Beauty Secrets: How To Contour With Priscilla Ono


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“Contour is a staple in the beauty world,” Fenty Beauty Global Makeup Artist Priscilla Ono tells ESSENCE. “It’s a technique that defines and sculpts the face by using light and dark shades to accentuate, create, and enhance.” After foundation, contour is a great way to add dimension to your makeup look. However, “not everyone has the same face shape,” Ono says. Learning the best sculpting techniques for yours is the key to giving yourself a face lift, as opposed to walking outside with harsh lines.

Although contour “is not a one-size-fits all approach,” less is certainly more with this makeup step. From finding shades to complement your skin tone, to blending well and avoiding over-contouring, following Ono’s do’s and don’ts can take your look from flat to fierce in just a few swipes.  

Below, Ono walks us through her secret to defining and sculpting the face.

“After foundation, take the contour and apply it directly to the areas of the face you want defined. I will usually start by lifting the cheekbones, then go around to the temples to define the face, and then add a little under the jawline and chin.”

“My favorite product to contour with is the Fenty Beauty Match Stix Contour Skinstick. I like it because the product glides onto the face so effortlessly, and the easy-to-use stick format is perfect for a targeted application. The creamy formula is also super easy to blend and stays put without creasing or caking.” 

To blend you can use a shaping brush, concealer brush, or even your fingertips. “You can even contour the sides and tips of your nose, bring it into your hairline, and more. It’s truly like art– playing with light and shadows to create shapes,” she says. “Sometimes I will use a sponge because it’s less time-consuming than a brush, and it is easier to blend.”

“You should avoid using a shade that is too dark or warm for your natural skin tone. It’s also important to remember that less is more and to contour only as needed. You want to focus on a more natural lift and definition, rather than a harsh line. Blending is key! Also, avoid over contouring. Only contour the areas that need it. Not everyone has the same face shape, so this is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Just ask yourself what areas you want to define,” she says.

“For example, I have a small forehead, so I skip contouring this area. Another thing to note is that you should avoid using the same shade to contour your face and nose. I like to use a cooler, more subtle ‘bone tone.’” 


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