Bren Lee
March 02, 2016 5:41 pm

Contouring: whether you love it or hate it, it’s clearly here to stay. What started as a way to add definition to your face has morphed into a craze, and contouring has become something of an art form. Some of us have are still trying to master it, while some of us are looking for ways to elevate our skills to the next level.

What is that next level? Tantouring. It’s contouring with a self-tanner, leaving behind semi-permanent results that can last up to a week. Basically, instead of using bronzer or a deep shade of foundation to contour, both of which easily come off with water or makeup remover, you use self-tanner.

Let us be clear: this is not a move for newbies. Because the results can last for several days, if you mess up or go overboard, you have to live with it for a few days. However, if you have your contouring skills on lock or you’re feeling experimental, it’s a pretty cool trick to try. The self-tanner is applied in the same places you would usually contour – your forehead, nose, the hollows of your cheeks, under the jawline, and anywhere else you want the illusion of shadows on your face.

You can use a gradual self-tanner, which darkens over a few days, or an instant one, which gives you results within hours. You can also combine the two. for really natural-looking results as well. Be sure to use a tanner you’re familiar with. Before applying to your face, do a swatch test on an insconpicous area, like your inner arm, to see how the color develops on you. Don’t experiment with a new brand on your face, because if it ends up too dark or too orange for your skintone, you won’t be able to fix it right away. We’re not trying to scare you away from trying tantouring, we just want you to be sure that you’re aware of the ways this can easily go wrong. We’ve all seen contour gone wrong, and we don’t wish that on anyone.

However, when it goes right, it’s awesome – and imagine wearing that awesomeness for a few days. You’ll wake up looking sunkissed and defined, and it takes a lot of work out of your daily makeup routine. For a step-by-step on the process, you can visit Refinery29 to see the results and technique one writer used. It can seem a little overwhelming, and if you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, you can actually visit most spray tan salons and have them apply it for you.

If you do take the time to tantour, be sure to update your skincare routine. Any exfoliating agents or products with alpha hydroxy acids will break down the tanning pigment much more quickly, which totally voids any permanency of this technique.

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