How to Contour Dark Skin Tones: A Top Makeup Artist Spills


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Like all good beauty editors, our ears tend to perk up any time a makeup artist opens his or her mouth. Such was the case at a recent event where a makeup artist happened to mention that she uses a different contouring technique on her darker-skinned clients.

Ever the annoyingly curious intrepid beauty journalists and contouring aficionados, we wanted—no, needed—to know more. That’s why we reached out to none other than L’Oréal Paris celebrity makeup artist and all-around makeup guru Sir John, who counts Beyoncé, Joan Smalls, Gabrielle Union, and more as clients.

Sir John has long been an advocate of a subtler take on contouring—he prefers to call it sculpting. We asked him to reveal his contouring tips for anyone with darker skin, and, generous as can be, he was happy to oblige. Blending brushes ready? Keep scrolling for three major contouring tips for dark skin tones!