So what if we don't have chiseled cheekbones, smaller jawlines and straighter nose? That's perfectly okay! There's always contouring and highlight to save us for days we feel bloated and puffy. It's one of the things I love about makeup. The quick fix it does for us. This favorite makeup technique is basically playing with light and shade around our face. When we do our makeup, apply our foundation, our faces tend to become flat, losing it's dimension. Contour and highlight brings it back.
Contouring is receding or darkening the parts of the face that needs to be brought backward.
Parts to contour:
- Hallows of your cheeks
- Forehead (near the hairline)
- Nose line (darken the edges, not the tip)
- Start off with darkening the hallows of your cheeks, forming a soft V-shape from the edge of your ears down to the hallows of your cheeks. It helps if you know your face shape to properly guide you on where to apply the V-shape. Universally, though, doing the fish face helps with determining the hallows of your cheeks.
- On to the jawline, brush down the powder from the bottom of your ears down to your chin. And in downward feather strokes, brush the product down to your neck, thicker at first and slowly diminishing at the edge near the chin.
- Recede the temples by brushing the temples.
- If you have a high forehead, you can sweep along the hairline to reduce the size a bit.
Highlight is bringing light back to the parts of the face that needs to be brought forward.
Parts to highlight:
- Highest planes of your cheeks (below your under eye and above your cheeks)
- T-Zone (Middle part of your forehead, above the brow, and bridge of the nose)
- Cupid's bow (the dent part in between your upper lip)
- Find the highest planes of your face and slightly run your highlight powder on it.
- Proceed to highlight the T-zone especially if your have a narrow face shape
- For plumper looking lips, apply a small amount on your cupid's bow.
- A contour powder that is a shade or two darker than your skin tone or foundation you are using. I suggest to stick to matte formulation for a more natural contour. Get The Body Shop Honey Bronze Matte Bronzer in either 03 or 04, VMV Tarte-a-Tan Bronzing Powder, Sleek Contour Kit, Happy Skin Feeling Sculptacular or Benefit Hoola Bronzing Powder. I also like MAC Refined Golden and Ellana City Roast Mineral Bronzer.
- A highlight powder that is a shade or two lighter than your skin tone or foundation you are using. Pearlized texture and matte formulations are the best choices for highlighting as it reflects light better. Some of my favorites are Laura Mercier Hihglight-01, Happy Skin Feeling Scupltactular, Sleek Contour Kit. I also often use a foundation powder that's lighter than my skintone if I want a matte finish
- For brushes, you just need a semi-dense packed brush like MAC Small Contour 109 or an angled blush brush like Happy Skin's Blush Brush.
- Less is more. Don't go overzealous with that powder brush. Take only a little and start your way with bare minimum and add more if needed.
- Start with contour first as it gives you that map you need on where to highlight.
- Practice! Practice! Practice! And soon you'll be contouring and highlighting in the dark! :)
Not that I encourage you to contour and highlight everyday. Not at all. Let's embrace our true beauty, shall we? But I hope you'll make use of this technique for special occasions or just on those days you need a bit of cheering up. :)
Should you have any questions, feel free to ask away! :)