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Contouring, where you use different shades of makeup to add dimension to your face, has been a controversial cosmetics buzzword for a while now, striking fear in the hearts of makeup amateurs and pros alike. A signature move of the Instagram generation, it can give your cheekbones an instant and flattering edge. It's a technique that's become synonymous with the Kardashian sisters, but applies equally to talents such as Michelle Pfeiffer, Diana Ross and Cher.

Contouring's mass appeal has crossed over into skin care, as brands introduce creams and serums said to sculpt and contour the face from within. Takayuki Ishimatsu, the director of laboratories at Japanese cosmetics and skin-care brand Clé de Peau Beauté, likens the skin to the seat cushion of a sofa. "If the cushion is loose and not tight enough, it will not result in a firm skin so in order to achieve that tightness, you need to improve what is underneath," he says.

Creams meant to sculpt and contour use ingredients like hyaluronic acid, which can hold one thousand times its weight in water, to help plump skin from within, resulting in a complexion that's resistant to the downward pull of gravity. Other ingredients that stimulate collagen and elastin production, the springs in the skin's metaphorical couch cushion, are included to help build support.

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With a little TLC and maybe some fun throw pillows, your couch will always look great.

What to try

Clé de Peau Beauté Firming Serum Supreme, $390 at Holt Renfrew, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and select independent boutiques.

This new serum addresses four dimensions of skin, including density. The Japanese brand's exclusive Illuminating Complex EX of Japanese pearl and a silk essence moisturize and retexturize, reducing the visible effects of environmental stress.

Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Lift and Firm Sculpting Gel, $95 at Hudson's Bay, Shoppers Drug Mart and London Drugs.

Use the bottle's application roller in an upward, lifting motion along jawline, neck and under cheekbones to massage in the gel after moisturizing. Its tripeptide-filled formula supports collagen production to help skin fight the effects of gravity.

Juice Beauty Signal Peptides Firming Serum, $140 at Murale.

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Using a combo of organic ingredients sourced from sunflowers and blueberries, this lightweight serum improves the appearance of skin firmness and elasticity.

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