We know from Instagram that heavy contouring can really make a difference, but it’s easy to dismiss subtle contouring as not being worth the effort. After all, it can take almost as many products and just as much time as dramatic contouring, but yields…what? An Emperor’s-New-Clothes effect that only the wearer notices?
Real talk: I am totally guilty of talking myself out of subtle contouring this way. I’ll contour myself to death for photos or events, but will happily go contouring-free on a daily basis. Not because I don’t have the time to do it, but because I genuinely believed it wouldn’t make that big of a difference in how I looked.
Then I received Make Up For Ever’s Pro Sculpting Face Palette and curiosity got the better of me. Since cream products are known for their natural finish, I thought I’d do a casual experiment: a before and after to see if subtle contouring would make a noticeable difference to my face.
This is the “before”, with just my base, eyes and brows done:
This is where I applied the matte highlighter, contour and blush shades. For the sake of the experiment, I just did a pretty basic placement.
Mouse over this “after” shot to see a direct comparison (you might need to give it a moment to load):
Call me a convert! I can’t believe I went as long as I did thinking subtle contouring wouldn’t be worth the effort, because it very obviously is. My features are much more defined and despite the fact that I’m standing in front of the same window in both photos, the “after” shot looks almost like I’ve been professionally lit. The highlighted areas especially seem to make my face glow.
Again it’s not a hugely dramatic difference, but in this side-by-side comparison you can really tell that the “after” looks a lot more 3D and less flat…but not overdone at all.