Makeup Tutorial: Cooking on your contour and combatting fine under eye lines

The savvy makeup artist trick in this post has been around for quite some time, but is not massively recognised. We’ve all been there where our under eye concealer has either slipped off throughout the day or settled into any fine lines that we might have, and we all know how infuriating that can be, right? From fine lines to enlarged pores, there’s always something threatening to run our desired flawless finish. Using today’s tip can help to keep your concealer in place all day and can also sharpen up your contouring for that magazine cover finish along with giving a gorgeous, smooth finish to your skin that will last longer.

‘Cooking’ on the makeup has been a technique used by drag artists for years and years and is an amazing little trick to really sharpen up your lines and get a strong finish. I find inspiration from a lot of drag artists who are the absolute queens of contouring – they have an abundance of lessons for us to learn from their experience of becoming experts in reshaping their faces ready for their transformations.


For this tutorial, you’ll need: Your regular foundation, a lighter cream/liquid concealer, a darker cream/liquid contour colour (use a darker foundation or even a cream eyeshadow), a loose setting powder in a light colour (must be loose, finely milled powder, a pressed powder will not work) and your regular bronzing powder if required. For my own face, I used the following:

– MAC Studio Fix Foundation in NC15

– Make Up For Ever foundation in Ivory (for the highlight) and Mat Beige (for the contour)

– Sleek Face Form Contour Palette in Light

-Estée Lauder Double Wear Mineral Rich Loose Powder in 1.0 Intensity

Here’s what you need to do, step by step:

Step 1
Apply your regular foundation and add your lighter concealer in the areas you’d like to highlight. I put Make Up For Ever foundation in Ivory under my eye area in a triangle shape, down the bride of my nose, over my cupid’s bow, and on the centre of my forehead and chin. As soon as you’ve applied the concealer, blend it in gently with a damp beauty blender. I used my Real Techniques Miracle Complexion sponge but and damp sponge applicator will work.

Step 2 
Add your contour colour and blend in gently with your damp beauty blender as before.

Step 3
Apply your concealer colour again (if needed – I wanted to add to the hightlight) over the top and underneath your contouring and pat in gently. I also added a tiny bit more under my eyes.



Step 4
Take your loose powder and pat it onto the areas you’ve added concealer where you’d like to seal and highlight your makeup. If you have darker skin than me, Banana Powder will work beautifully here. It’s a little too yellow for my skin tone which is why I opt for a more Ivory finish.

This is where we get the really sharp line of the contour so make sure you keep the edges as neat as possible. You need to pat a very generous amount of powder onto the area so it’s layered on pretty thickly. Chill out with your Santa beard for a few minutes while you allow the powder to do its thing and settle into the skin. I don’t recommend leaving the house at this stage. Not even to greet the postman.

Step 5 
Take a soft brush and very gently take off the layers of powder in long stroking motions.

Step 6
Ta-da! Your cooking is complete! Smooth over as needed or add your regular bronzing/contouring powder to add more depth as required.

The great thing about using this method is that the makeup can look as lovely and natural as you like, or as heavy and glamorous as you like. I prefer my contour to be more blended and softer for the day time so I gently diffused mine with some extra powder.

© This post is copyright of Rachael Divers 2015.

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