Surely everyone must already be tired of reading articles on contouring and highlighting. Videos and blog posts about them have clogged every social media platform for a full year and a half. Even though the end results always make us swoon, truth be told, nobody has time for that in real life. Most of us barely have 10 minutes to do our makeup in the morning, and even when we can afford to happily spend hours perfecting our cheekbones, it’s just not practical. Thankfully, contouring is just a leaf in a giant family tree of beauty techniques, and its low-maintenance sister lives right here in Asia.
Shading is basically an Asian term for contouring. It’s a technique that involves—quite literally—shading certain parts of the face to create dimension (albeit it can be done faster and more sloppily than an Instagram contour). If you use bronzer daily, you probably already do this, but it comes with slightly different product requirements.
Canmake Shading Powder in 01, P599, Landmark Makati
MAC Cosmetics Sculpt and Shape Powder, SM Mall of Asia
Instead of using bronzer that is usually warm-toned, products used for shading have gray or neutral undertones to make it a more realistic replacement for the natural shadows on your face. This is because in several Asian countries, makeup that can slim the face while maintaining a fair complexion is preferred. Bronzers, on the other hand, are mainly for adding color or warming up the complexion, a technique more popular in the West.
Shading products are also less pigmented, so you don’t have to break your arm blending out a harsh line and you’re less likely to slap on too much product at once. But other than that, you can apply them the same way you would your bronzer—with a fluffy brush that isn’t too big and swept lightly over the jawline, forehead, and the hollows of your cheekbones.
Here's a video to show you how it works:
Ultimately, shading is Asia’s contour-bronze hybrid that’s a breath of fresh air from all the glam we’re used to online. It’s also a blessing for those who want chiseled cheekbones in less than two minutes through minimal effort.
Can we get an amen?
(P.S. Still nothing quite like Kim K's signature kontouring for night outs, though. Just saying.)