How to Contour Your Face With Self-Tan

How To Contour Your Face With Self-Tanner

Contouring is one of the hottest makeup techniques in the world right now. It not only adds some sculptural dimension to your face, but it can give you a healthy, tanned look at the same time. There’s just one problem: makeup comes off every night. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a long-lasting contour that you don’t have to worry about washing off? Well, by using a self-tanner, you can maintain your flawless contour through water and long nights. Let’s take a look at how you can create a beautiful contour without reaching for traditional bronzing powders.

Prepare Your Skin

When using self-tanner to create a contour, skincare is more important than ever. Before you start applying any self-tanner to your face, make sure you’ve given yourself a smooth, workable canvas.

Gently cleanse and exfoliate your skin to minimise unsightly blemishes and allow for smoother application, then top it off with a layer of moisturised to help things stay fresh. Pro tip: If you have fair or grey hair, add a layer of moisturiser to the base of the hairs around your face. This will stop them from being stained by the self-tanner.


Carefully Select You Contouring Products

Bear in mind that you’ll need two self-tanners to contour; one shade that looks natural on you, and a deeper one to create shadow. It’s imperative that both of these shades be of a high quality so that your coverage stays even and natural-looking. Without a natural shade, you’ll run the risk of your contour looking strangely dark against your skin, and that will ruin the illusion you’re trying to create when contouring.

A good model for your contour-friendly natural shade is the St.Tropez “Self Tan Luxe Dry Oil.” Natural ingredients like Brazil nut oil not only get rid of that unpleasant self-tanner smell, but actually help heal your skin rather than irritate it.

For your darker contour shade, you’ll want something like St.Tropez “Gradual Tan Plus Anti-Ageing for Face.” A gradual tanner like this will let you see where your product is going with its dark application, then fade into a natural shadow on your face. The added bonus, as the name suggests, is that this formula will simultaneously firm up the perimeter of your face as you’re contouring.

When contouring with self-tanner, choosing your products is the most important step to creating a naturally-sculpted look. By using the wrong product, you could easily end up with a contour that’s patchy, greasy or, worse yet, causes break outs. Self-tanners usually last a few days, so make sure you’re not using a product that will have you hiding your face for the next week.


Apply Your Base

Once you’ve prepared your skin and chosen the right products, it’s time to apply a base of self-tanner to work with. Don’t just start spraying your natural shade all over your face, though. This is a makeup technique, so pretend you’re applying your regular makeup.

Take your favourite densely-packed foundation brush and apply the self-tanner to the brush, not your skin, to effectively control the amount of product you’re applying. Then, gently start applying the self-tanner in small, stippling motions. This will stop your coverage from looking streaky or having patches of paler skin.

As you’re blending out the self-tanner, reapply it to your brush whenever you’re running low. Be sure to blend it out along your neck and across your ears so that you’re not sporting any harsh demarcation lines. A good rule of thumb is to blend until you think the coverage is seamless, then blend just a little more.

Once you’ve applied your base shade, let it dry completely before applying your contour. This will ensure that the colours aren’t running together or looking like streaks of mud on your face. Because the base shade is so important to the overall look of your face, be completely sure that you’ve evenly covered your face and neck before moving on to the next step.

Start Sculpting

After your natural self-tanner has settled, you’re ready to start contouring. While you might normally contour with a fluffy brush to help blend out harsh lines, that rule doesn’t apply here. Since you’ll be applying a liquid, you want to use a stiffer brush. Small paddle brushes for concealer and foundation work well for created this three-dimensional look.

Start by applying the self-tanner to your brush and swiping that across the outer perimeter of your forehead. It’s important to use a dense brush here to ensure that you’re completely covering the areas you want to contour. Once you’ve applied the product, though, you’ll take a dense stippling brush and blend out the edges with small, circular motions. While you want to thoroughly blend this out, make sure you’re not going too far down your forehead and ruining the illusion of shadow.

When your forehead is done, it’s time to move onto your cheekbones. If you contour with makeup then just apply the self-tanner where you’d normally place the bronzer. If you’re new to contouring, suck in your cheeks with a fish face and apply the self-tanner directly under the cheekbones. From here, follow the same method of applying product with a paddle brush and blending it out with a stippling brush.

For your last contouring destination, try bringing in the tips of your nose. With a small angled brush, apply a light amount of product down the sides of your nose, just on the inside of where your natural bridge ends. Blend it out with that same stippling brush, and you should have natural-looking shadows giving you the illusion of a slimmer nose.

Inspect Your Work

At each stage of the process, you want to make sure you’re applying a nice, even coverage of self-tanner. Find a brightly-lit mirror and look at yourself from different angles to see if you have any patches or streak marks. If you do, don’t freak out, just apply your self-tanner remover before the product has time to set.

If you’re satisfied with how everything looks, then congratulations! You’ve successfully contoured your face with self-tanner. Let the self-tanner naturally settle and develop over the next few hours, and you’ll be all set to enjoy a bronzed look that won’t come off in the shower.