Let’s Talk Contour
Open up YouTube and browse through makeup tutorials. You will find that everyone and their mother is contouring and highlighting while leaving many of us with SO MANY QUESTIONS... What on Earth is the point and how do we do this at home without looking well, RIDICULOUS?!!
What is contouring?
Contouring is a way of minimizing certain areas of the face using cosmetics. When you contour, you are using a shade of makeup no more than a shade or two darker than your given complexion to give the appearance of chiseled cheekbones, a more defined chin, or to minimize the size of your forehead or nose and the like. By using a strategic application of the darker shade we are creating a shadow and an illusion while drawing the area of the face back and the eye up. Think of when you look into a tunnel. The opening looks smaller towards the end but you know it is not. It appears smaller because there is less light and it's getting darker as it gets deeper. A few things to keep in mind when contouring:
Contouring is different from using a bronzer. Bronzers are used to add warmth and a glow to your face. They often have a shimmer effect which is going to reflect light and be counterproductive to your contouring efforts. What you choose to contour with should have a matte finish and the same undertone of your skin.
Your results do not need to be dramatic. When incorporating contour into your everyday makeup look, your goal is going to be to enhance, not change the shape of your face. However, you do want to identify your face shape and use that information to guide you along on where to apply your contouring and highlighting shades. My advice would be to start off with a light application. Take a good step away from your mirror and take note of the overall shape and affect you are creating. Then you can adjust accordingly.
What is highlighting?
Highlighting can be used in combination with contouring as they often complement each other. Instead of using a shade darker, you would choose a shade lighter. This will achieve a similar but opposite effect that was created by contouring. The lighter shade will draw the eye up and outward causing your features to appear fuller and more prominent. Think fullness of the cheeks, brow bone, bridge of the nose, inner corner of the eye, and so on. If you have aging or mature skin, less is going to be more. In places where you have fine lines (under the eye, around the mouth) you want to use very little product. Too much product is going to accentuate those areas by settling into those lines.
Many products marketed as highlighters are not the type of highlighter you are going to necessarily want to reach for with this type of application. “Highlighter” powders and liquids are often shimmery and while they have their own application, this is NOT it.
If you choose, you can forgo the highlighting step altogether and just let your foundation act as the highlighted portion of your face.
Another option would be to go ahead and use a few drops of liquid highlighter applied to the entire face underneath your foundation. I prefer this method as it gives a subtle glow from within effect and it cuts down on time.
Personally, I tend to go the powder route. I just don't have time for this on a regular basis.
Below are some great product options for powder contour palettes for beginners!
And here is a great tutorial for contouring with powders which would be a great place to start for beginners and its geared towards my over 30 ladies. I love how she casually uses terms like "eye bags" and "crows feet". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCYSLEsgvXA
As always, if you have questions EMAIL me! I'd love to help and let me know what you want to learn more about in future posts!