The world of contouring is a pretty bizarre place. Long gone are the days when cheek-chiselling was reserved purely for our, well, cheeks. There’s neck contouring, hair contouring, tooth contouring, not to mention draping, strobing and highlighting. Yep, we’re a generation obsessed with the c-word.
But recently, our love of contouring has reached new heights. Enter ‘tantouring’, the tan contouring sculpting technique that lasts for days and doesn’t require a scrap of makeup. Here’s the low-down…
What is tantouring?
Tantouring is tan contouring semi-permanently with fake tan, meaning the effects last a lot longer than bronzer and highlighter. Tan sculpting has long been used by professional spray tanners, particularly on celebs before red carpet appearances, to create ‘muscle definition’ and ‘sculpted/ slimmer limbs’. But now, savvy self-tanners are taking the trick to their faces.
How do I tantour?
- Prep your skin. As with self-tanning your body, exfoliation is key to an even finish. Apply a gentle exfoliating scrub to skin and rinse thoroughly. If your skin is dry, work in some moisturiser and wait until fully absorbed before continuing.
- Apply an all-over tan to face and neck. This should be lighter than the self-tan you’re going to use to contour. A tanning serum is a safe bet, to add an extra shot of moisture to skin.
- Use a darker, fast-working fake-tan mousse to contour. Pump a small amount onto a contour brush (best to use a different one than the one you use to contour with makeup), and sweep under your cheekbone to create shadow, just as you would with makeup. If you want to shape smaller areas, such as your nose, use an eyeshadow brush. For jawline, forehead and neck definition, we recommend using a beauty blender.
- Wait for the tan to develop and rinse. Depending on how deep you want your contour, leave the mousse on for 1-3 hours before rinsing thoroughly.
Which products should I use?
Micro Exfoliating Balm, £49.50, Oskia
This creamy cleanser is ideal to prep your skin for tantouring. When mixed with water, the balm melts to a milk, gently polishing skin and unclogging pores for a smooth base, even on sensitive skin.
Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA, £4.99, The Ordinary
If you’re going to apply a bit of moisturiser before tanning your face, the last thing you want is a greasy formula that could create product build-up. That’s why this lightweight, non-greasy cream is ideal for your tan touring prep.
Self Tanning Anti-Age Serum, £29, Vita Liberata
Plump and condition skin while covering in a natural-looking, sun-kissed glow. This provides a good base for your tantouring mousse.
1 Hour Dark Tan Mousse, £7.99, Cocoa Brown
This brand of fake tan, loved by Khloe Kardashian, has a pretty floral scent, and develops within 1-3 hours, depending on how deep you want your tan.
Contour Applicator Brush, £28, Sienna X
This new brush is dual-ended, making it perfect for sculpting cheekbones as well as smaller facial areas.
Beauty Blender, £17, Beautyblender
The only sponge we'd trust to seamlessly blend our fake tan.