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A beauty secret of the stars (particularly that of the undisputed queen of Instagram and her host of followers and relatives), makeup addicts everywhere are using it more and more: we’re talking about contouring, now considered the "king" of makeup techniques. 

How does it work? Essentially, facial contouring is the use of an optical effect known as the chiaroscuro effect to reshape the face and enhancing facial features. More specifically, it plays on contrasts between shaded areas (created by applying a bronzer or contouring products) and highlighted areas (achieved by a highlighter), to create a perfect base for any type of makeup, from the simplest to the most attention-grabbing. Complicated? Of course contouring can’t be improvised, but with the right tools and a little practice you’re sure to get excellent results. Learn how to perfectly contour the shape of your face!

Contouring for a round face: harmonise and balance your features
Do you have a round face? Like we said, contouring can help you to make it more harmonious and proportionally balanced. Here's how: 

• Prepare the skin by removing any makeup residue. Apply a moisturising cream and, once absorbed, a primer
• Apply an even layer of foundation
• Darken the sides of your face, from the temples to the jawline and the hollow of ​​your cheeks with a bronzer one or two shades darker than your complexion. 
• Apply highlighter to the chin and to the area above the cheekbones
• Carefully blend the highlighted areas and shaded areas using a contouring brush
• Apply a light layer of blush to the cheeks. 

Remember that clever contouring can also help you to camouflage any imperfections that might ruin the harmony of your face: with this technique everyone can find the right balance to enhance their beauty.

Contouring for a long face: the best tool to re-establish proportions
On the other hand, if the shape of your face is an elongated oval, the chiaroscuro contouring effect can help you to optically shorten your face and to widen the central area, acting on the top and bottom of the face. Follow our step-by-step guide:

• Prepare the skin by cleansing thoroughly, moisturising and applying a primer
• Apply an even layer of foundation
• Apply bronzer with a horizontal stroke to the lower chin and to the hairline
• Highlight the area around the temples, the upper part of the cheekbones, the bridge of the nose, the area around the jaw and Cupid’s bow using a slightly lighter highlighter than your complexion, in powder or cream, as preferred. 
• Apply a touch of blush to give your cheeks colour

The right contouring tools
Ready to try contouring? Study your face and try to reshape it with the chiaroscuro effect (not too heavy if you want to avoid an exaggerated and unnatural effect): the results will surprise you!

But which products should be used for this technique? It’s important that the bronzer used for the shaded areas id light and matte, fairly cold in colour and not orange, and obviously for it to match your complexion. Then choose a face highlighter. The essential tools are the brushes: for best results, choose medium sized brushes. KIKO offers you everything you need for state-of-the-art contouring, starting with a handy palette: choose the right colours for your skin and practice our tips!