The Simple Art of Contouring


I have a love hate relationship with contouring. I love it when it’s done well but hate it when it’s not. Overdoing it hides your natural beauty, and harsh, unblended lines just don’t look pretty!

However, there are definite benefits of ‘soft’ contouring – it subtly enhances and defines features and has an anti-ageing effect.

When it comes to contouring, a brand which I think has really mastered the art is Rodial. I was recently invited to their Sculpting Bar at Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge and, already a big fan of their Eye Sculpt, I wanted to refresh myself on the rest of the collection and new launches. It can get overwhelming with the constant stream of ‘new’ products to try, so sometimes it’s good to go to a counter to explore and test before you buy. That’s why I love department stores – it’s an experience you just don’t get with online shopping (though don’t get me wrong, I love that too, especially at 2am in the morning when I’m WIDE AWAKE and can’t sleep – that’s when I do my best virtual purchasing!)

Rodial have got it right because not only are the products easy to use, they are also in really flattering tones – not too ash, not too brown and not too red, which I find can be a problem with some other contour products. I also like the fact you can build the intensity with light layers. I know beauty peeps are always harping on about the benefits of light layers, but it really is the secret to the most successful beautifying, especially in the case of contouring!

If you want personalised expert advice on how to contour with confidence, I would recommend making the trip to the Rodial Sculpting Bar at Harvey Nichols Knightsbridge. But if you don’t live in the area, here are some tips for a quick, DIY routine.


The Fast Face Sculpt

Highlighting is a HUGE (and my favourite) part of contouring. Using only 3 products, this is a quick and easy choice for the time-poor or fuss free amongst us.

Step 1:  Suck in your cheekbones and brush Rodial Instaglam Compact Deluxe Contouring Powder into the hollows of your cheeks, make sure you use a contoured brush for more precision and dust of any excess powder on the back of your hand before applying. Build up the colour depending on your skin tone. If you’re an English Rose then one layer should be just fine. For olive to dark skin, build up a few layers. Then take a clean powder brush and sweep over the area to blend and soften the lines. Skim (and I mean SKIM!) the jaw line and the temples with excess product.

Step 2: I like to add lots of highlights rather than shadow, so you could just do this step on its own to enhance your face. Highlight cheekbones, brow bones, inner corners of the eyes, down the bridge of the nose, centre of the forehead (very lightly here) and the chin (again VERY lightly) with a highlighting powder. I LOVE NewCID Cosmetics i – glow Compact Shimmer Powder for Hollywood highlights, or Perricone MD No Highlighter Highlighter for a much more subtle, dewy finish. To create extra impact first use an illuminating concealer on all highlight areas (cheekbones, brow bones etc) then apply the highlighter over the top.

Step 3: Smile and add a pinky / peach blush to the apples of your cheeks. I recommend NARS Blush in ‘Orgasm’, as it has soft, golden highlights running through which is extra flattering when blended from cheeks up to cheekbones.

So there you are – simple, beautiful contouring, without a single harsh line in sight!

Nathalie x

Nathalie Eleni