By Janna Zittrer
For many women, contouring ranks highly on the intimidation scale (right up there with liquid liner and red lips). Since sculpting can easily move into war-paint territory when misplaced product and poor blending come into play, the right tools and techniques are essential. So how can non-professionals master the makeup trick without attempting to follow a YouTube tutorial or booking a lesson with pro? Just ask Sephora, which recently partnered with tech firm Map My Beauty to give consumers a crash course on contouring with a new mobile platform that makes creating the illusion of a chiselled face practically foolproof. Cosmetics took the Pocket Contour Class for a test-drive to see just how easy contouring can be.
Users begin by snapping a selfie or uploading a photo and choosing their formula (powder, cream or sticks). For best results, the key is to have the right products on hand: shimmer-free contour and highlighting makeup, a small brush for highlighting, a medium-sized brush for contouring and a flathead brush for blending.
The app categorizes your face shape as soon as you upload/snap your pic, and then it places dots and arrows on your face in future slides, creating a personalized map showing where to apply product. (I’m oval so I had to highlight only above my temples, for instance, but heart-shaped faces would need highlighter all along the hairline.)
Next, the program indicates where to apply contour and how much (a single line above the temple, along either side of the nose and jawline, plus two lines in the hollows of the cheeks).
Users then follow a series of small arrows to blend the two products for a slimming, streak-free effect. Of course, there are product recommendations along the way, including a setting spray, blush and bronzer for finishing off the look.
The conclusion? The app was definitely easy to use. By offering individualized, step-by-step instructions for specific face shapes, Sephora has successfully made contouring not only simpler, but a whole lot less scary, too.
To access the Sephora Pocket Contour Class mobile app, visit m.sephora.com/pocketcontour.
Need to refresh your contouring skills? Use the tips in this tutorial to perfect your technique.