Contouring is by far the make-up trend of the decade and it seems that everyone is using this technique to accentuate their cheekbones and sculpt their faces, from Instagram models to red carpet celebrities and even regular girls. There are so many tutorials out there that anyone can learn to contour, but there is one category for which contouring is scarier than fun: girls with light to pale skin. The main issue that pale girls experience when trying face makeup contouring is that they can’t seem to get a natural effect and the lines are too harsh and somewhat off. Here are some tips to contour your cheekbones even if you have alabaster skin.

Pick the perfect contour shade

It all starts with choosing perfect contour color to match your skin. You might want to steer off drugstore products, because most affordable brands have a limited shade range and you can only find very brown or reddish contours. Instead, invest in a higher end contour kit created specifically for pale skin, preferably one with more neutral, ashy tones that create a subtle shadow when applied, not a harsh line. Cream contour is also a great idea, because it blends more easily into the skin and doesn’t just sit on top of it.

Use a light hand

Once you’ve found the perfect shade, learn to apply it based on your face shape. Unfortunately, pale skin and dramatic contour don’t go well together, so you’ll have to keep things subtle. Lightly swirl the brush through the contour, then dab off excess product on the side of your hand. Start with a small line right underneath the cheekbones and then blend that thoroughly into the skin. If the contour product is pigmented enough, you won’t need to go back and reapply. Also, make sure you don’t apply contour on a very large area. Trace an imaginary line from your pupil down your cheek: that is where the contour line should stop. If you are also using blusher and highlight, try not to exaggerate. The contour is the center of interest, so you want the rest of the make-up to match it, not overpower it. Besides, using huge quantities of contour, bronzer, highlight and blusher is good for photo sessions and red carpet photography, not real life.

Invest in contour brushes

Avoid the brushes that contours come with and buy a separate contour brush with soft bristles. Small brushes create a thin, precise line, so you might want to avoid those if you want to get a natural effect. Do not use large powder or bronzer brush, because your face will look dirty instead of chiseled. Another option is to use a damp beauty blender instead of a brush, because it allows the product to sync into your skin, creating a subtle and natural shadow. The end goal is to look like you have naturally contoured cheeks, not a harsh streak of color across the face.