There are few—if any?—beauty techniques that conjure ire quite like contouring. For makeup minimalists, it’s something of a dirty word. But for pros and celebrities, contouring is a secret weapon, a way to enhance what a face already has going for it without using a ton of bright color. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there: Contrary to popular belief, when contouring is done correctly, it just emphasizes the curves of your natural bone structure, rather than creating new shapes on your face (you know the look we’re talking about). Getting it right is not easy, but it’s also not impossible: And if the self-proclaimed gurus of YouTube can figure it out, surely we can too.
Since we’re not exactly going to a red-carpet event, though, we don’t need our contours to be super-dramatic. So, we asked makeup artist Janessa Paré to show us her favorite secrets for a contoured face that can be worn in the daylight—meaning as subtle-yet-effective as possible.
Click through to see how to do a daytime contour around your eyes, cheekbones, and your whole face.
Hair and makeup by Janessa Paré.