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The Asian Guide to Conquer the Contour

The Asian Guide to Conquer the Contour


The signature ‘Instagram Makeup’ – consisting of over-dramatised eyebrows, a gallon of highlighter, cut-crease eyeshadow as well as chiseled contouring – may have stolen the limelight in the beauty world but this look is not suitable for everyone. Unlike the Kardashians, hacking up our jawbones to give the illusion of a more defined face may look too harsh on Asian face shapes.

Our fellow counterparts in the West typically have sharper facial features that are suitable for the full Instagram contour but some of us East-siders may not be as blessed with that same degree of sharpness. More often than not, we have slightly less defined angles that just don’t look good with all-out contouring. The difference lies in the bone structure of our face – applying shadows to the same hollow areas and our face may end up looking like we have an extreme case of unnatural sunburn. Yikes.


What do we do then? Instead of going in with the brush at the hollows of your cheeks, many East Asians prefer to go for the soft and subtle finish that enhances our natural face shape without overdoing the contour. By creating a shadow towards the edge of our face, we will be able to create that optical illusion of a smaller face.

Although we are very accustomed to the American style contouring that accentuates the facial structure, opting for a feathery gradient may just be your best bet if you’re not preparing for a runway show or a photoshoot. The birth of ‘Instagram Makeup’ has won the likes of many but this concept may look a little over the top for day-to-day makeup.


When it comes to contouring, most of us will think of one thing – bronzers. However, majority of Asians typically have a yellow undertone which wouldn’t look flattering with warm toned bronzers on top. Bronzers are for the sun-kissed, summer glow look but for facial contouring, it’s best for us to stick to cool toned products!

It’s time to lighten the strokes and create a soft and natural finish that’s fitting to our face shape. Here are 3 products that can give you the perfect shadowy outline that pulls our face back for that smaller definition!

  Too Cool For School’s Art Class by Rodin Contour Powder

Ssin Stealer X Unpretty Rapstar’s Behinder Ssin

Pony Effect’s Contouring Master Palette

Even though Ed Sheeran proclaimed in his song, ‘I’m in love with the shape of you‘, the truth is that we all want that smaller v-lined face. Go soft and conquer your contour for a natural daily look!


Esther Soh A cup of caramel macchiato and a bowl of acai and I'm good to go!


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