Contouring: Not Just For Your Face

Bahar Etminan

Founder and Editor of

Inspired by the universal makeup trend that has taken the beauty world by storm, hair contouring is now revolutionising the use of hair colour.

What is hair contouring?

Hair contouring is a colouring technique using a combination of free hand application highlighting with tailored positioning, targeting areas that create structure and accentuate features to the face shape. By playing with light and shadow, hair contouring has the ability to completely enhance your best features.

Naturally, we were there. RESCU put hair contouring to the test, read below to find out the ins and outs of the global fad and new age beauty trend with Creative Director of Murphy Gozzard, Brett Albury.


RESCU: What is facial contouring in hair?

Brett Albury: It’s about applying principles of contouring to makeup into hair so when its with makeup it applying depth into areas of your face which you try to recede, diminish or draw attention away from or adding lightness areas which you want to draw attention to.

It’s the same with hair, we look at a face shape, and there are seven different face shapes for contouring. There are three techniques that you adhere to, whether you’re round, square or oblong, oval, rectangle or a heart, you apply lightness according to the areas that you want to try to fill out.

What we do is, if you put your index fingers in the corners of your forehead and the pinky around the jawline that’s how you can work out the ratio of someone’s face.

Your cheekbones are really common and standout further from where my fingers are. This indicates that you’re a diamond shape. Which means what we want to do there is draw attention to your cheekbones which are so gorgeous. The lightness through the sides, keep it darker through to the top to draw attention to that. A lot of people know this intrinsically but don’t know why.

So it’s great for people who have never been really happy with their colour and are now able to become educated on it.

Sometimes it’s the smallest tweaking of colour but it just makes it more sophisticated and suits you more.

RESCU: So could you tell me about the three principles for contouring to shape the face?

Brett Albury: If we’re dealing with a square or round shape what we want to do is try to elongate it. So, make the face shape look as oval as possible cause its been the most perfect face shape for colouring.

You want to put lightness on the top and the ends, and darkness or depth on the sides to draw the face in and that’ll give the illusion of elongation.

If you’ve got somebody who has a heart or triangular face shape, they’re much broader around the temples and forehead and pointier around the chin. So you want to put depth through the top to draw the forehead down, but lightness around the jawline to bring that out with width.

If you have someone who has a diamond or long shaped face, it’s quite elongated already to start with. You want to keep the top dark to bring that down and make the face look a little bit shorter and add a lot of lightness throughout the sides.



RESCU Road Test:

We absolutely loved the subtle and instantly uplifting results of this colour treatment. Rather than the bold and now fairly ubiquitous look of ballyage, hair contouring is a very precise and delicate application of colour. The technique can be applied using a variety of L’Oreal Professionel Colour products such as INOA or Majirel, depending on the coverage required and your base colour. Part of this unique technique is an in depth consultation and diagnosis by a trained L’Oreal Professionel expert. The results are flattering, bespoke and beautiful.


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