Bridal Contouring Vs Instagram Contouring

Looking after 500 brides a year for Wedding makeup, one of most common requests we get is Brides asking for noses to be slimmer, cheekbones higher, lips fuller and faces chiselled. Is your daily scroll leaving you Insta-impressed or Insta-depressed?

Every Bride wants to look and feel their best on their Wedding day but with the presence of Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook, the pressure to look picture perfect creeps in.

While social media definitely updates us all on the latest products, trends and techniques, as makeup artists, we can tell you that Insta-contoured looks don't necessarily translate into wearable day looks outside of the camera lense. How then do we approach Bridal contouring?

For a Wedding day, heavy, Insta-contouring is visible and unrealistic. We prefer embellishing a bride's natural beauty - embracing her individuality & creating a makeup look that will carry a Bride through her whole Wedding day and night, not just her selfie.

The best contouring, especially in a Bridal context, starts beyond the makeup brush. Prepping the skin, coupled with a light but well-blended swipe of contour powder & a touch of blush, is key. Whether you like it or not, skin speaks louder than makeup, so if you look after your skin using the best of skincare products and techniques (stay tuned for an upcoming post on pre-wedding skincare!), you're already there. This includes drinking a LOT of water and the end result - hydrated, glowy skin (not to mention clear eyes) - is ultra worth it.  At The Powder Room, our brides receive complimentary vouchers to Ella Bache as well as Laser Clinics Australia, where you can book into for all kinds of skin treatments and indulgences:) 

As the above and below two images show, Bridal contouring should constitute a natural, healthy look which, in comparison to Insta-contouring, allows you to emphasise your other natural features, like on-point brows, lips & lashes. This evokes a holistic harmony in a look - not just in the face itself, but between the face and body. You will look naturally glamorous & just that little bit more polished - perfect for a Bride. 

An Insta-contoured look typically dominates or competes with other facial features & evokes a sense of disharmony, often drawing attention to actual makeup itself, rather than the overall beauty of the look. What some Brides may not realise is that while this look can appear acceptable on Instagram & through the camera lense, it often does not translate to a wearable or long-lasting Wedding look - it will often, in reality, look quite fake & like you've piled on too much makeup (the LAST thing a Bride wants). Bridal contouring allows you the best of both, where you will look naturally beautiful in reality as well as photos.

Strategic lighting, camera techniques, the use of Photoshop, filters and apps (not to mention marketing agents) are all realities behind many Instagram photos, so do remember this when scrolling through those #contouring pics. 

Contouring? It can be your best friend, or your worst nightmare if you get it wrong:

What to consider when thinking about contouring…

♥ If you have freckles, too much makeup can make freckles look muddy.  Allow foundation to be more translucent to show off your freckles and keep the contouring towards the sides of your fore head, temples and cheeks.  Applying a highlighter down the centre of the nose can work for luminosity.

♥ Your artist should choose the right contouring products for your skin type e.g. if you have an oiler skin type, cream illuminators may not be the best choice.

♥ Not everyone can have the same level of contour.  If you have pale skin then the contour must be lighter.

♥ Each face shape is different so contouring will be slightly different on everybody

♥ Ensure your skin is in optimum condition. In addition to a healthy, balanced diet and plenty of water, you may like to consider skin treatments such as regular facials, peels or dermal rolling (dermal rolling can replenish collagen). Skin texture and plumpness is the best foundation for any makeup look.

♥ Contouring should be a subtle illusion that shadows the face, not something that separates your face from your body or draws too much attention.

“Concealing, restructuring, contouring - these are words that we now, as makeup artists, are determined to take out of the makeup repertoire” says makeup artist Espinet, “really it’s enhancing or embellishing. Let nature guide you.”