I’ll be the first to admit it: I hate contouring. Nevermind that I think it makes my face look dirty or that I always end up with one line that’s a little too harsh no matter how much I blend it, but it’s also kind of a hassle. I’ve honestly given up on contouring altogether. Recently, however, I found myself at Milk Makeup’s NYC studio, and my ears perked up at the mention of a phrase I hadn’t heard before: soft sculpting.
“Soft sculpting is the everyday alternative to traditional contouring,” says Sara Wren, Director of Artistry at Milk Makeup. “Soft sculpting isn’t about changing the shape of your face, but enhancing your natural bone structure to complement your face shape,” Wren explains. This subtle take on contouring is best achieved by using creamy formulas that blend seamlessly into the skin.
To achieve this natural-looking effect, Wren likes using concealer rather than a traditional contour stick or bronzing powder. “Try using a cream concealer one to two shades deeper than the shade you wear, swipe it under [your] cheekbones from the corner of the eye upwards to the temple and along the jawline as a beginner’s soft sculpt,” she says. “I like to use the sponge or brush that I applied my base with to blend to make sure both shades blend together seamlessly.”
“Future Fluid is great for soft sculpting because it feels like second skin,” says Wren. "It’s full of hydrating ingredients that have a medium-full coverage and satin finish perfect for soft sculpting. Plus, it’s full of great skincare ingredients to help hydrate and your protect moisture barrier.”
Like I said, I hate contouring. But armed with Wren’s advice, I decided to try soft sculpting for myself—and I’m actually obsessed with the results.
Shop the rest of the products I used to soft sculpt my face: