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Soft Sculpting Is the Most Natural Take on Contouring

It looks like we’re all craving a more natural beauty look, now that we’re so familiar with our naked faces. Skinimalism has emerged as one of 2021 biggest beauty trends. The jist? Taking greater care of our skin with considered skin care, then dialing back our makeup to let all that work shine through.

Going forward, we want to look barefaced, but better. Already we’ve seen a movement toward tinted moisturizer. Even self-confessed cake face Huda Kattan is on board. The latest line in her beauty empire, GloWish, combines the cosmetic side of Huda Beauty with the skin-caring expertise of Wishful. Its first product? The Multi-Dew Skin Tint, which ”doesn’t even look like you’re wearing makeup, it just looks like beautiful skin,” Kattan told us.

If we’re easing up on our foundation, it follows that we want to do the same with the rest of our makeup, so heavy, blatant-looking contouring has been given a similar makeover. It’s not that we no longer want enhanced cheekbones (in fact, “facial contouring” searches are up 141%, according to Bobbi Brown); it’s just that we don’t want it to look like we’ve outlined our cheekbones, nose, and jawline with obvious makeup.

To fill the place of traditional contouring, soft sculpting is taking off. It’s a subtler, more diffused take on the trend that should blend imperceptibly into skin so you look fresh-faced while still maintaining some definition.

“Applying a cream bronzer to your blending brush will seamlessly blend the product into your skin. This is a more subtle approach on sculpting for those everyday makeup looks,” explains Bobbi Brown pro artist Aimee Morrison.

For a glowy, bronzed look, use a cream bronzer or contour, if it’s in a stick format, and “take the brush to it instead of drawing lines on your face where you want to sculpt,” says Morrison. “By doing this, it will be quicker and easier to blend out. Starting high up on the cheekbones, blend upwards towards your hairline, up onto the temples and down across your jawline.” The secret to it looking seamless is to blend, then blend some more.

As for the tools, Morrison recommends using a deeper- and cooler-toned Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick with the Precise Buffing Brush. “This is great for dry to extra-dry skin types, because the Skin Foundation Stick has shea butter in and blends smoothly onto the skin,” she says.

We’d also recommend Patrick Ta’s Major Sculpt Crème Contour & Powder Bronzer Duo, which can be swept lightly across cheeks for a really natural finish or built up to look extra chiseled.

Fenty’s Match Stix Matte Skinsticks offer a beautiful depth of color and can be applied using a brush to blend in seamlessly, or striped on from the stick for more definition.

And Sleek Makeup’s Cream Contour Kit is a six-shade palette that allows you to custom-blend a color that’s perfect for you.

This story originally appeared on Glamour U.K. 


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