We all have features we want to highlight and some we want to be less prominent and this is exactly what a little contouring will give you! Contouring is becoming more and more popular not only with celebrities but in our everyday routine. I know for some of you it might seem like an almost impossible look to achieve but its actually a lot easier than it looks, all you need is the right tools and a little practice. Today I’m going to tell you some tricks and products I use to get this coveted look.
First things first, the applying tools. A great brush and a beauty blender (make up sponge) are a girls best friend. Your best bet is an angled brush. My favorite is the Sigma Large Angled Contour Brush #F40. If you’re looking for a less expensive option Real Techniques Contour Brush will also work! When looking for a beauty blender, I like the original tear drop shape but any shape will do. Last but not least you will need a stippling brush to blend everything to perfection and get that flawless look. I use a MAC large stippling brush #187. Again, if you’re looking for a less expensive version, Sonia Kashuk has great brush options.
Now, let’s move on to the products you need and how you need to apply them!
Unlike contouring, highlighting calls for a liquid product with good color pay off and it should be a shade lighter than your natural skin color. My favorite is Mac Pro Longwear concealer mix with a Mac highlighter pen in the shade “Light boost” (this pen makes blending a lot easier!). Another option for a fraction of the price is Maybelline instant age renewal concealer. The point of highlighting is to brighten up those dark places on your face (like the dark circles under your eyes) and also draw attention to your favorite features. The common places to highlight are under your eyes and along the top of your cheek bones, the bridge of your nose and between your eyebrows, the center of your forehead, the middle of your chin and along your Cupid’s bow to create the illusion of fuller more defined lips. Use your finger to apply the highlighting product of your choice and then use your Beauty Blender to blend it in. Here’s the trick to get this step right, First you want to wet your beauty blender and squeeze all the excess water out, it must be damp in order to work effectively. Next you want to tap it on your highlighted areas instead of rubbing it in. This will make the product stick to your skin in the wanted area instead of spreading it all over. In order to set the product and prevent it from creasing under your eyes or wearing off I recommend you use some type of powder of similar color over it. I use anything from translucent powder to powder foundation. My two favorites are Makeup For Ever HD powder or the color “Banana” on the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit.
For a more simple everyday contouring you can use a powder base product like a bronzer. Right now I am loving Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit which includes colors to both highlight and contour. If you are looking for a more glam forward contour you can use a liquid product like stick foundation, liquid foundation or concealer. For this I like to use Mac mineralize concealer or Bobby Brown Stick Foundation.
By contouring, you will be giving dimension and depth to parts of your face. The most common places to contour are the hollow of your cheek bones, along your hairline, on the sides and the bridge of your nose and the base of your jawline. These are the areas where you will be applying your bronzer or whatever product you choose to use with your angled brush. However, if you use a liquid product you will want to use your Beauty Blender to blend it out just like your highlighter. Remember the key to contouring is to stay within the areas you want to give depth to, so try not to over do it!
Ok, so there you have it! Your highlighting and contouring is done. Now, to finish off this whole look and make your face look flawless, you want to blend everything out in order to get rid of any harsh lines or product build up that you may have missed. This is where your stippling brush comes in! Using your brush, buff lightly in a circular motion all around your face. Be careful how hard you press and remember we are trying to blend everything together not wipe it all off!
Just a reminder, always do your makeup in good lighting (natural light is your best option) and remember practice makes perfect!
Originally Published: Mar 29, 2015
New York Style Guide