Eyeshadow As Contour, Can You Do That?

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How many items do you have in your go-to makeup kit? Did you know that you can use some of them for multiple purposes? Take your eyeshadow palette and look at all the colors.

Can you think of another way of using them?

If your eyeshadow palette comes with nude colors, you might ask, “Can you use eyeshadow as contour?” You certainly can! I’ve personally done that a couple of times. The first one wasn’t actually a choice, but it worked pretty well so it’s been repeated.

Eyeshadows work well as contour. You just have to find the right shade and know how to use them.

Don’t worry, we’ll tell you more about that below so you can be confident in using your eyeshadow as a contour.


Can You Use Eyeshadow As Contour?

Eyeshadow palette

As established, you can definitely use eyeshadow as a contour. However, I myself didn’t know that immediately.

It was accidental that I used my eyeshadow as a contour because I had no other choice. 

My grandparents were having their 50th anniversary and we all rushed to this beautiful resort to celebrate the big party. As a busy woman, I immediately packed my bag and headed there. 

The next day was the day of the party. We were all excited and made ourselves look our best. Unfortunately, my makeup arsenal was incomplete. I totally forgot to bring my contour. 

I love contour as it gives me a more chiseled face. Without it, I feel like my makeup is incomplete, flat, and without dimension. It wasn’t the same. 

Luckily my No products found.. I know the contour shade I am looking for and luckily there are a few of them that look pretty similar to it. 

I took a couple of tries before I found one that was the best match. Although there are shades that look good, they may not give the best effect because of their finish.

I ended up using a brown-gray shade for contour with a tiny bit of shine. 

Although it wasn’t as matte as I wished it was, it did a pretty decent job in adding depth and shadows to my face that I really needed. There wasn’t any bad reaction to my skin (as expected) because it is a product that’s really used on skin. 

Finish with a matte setting spray, and I was good to go!

Tips To Choosing An Eyeshadow For Contour

From that experience, I learned a lot and started trying out different eyeshadow formulas too. As you know, eyeshadows don’t only come in powder form. Those in cream form can be used for contouring as well. 

Tip 1: Proper Shade Selection

When choosing an eyeshadow to use as a contour, it is important to select the right shade. There are all sorts of brown colors that you can select.

Choose one that you think will resemble the shadows on your face. 

When choosing an eyeshadow color, it is advised to take two shades darker than your foundation. You have to take note of the undertone of your foundation too.

Make sure that the eyeshadow you use leans towards those undertones so they don’t look muddy on you.

Tip 2: Use a Matte Finish

Shadows don’t shine. They give less emphasis on the said area, so going with a matte eyeshadow is best. Avoid shimmery ones because they reflect light and may have an opposite effect. 

If you really want to use the shimmery ones, it won’t act as a contour but can give you a good bronzing effect.

In this case, you add these to areas that you want to darken a bit as sunlight would have naturally tanned them. 

Alternatively, you may use a lighter and shimmery eyeshadow as a highlighter. Highlights and contours go hand in hand. Contour creates your shadows and highlights will reflect light, giving emphasis on those areas. 

How To Contour With Eyeshadow

Contouring With Powder

Nude Eyeshadow

If you are using powdered eyeshadow for your contour, you’ll need a little help from your brushes. 

The first thing you have to do is to map out your contour so you’ll know where to place the products. Using a smaller brush, you can easily take eyeshadow powder from the small pots. Use this to create a line for your contour.

An angled contour brush can be very helpful especially when you are adding contour to your cheekbones. This type of brush helps blend the contour easily without getting it all over the place. This ensures that you form a straight light to create that chiseled illusion. 

If you are contouring the sides of your nose, your forehead, and your jawline as well, you could follow the same steps. Use the small brush to add products to your face then blend with a bigger one for a seamless transition. 

Highlighting may be the opposite of contouring but it could put emphasis on your contour as well. With highlights, you’d want to blend with a circular motion when highlighting your cheeks. Use the appropriate size brush to highlight other areas like your nose bridge, forehead and the tip of the cupid’s bow on your lips. 

Contour With Cream

Contour stick

Cream eyeshadows work as a contour too. Depending on the packaging, you may use a small brush to apply it the same way as you would with powder eyeshadows. If it comes in stick form , then you can easily draw it on the areas you need to. 

The key to good contouring is proper blending. With cream products, you could also use a brush but it may be better to use a damp blending egg. 

With the blending egg or a blending sponge, you should be using it with a dabbing motion rather than a wiping one. This helps blend the product into your skin flawlessly. 

If you are to apply highlighting products, it would be best to do it after you’ve blended the contour products. In that way, the highlights won’t get mixed up with the contour and would better pop.

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).