How to Contour Fair Skin Without Looking Orange

January 29, 2020
Marisa Petrarca
By: Marisa Petrarca | by L'Oréal
person applying concealer to face while wearing concealer swatches

When we think of contouring, we picture a face that's bronzed, glowy and sculpted in all the right places. For those with fair skin, sometimes admiring this look from afar is more comforting than actually attempting to try it yourself. Although it seems like a large majority of the world can shape and highlight with ease, know you’re not alone if your contouring palette seems much more intimidating than it does inviting — pale-skinned gals, we’re looking at you.

Truth is, we were all beginners at one point, but once you master the trend with the right products and the right technique for your skin tone, you’ll never fear that contouring palette again. We chatted with celebrity makeup artist Gabriel Almodovar to find out how the lightly complexioned can sculpt killer cheekbones and still look natural. Find his top tips, ahead. 

Skip the Bronzer

According to Almodovar, most bronzers are too warm for fair skin tones. One of his biggest tips is to use a matte powder with a cool, ashy-gray undertone instead of bronzer. Though untraditional, Almodovar recommends using a gray, matte eyeshadow like the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Monos Eyeshadow in the shade Meet Me in Paris. For fair-skinned gals, gray is the color of your natural contour shadows, which makes it the ideal replacement shade.

Lighten Up

Highlighter and contouring powder (or, your gray matte shadow) are like peanut butter and jelly: good on their own, better together. "Wherever you contour, you should highlight directly above," says Almodovar. For fair skin, Almodovar likes a white shimmer powder like Maybelline New York Expertwear Eyeshadow Singles in Vanilla. Sweep the powder along your cheekbone with a fan brush and focus on the highest point of your cheek to create the illusion of higher cheekbones.

Blend, Blend, Blend — and Then Blend Some More

Nothing says “unnatural” more than obvious streaks in your makeup. Almodovar uses natural hair brushes to blend the powder in circular motions and uses long strokes to soften any harsh lines. Natural hair brushes are ideal for powder formulas because they contain cuticles, which help lift and absorb powder pigment and allow for perfect, even makeup application.

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