September 10, 2012

Difference Maker: Contouring

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I've been getting a lot of requests for a contouring demo so here we go!


1.  #116 Brush M.A.C. - This tapered face brush is perfect for creating a natural looking contour without creating a line along your face.  The shape also lends itself to highlighting.

2.  E.L.F. Under Eye Concealer & Highlighter - This stuff is the JAM.  Use it alone for minor coverage, or layer it fuller coverage concealer to create a highlight.  The consistency is similar to that of Touche Eclat by YSL, but it's $3 vs $43.

3.  NYX Highlight/Contour Poweder - Choosing a contour shade can be tricky.  Take the guess work out of it by getting a contour/highlight set.  Generally they will come in light, medium, and dark which should make choosing easy.  I use a color called "Shadowy" by MAC.  It's a contouring blush.  It's REALLY DARK, but I use a light hand.  Contours should also be cooler toned, so if you are using something you already own, (i.e. eyeshadow or bronzer)  try and use something taupe-y and matte.

4. Nars Blush in Desire - You can use whatever your fave blush is.  I like to go for something with a bit of a pop when I really want my cheeks to be the focus. This is my new fave!

The Contour
1.  Start out by using your fingers to feel where your natural cheekbone hollows out.  Follow the line all the way back to your hair line - THAT is where you want to start your contour.

2. Roll your brush into your contour color.  I like to take quite a bit off at first and gradually build the contour

3. Sweep your brush from your hairline to just before the apple of your cheek starts - your contour should not enter the center of your face. 

4.  Use your wrist to make a "C" like motion.  A rounder stroke will be a softer, more feminine shape.  For a stronger "Grace Jones" contour - make your line a little straighter.

5. Press the brush into your temples with the remaining product on your brush.  This will create a hallowed out illusion that will make your cheekbones look pronounced.

The Highlight

<--Best concealer brush on the planet

1.  Make 3 dots under your eye (inner, middle, outer) with the wand of the concealer end.

2. Run a narrow line of concealer end down the bridge of your nose.  Begin between your eyebrows and end where your nostrils start.  You won't need much!

3. Blend under eye highlight down and outward and then up into  - along the high points of your cheekbone.  

4. Blend the highlight on your nose in a straight line following the bridge of your nose.  Be careful not to let it spread outward or it will give the illusion that your nose is wider than it actually is.

5.  I like to use whatever is left on the brush to highlight my brow bone.  You could even carry your under eye highlight up into the brow-bone for a more noticeably bright look.

Before & After

The Blush

To Keep from looking completely gaunt, sweep a bright blush onto the apples of your cheeks.  This will marry the highlight and contour together as well as keep things fresh and sweet looking!

Get good enough at the contour/highlight game and you'll be on Drag Race in no time!