Contouring For Mature Skin – 8 Simple Steps To Get A Youthful Makeup Look

Contouring has been a popular makeup technique for years. With a few intentional swipes, you can define your cheekbones, sculpt your jawline, and softly correct and slim areas of your face. All in an effort to enhance your best features…you know, put your best face forward. You can easily create a chiseled look without any injections or procedures! But if you aren’t familiar with the ins and outs of contouring, it can seem a little intimidating. And knowing how to contour mature skin specifically comes with its own set of challenges. As we age, the texture, elasticity, collagen, and hydration levels of our skin change significantly. Today we’re sharing 8 easy steps on how to contour mature skin and some of the best products to use that won’t emphasize fine lines and wrinkles.

For more makeup tips for women with mature skin, make sure you check out this post next.

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Contouring For Mature Skin

OK, so what exactly is contouring? It’s basically the opposite of highlighting. Where highlighting adds light to bring out certain features on your face, contouring is used to darken specific areas in an effort to make them recede. It’s used to create a definition, more like a shadow effect. Contour can make certain areas look more defined and sculpted, sharper, and lifted! The key is knowing how and where to put it. Let’s talk about the areas you can contour to get the most impact and the steps to make it all happen.

Step 1: Hydrate and Prime!

Before you get started with contouring or really any makeup application, you want to make sure your skin is adequately hydrated. This is a must!  While there are dozens of moisturizers out there, finding one for your specific needs (oily, dry, combination, etc.) is key. Erin has dry skin and lives in Colorado at 9,000 + feet elevation…she really relies on this step. It’s like prepping the canvas for artwork.

You also want to prime your skin. Using a makeup primer will help your makeup go on easier, stay in place, and even out your skin tone. Erin likes to use a skin-brightening primer with some illumination to create a subtle youthful glow (but not sparkly). Sharing a few moisturizers and primers Erin is currently using and loving below. You can also read about Erin’s hydrating skin routine in this post if you need a bit more detail.

tiktok beauty trend | Contouring For Mature SkinApply Contour Before Foundation

Step 2: Apply Contour Before Foundation

Contrary to what you may have heard, Erin recommends applying your contour before your foundation! That might feel wrong, but…it looks SO good and creates a flawless and more natural finish. Just trust us!

Step 3: Contour Cheekbones

If you are new to contouring, you’ll probably see the most benefits from contouring your cheekbones. The look of defined cheekbones makes your face look slimmer and more youthful. Here’s what you do.

  • First, take two fingers and place them next to your lips. This is where you start your contour line.
  • Then, make a line that’s about 1.5” long at an angle moving upward toward the hollows of your cheek.
  • Then, make another slimmer contour line directly downward from the edge of the first contour line you made (the one close to your lip). You can see in the photo above it kind of looks like an upside-down “L”.
  • Blend it all together using a brush or your fingers.

Contour Lips | Contouring For Mature Skin

Step 4: Contour Lips

This next step is simple but genius. Especially if you want the look of fuller, more luscious lips! Using your contour stick or whatever contour powder you love (we’ll share some favorites in just a bit!), grab a small, thin brush and then outline your lips with the contour. Yep, it’s that easy! Shading around the lips with a darker line will create the illusion of fuller lips in a super subtle way. NOTE: In order to demo this technique Erin went a little heavier with the shading, but you only need a very subtle light line. This technique is great for mature women because the dark line can mask fine lines in addition to making lips look larger.

Step 5: Contour Jaw

To create the illusion of a sculpted jaw, you can add your contour product to the natural shadow just below your jawline and then blend upward. This will create some definition and that chiseled jaw effect!

Remember, less is more when it comes to contouring mature skin. The goal is to enhance your natural features subtly and create a more youthful appearance.

contour hack tiktoktiktok beauty hacks | Contouring For Mature Skin

Step 6: Contour Forehead

Next, you can contour your forehead. How do you know if you should contour this area of the face? If you have a large or long forehead and want it to appear shorter or more round and less oval, you can add contour detail at the top of your hairline or on the sides of your temple. As a general rule, if you can place 2-3 finger lengths between your eyebrows and hairline, you probably don’t need to contour your forehead. If you can place 4 or more finger lengths in that spot, then adding contour will visually “shorten” your forehead. Just make small lines along the hairline and blend from your temples inward. Start light, you can always build more color!

Step 7: Contour Nose

If you want to make your nose appear slimmer or smaller, it’s as simple as drawing 2 “eleven” lines down each side of the top of your nose. Then, you can blend the lines with a small brush.

Add Highlighter | Contouring For Mature Skin

Step 8: Add Highlighter

The final step after you’ve completed your contour to really maximize the sculpting benefits is to highlight the opposite areas. This is more of a bonus step! For example, if you opted to contour your nose, you can highlight the bridge of your nose. You want to highlight the areas that you want to appear lit from within. So after you sculpt and chisel (contour) you then brighten and lift (highlight).

Best Contour Makeup for Mature Skin

Best Contour Makeup for Mature Skin

Now that you know how to contour mature skin to enhance your beautiful features, what products should you use? There are a ton of options out there! Erin finds that cream or gel contour products are best for mature skin. In general, powders and some liquids are less forgiving, and they can sometimes settle into fine lines. So, if you are new to the contour game, we recommend starting with a cream or gel stick. Each of these are easy to apply, even easier to blend, are seriously fool-proof, and have lovely, non-sticky formulations.

Westman Atelier Face Trace Contour Stick

A clean and creamy contour stick that literally glides on your skin and adds subtle definition. Erin uses the shade Biscuit.

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Contour Wand

This is a lightweight, easy-to-blend, and buildable contour wand. The consistency is more of a sheer gel.

Fenty Beauty Contour Skinstick

This contour has a matte finish, comes in a large range of shades, and is a long-wear formula.

Charlotte Tisbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow Contour Duo

If you are someone with oily skin or you just tend to prefer a powder formula, this contour/highlight duo is a great two-in-one!

Mac Large Powder Brush

When it comes to application, you can use your fingertips or a brush to blend your contour. For cheekbones, forehead, and jawline you can use a larger fluffier brush. And then for your lips and nose, you can be more precise with a smaller brush. This is a full and dense brush that feels wonderful on the skin.

Mac Pencil Brush

This brush is designed for precision. You can use it for contouring your lips as we mentioned above but it’s also perfect for shading on the eyelid, in the eye crease, or along the lashline.

Mac Prep + Prime Highlighter Glow Pen

Best Highlight Makeup for Mature Skin

Now you could stop there with contouring, but…the contour/highlight couplet is where you’ll get that youthful makeup look double whammy. Either are found alone, but together, they are fabulous. When it comes to highlighting, here are some favorites…

Mac Prep + Prime Highlighter Glow Pen

Such an easy application! It gives skin a soft sheer wash of color.

Westman Atelier Lit Up Highlight Stick

A clean, translucent gel highlighter that adds radiance and a youthful glow.

Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Beauty Light Wand

A highlighting wand that illuminates the face with a soft and silky effect. Erin uses the Pillow Talk shade in Light/Medium. Find more tips on how to use it and Erin’s secrets to glowy skin in this post.

Merit Day Glow Dewy Highlighting Balm

This gives your skin a dewy glow (zero sparkle!) and it has a clean, lightweight, sheer, and moisturizing formulation.

Are you a contouring pro? If you have any tips to share, please leave us a note in the comments below.

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