Can You Use Eyeshadow as a Contour?

Can You Use Eyeshadow as a Contour? (Explained)

The makeup universe is boundless. It’s filled with mind-bending possibilities, isn’t it? Well, you’ve stumbled upon another one today.

There are many makeup hacks trending on Instagram these days. One of them is using eyeshadow to contour the face. But is it worth the hype? Here’s a thing:

Yes, you can use eyeshadow as a contour. In fact, many makeup artists use eyeshadow to create a natural-looking contour. The key is to choose a shade that is two shades darker than your natural skin tone. You can also use cool-toned brown eyeshadow to create a more dramatic contour.

Curious about how to use eyeshadow to contour your face? Read on to know the easiest tricks!

Can You Use Eyeshadow as a Contour?

Can You Use Eyeshadow as a Contour?

The short answer is yes, you can use eyeshadow as a contour. Surprising? You bet. But there’s a bit more to it.

Let’s delve into the reasons both for and against this beauty hack.

Yes, You Can Use Eyeshadow as a Contour

Indeed, eyeshadow can be employed as a contour in certain circumstances, mainly due to these reasons:

  • Versatility: Eyeshadows come in a wide range of shades, making it possible to find a color that matches your skin tone and undertones.
  • Convenience: If you’re traveling or on the go, using eyeshadow as a contour can save space in your makeup bag.
  • Cost-Effective: If you’re experimenting with contouring or don’t contour often, using eyeshadow can save you from buying a product you won’t use frequently.
  • Creativity: Makeup is all about expressing yourself. If you feel like using eyeshadow as a contour, by all means, go for it!

No, You Cannot Use Eyeshadow as a Contour

On the other hand, there are valid reasons to avoid using eyeshadow as a contour:

  • Wrong Formulation: Eyeshadows are not formulated to be used on the entire face. Depending on your skin type and the eyeshadow’s ingredients, this can cause breakouts or other skin reactions.
  • Shimmer and Shine: Many eyeshadows have a shimmer finish, which can create an unnatural look when used as a contour.
  • Not the Ideal Shade: Even though eyeshadows come in a multitude of colors, finding the perfect shade and undertone for contouring can be challenging.
  • Blendability Issues: Some eyeshadows may not blend as well on larger parts of your face as dedicated contouring products do.

You see, you can’t just pick any eyeshadow and slather it on your cheeks. There are a few essential pointers to keep in mind.

Consider Your Skin Tone

Your skin tone sets the stage. It decides which eyeshadow shades will work best for contouring.

  • Fair Skin: Taupe or soft brown eyeshadows can do the trick.
  • Medium Skin: A shade of warm brown will flatter your complexion.
  • Dark Skin: Look for deep browns or even certain purples.
Skin ToneUndertoneContour Color
FairCoolTaupe, cool-toned brown
FairWarmPeach, warm-toned brown
MediumCoolTaupe, golden brown
MediumWarmCaramel, warm-toned brown
TanCoolGolden brown, warm-toned brown
TanWarmBronze, copper
OliveCoolOlive brown, taupe
OliveWarmBronze, copper
DarkCoolDeep brown, warm-toned brown
DarkWarmCocoa, deep brown

The Quality Matters

You want an eyeshadow that’s blendable. The smoother it blends, the more natural your contour will look. And who doesn’t want that?

Take a few extra moments to blend the eyeshadow carefully, ensuring it seamlessly merges with your foundation. The last thing you want is harsh lines or patchy areas that scream “I tried to contour with eyeshadow!”

The Finish

Matte is your friend here. Shimmering eyeshadow might look beautiful on your lids, but it could create an unnatural sheen when used for contouring. Stick with matte.

Consider it Your Last Resort

Using eyeshadow as a contour is a temporary solution for those rare moments when you’re in a pinch. For the best contouring results, investing in a proper contour product matched to your skin tone and face shape is always the way to go.

But hey, there’s always room for a little creativity and experimentation, so feel free to give it a try when the situation calls for it!

Pros and Cons of Using Eyeshadow as Contour

Indeed, using eyeshadow as a contour can be a convenient and quick beauty hack. But it comes with its own set of advantages and challenges. Let’s take a detailed look at them in the table below:

Pros of Using Eyeshadow as a ContourCons of Using Eyeshadow as a Contour
Convenient in a makeup emergencyEyeshadows may have shimmer or glitter, which can look unnatural
Can be a temporary solutionEyeshadows may have different textures and finishes than contour
Wide range of eyeshadow shades availableEyeshadows may have different textures and finishes than contours
Cost-effective if you already have eyeshadowsEyeshadows may not have the ideal undertones for contouring
Offers creativity and experimentationEyeshadows may not have the long-lasting or matte finish of contour

Remember, what works for others may not work for you, and vice versa. So, it’s crucial to test this beauty hack cautiously and observe how your skin reacts.

What Type of Eyeshadow Should I Use for Contouring?

Can You Use Eyeshadow as a Contour?

Choosing the right eyeshadow type for contouring depends on your skin type and personal preferences. Let’s discuss the four main types: powder, cream, gel, and liquid.

Powder Eyeshadow

This is the most common eyeshadow type, known for its ease of use and blend-ability. If you have oily skin, powder eyeshadow can provide a great matte finish for contouring. Remember, it’s crucial to select a shade that complements your skin tone.

Cream Eyeshadow

Cream eyeshadows offer a rich, pigmented look, and their creamy texture makes them blend seamlessly. However, for contouring purposes, they can be a bit tricky as they might not stay put as long. If you have dry skin, cream eyeshadows can add a bit of dewiness to your contour.

Gel Eyeshadow

Gel eyeshadows often come in pots and have a thick consistency. They can work for contouring as they are easy to blend, but they might not offer as wide a shade range as powders or creams.

Liquid Eyeshadow

These are long-lasting and highly pigmented but can be challenging to control during application. If you’re a makeup pro, you could try liquid eyeshadow for contouring, but be prepared for a bit of a learning curve.

Remember, whichever type you choose, it should be matte and suitable for your skin type.

Can I Use Shimmery Eyeshadow for Contouring?

Well, this is a tricky question. Generally, shimmery eyeshadow is not recommended for contouring.

Contouring aims to create depth and shadow on your face, mimicking a natural shadow’s appearance.

Shimmery eyeshadows, however, reflect light, which counters the effect you’re trying to achieve with contouring.

That being said, makeup is a form of self-expression. If you’re in the mood for some experimental and edgy look, by all means, go ahead and give that shimmer a shot.

Just keep in mind that it might not give you the natural, subtle contour that matte eyeshadows would provide.

How to Use Eyeshadow as a Contour: A Step-By-Step Guide!

Can You Use Eyeshadow as a Contour?

Who said eyeshadow is just for the eyes? I am here to show you how to use this versatile product to achieve a beautifully contoured face. So grab your favorite eyeshadow palette and let’s dive right in!

Before we begin, let’s quickly go over what contouring is all about. Contouring is a technique that involves using darker shades to create depth and definition on specific areas of the face. 

Usually, contouring products like bronzers and powders have been used for this purpose, but today we’re going to show you a creative alternative: eyeshadow!

Now, you might be wondering, why eyeshadow? Well, eyeshadow palettes often offer a wide variety of shades, including some that are perfect for contouring. 

Plus, the texture and blend-ability of eyeshadows can make them ideal for creating a natural-looking, seamless contour. Now, let’s move on to the step-by-step process. Here’s how you can use eyeshadow to contour like a pro!

  • Always begin with a clean, moisturized face. Apply your primer and foundation as usual to create an even base.
  • Consider your skin tone and pick a matte eyeshadow shade that will create a natural-looking shadow.
  • Use a small, angled brush for precision. The right tool can make all the difference in contouring.
  • Lightly dip your brush into the eyeshadow. It’s always easier to add more than to remove excess.
  • Start creating shadows on areas you’d like to contour – below your cheekbones, along the jawline, the sides of your nose, and your temples.
  • Use a blending brush or beauty sponge to smooth out any harsh lines. The goal is a natural, shadowed look, not distinct stripes.
  • Always double-check your contouring in natural light if possible. This will help ensure it looks natural and well-blended.

Things to Avoid When Using Eyeshadow as a Contour

When using eyeshadow as a contour, it’s essential to sidestep a few common pitfalls:

  • Wrong Shade: Using an eyeshadow that’s too dark, too light, or not the right undertone can result in an unnatural look. Always test shades before applying them as a contour.
  • Over-application: Less is more with contouring. You can always build up to the desired depth, but it’s challenging to tone down an overdone contour.
  • Bad Blending: Not blending well enough can leave you with visible stripes or blotches instead of a naturally contoured look.
  • Ignoring Skin Type: Different eyeshadow formulations work better for different skin types. If you have oily skin, a powder eyeshadow might work best. For dry skin, try a cream or liquid formulation.
  • Not Cleaning Brushes: Brushes used for contouring should be cleaned regularly. Dirty brushes can harbor bacteria, which can lead to breakouts.

Remember, the beauty of makeup lies in its versatility and the ability to experiment. So, if you want to use eyeshadow as a contour, give it a go! Just keep these tips in mind for the best possible outcome.

Tips and Tricks for Using Eyeshadow as a Contour

Can You Use Eyeshadow as a Contour?

When using eyeshadow as a contour, a few tips and tricks can make the process smoother and the outcome more pleasing:

  • Blend, Blend, Blend: The key to a natural-looking contour is well-blended makeup. Use a good blending brush or a beauty sponge to ensure there are no harsh lines.
  • Use the Right Tools: An angled brush can help with precision when applying your contour, while a fluffy brush works great for blending.
  • Build Up Gradually: Start with a small amount of product and build up as needed. It’s easier to add more than to remove too much.
  • Use a Light Hand: When applying eyeshadow as contour, it’s best to use a light hand. You can always add more, but removing excess can be tricky.
  • Set with Powder: If you have oily skin or want your contour to last longer, consider setting it with a translucent powder.

Remember, practice makes perfect. Don’t be discouraged if your first few tries aren’t perfect. With a little time and patience, you’ll be contouring like a pro with your eyeshadow!

What Are the Other Uses of Eyeshadow?

Eyeshadow is a makeup staple, but you can use it on more than just your eyes. Let’s explore some of the other innovative ways you can put your eyeshadow to work:

  • As a Lip Color: You can apply eyeshadow to your lips for an unexpected pop of color. Apply a lip balm or a bit of gloss and then pat on your chosen eyeshadow.
  • Eyeliner: Want eyeliner in a particular shade but can’t find one? No worries! Dampen an eyeliner brush, dip it into your eyeshadow, and voila, you have new eyeliner.
  • Brow Filler: Brown eyeshadows can double up as brow fillers. Choose a shade close to your natural eyebrow color and use a thin, angled brush to fill in sparse areas.
  • Highlighter: Shimmery, light eyeshadows can be used as highlighters. Swipe a bit on the high points of your cheeks, down your nose, and on your cupid’s bow for a subtle glow.
  • Covering Gray Hair: Got a few pesky grays popping up? Brown or black eyeshadow (depending on your hair color) can be used as a temporary fix. Apply it with a small brush directly onto the hair.
  • Blush: Pink or peach-toned eyeshadows can double up as blushes. Apply lightly to the apples of your cheeks for a soft flush of color.

Related: Can You Use Eyeshadow As A Blush? Here’s What Experts Say!

As you can see, eyeshadow is incredibly versatile. So, next time you’re in a pinch, or want to try something new, look no further than your eyeshadow palette!

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, whether or not you can use eyeshadow as a contour really depends on your needs, preferences, and skin type. If you decide to give it a try, make sure you choose the right shade and blend it out well. And as always, have fun with your makeup!


A cool-toned brown eyeshadow is the best choice for contour. This will help to create a natural-looking shadow that will define your cheekbones. You can also use a bronzer, but be sure to choose one that is not too orange or too dark.

Yes, you can use eyeshadow as highlighter. A shimmery or glittery eyeshadow will create a highlight that will add dimension to your face.

Yes, you can use eyeshadow as bronzer. However, be sure to choose a shade that is not too dark or too orange. A warm-toned brown eyeshadow will create a natural-looking bronzer.

You will need an angled brush and a blending brush. The angled brush will help you to apply the eyeshadow precisely, and the blending brush will help you to blend the eyeshadow seamlessly.

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