Mimicked and reinvented over the years with all sorts of creams, powders, colour correctors and Christ knows what else, the technique always remains the same: sculpt with shade and soften with light.
So whether you like to layer it on thick, or prefer a more subtle chiselling, MAC's Senior Artist Cher Webb has shared her top ten tips for nailing your contour...
1. Apply a base that gives you a radiant finish and evens out skin tone. Cover any blemishes and under eye shadows with a long wearing concealer. A flawless base will set your makeup up for success.
2. Conceal under your eyes with a shade that is two shades lighter than your skin tone to brighten. Also highlight under the brow shape, the upper cheekbones, nose panel and cupid's bow.
3. When choosing a colour to contour with go for products with shades that mimic natural shadows like taupe or soft grey/browns, rather than bronzers.
4. When applying your contour use a brush that has a small tip or an angle.
5. Carve and sculpt the cheek contours by starting from the middle of the ear and gently sweeping the shadow across the face - the size of your pinkie finger is usually about right. To avoid hard lines blend with small circular movements.
6. Contour the nose panel if you feel it's necessary and the forehead. For the forehead do the outer temples to create a light halo, this looks flattering when the hair is tied back and the forehead is completely exposed.
7. Contour under the jawline towards the ear to define and shape the face using the same brush technique.
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8. Highlight your cheekbones with a cream or powder depending on preference. After, press on to the cheekbones, nose panel and cupid's bow on top of the light concealer that's already applied.
9. Enhance your makeup further by applying a light blush to the apples of your cheeks and a little into the cheekbones. This will marry all shades together and will promote a natural flush to the cheek.
10. Finally dust over some pressed powder to the t-zone to complete your skin look.
Need some help choosing which kits is best for you? Have a look at our guide to the best contour kits available in the UK.