Contouring requires the eye of an expert colorist. First, they will identify your unique face shape and bone structure by brushing hair back behind the ears to expose the full outline of your face (see Contour Obsessed, Part 3).
The benchmark that is most commonly used is the “oval” shape due to its well-balanced and symmetrical proportions. So, the next step is for your colorist to decode where the darker and lighter shades need to be positioned around your face in order to re-sculpt the appearance and achieve a more “oval “shape. To keep the effect looking natural and subtle, the color shades chosen should not exceed two shades above or below your natural hair color and tones should be selected to compliment your skin. The different color shades and tones are then applied either free hand for a more subtle finish, or highlighted separately for more defined pieces. This combination allows the colorist to tailor the application to suit you.
To elongate a round or square face, your colorist will lighten the top of the hair and the ends using a free-hand technique. Shadow and depth is created at the sides of the face using a darker shade. The lightness at the top of the head and shading around the sides will make the face shape appear slimmer and more contoured.
To widen the facial features of these face shapes, your colorist will keep the roots and the underneath of the hair dark to create shadow at the top of the head and around the jawline. A single highlight around the face is used to frame it and lighter pieces are weaved in front of the ears with an ombre effect to make an elongated face shape appear more oval.
In order to soften the shape of the chin without widening the forehead, your colorist will apply a darker color to the top of the head and crown areas, and will apply lighter pieces freehand through the mid lengths and ends to lighten under the jawline. The section around the hairline is also lightened to highlight the face. Ombre & Sombré techniques are well suited to this face shape.
Credit information and images: L'Oreal Professionnel UK
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