How-To: Contour Your Face With Too-Dark Foundation

Use your drugstore mishap as an excuse to experiment with contouring. Because I can't be the only one who's too lazy to return things.
Publish date:
May 18, 2011
shoppables, foundation, makeup, contouring

Have you ever bought a foundation only to get home and find it's too dark? As a super-pale girl, this happens to me pretty often. I was recently sent a way-too-dark shade of tinted moisturizer. At first I was like, "This will never work for me unless I spend 24 hours in a tanning bed!" but then I realized it could have a use for me and resolved not to let it go to waste. I decided to use it as a contouring cream/bronzer.

Yeah, by using just a little bit mixed with my regular moisturizer, I could use the darker tint to sculpt my cheekbones (they are simply the absolute opposite of the cut-glass ones Keira Knightley was born with, sigh), thin out my broken-when-I-was-a-kid nose, and add a little summer glow to my face.

I put a bit of the stuff on my finger and blended it into my cheekbones and along the edge of my face, up toward my temples. I also blended it along the sides of my nose and out toward my cheeks. I then used a highlighter cream above my cheekbones and down the bridge of my nose to contrast the darkness and brighten everything up. Ta-da, a more sculpted looking face that was super-easy to do.

So next time you see some foundation on sale and they don't have your shade? Pick up one a few tones darker, mix it with some moisturizer, and contour your face.

Products used:Stila Sheer Color SPF 20 Tinted Moisturizer ($34, to contour and Benefit High Beam to highlight ($24,