re-shape your facial features. This applies to our bodies as well but let’s just talk face for now.

Contouring is a technique applied when you want to outline your features.

More often than not, women are trying to achieve a more sculpted face. They want to accentuate their cheeks, make their nose smaller, bottom lip bigger, forehead smaller, etc. Mistakenly, they are using a contouring technique instead of sculpting, which only makes them look more tan.

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Let’s assume you want to sculpt your face and correct the little imperfections. Here are step-by-step instructions:

  1. Choose Your Color

When it comes to contouring, you have to use only one color – TAUPE. If you’re a lighter complexion you need to use a lighter shade of Taupe; if you’re a darker complexion, you need to use a darker shade of Taupe.

Why Taupe only?

Taupe is the ONLY color that creates the “shadow effect”. It doesn’t translate as a color and creates the illusion of a hollow area on the face.

If you use shades of brown, bronze, and orange, you create a tan (contouring) but that doesn’t change the proportions of your face.

TIP: Avoid Heavy Contour Creams

Many beauty companies make contour cream kits to make contouring “easier” for you. Once again, these palettes are for contouring, which means framing your features, not for altering them. Creams are usually too thick and can make your face look like a mask. This look is “perfect” for Instagram after running your selfie through a bunch of filters. In real life, women can look fake and cakey.

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Before Sculpting

  1. Tools

Using the correct tools is very important because sculpting needs to appear as a shadow that’s fading in and out. When using a cream, I prefer to use fingers to blend the color inward or upward. When I use a powder, I use an angled brush that’s very dense. If the bristles are soft, you won’t be able to blend the product well and you won’t achieve the result you want.

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  1. What areas do I sculpt?

Learn the mathematics of the face. You’ve seen the tribal-looking makeup over and over, showing you the same technique on different faces. But does it work for every face? No. Each face is unique and so should be the way you sculpt it.

For example, I have a wide forehead so I definitely want to “shave off” the sides of it with the sculpting product. But, if you have a very narrow forehead, sculpting is not necessary unless your forehead is too long.

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  1. Highlighter

You will achieve the best sculpting effect if you use the opposite color to taupe. This shade is determined by your actual complexion color. You need a color that’s two shades lighter than your foundation. Sculpting is a play of contrast. If you want your feature to stand out, you should use both colors.

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After Sculpting

In conclusion, I recommend that you use the contouring technique if you want to bring warmth and more dimension to your face. Use the sculpting technique if you want to change the dimensions of your face to get as close to “perfect” as mathematically possible.

Stay Beautiful!

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