Contouring is a tricky makeup technique that, if done right, can make you look like you have supermodel cheekbones.
But get it wrong and you may look like you have dark lines all over your face.
First, you must keep in mind the following makeup rules:
- Highlighting will bring out or reveal
- Shading will conceal or “sink in”
Good contouring finds the perfect balance between highlighting and shading.
If you want a natural finish, you can use a foundation a few shades darker than your natural skin tone to contour prior to powdering your face.
You can also use powder that’s darker than your skin tone or a bronzer (as long as there is no red tone in it) as a finishing touch when you are done with your makeup.
How to contour
If done properly, you can contour every day as long as you can get it to look natural.
When contouring cheeks, the goal is to have the illusion of high cheekbones.
In order to do this, touch your face and find that area where your cheekbones end. When you smile, it is below the apples of your cheeks.
After you’ve applied your makeup, dip your contour brush (an angled brush similar to a blush brush) into powder that’s around 3 or 4 shades darker than your natural skin tone. Tap off any excess and sweep from mid ear down to mid eye following the natural contour of your cheekbones.
Blend well so you don’t have obvious lines.
On the actual cheekbone, apply a lighter-hued powder from mid-ear to the outer corners of your eyes.
Blend the shading powder and highlighter into each other to get a natural finish.
The most common frustration among Filipinos is that not too many of us have a natural bridge.
If you want to create the illusion of a bridge, take a small eye shadow brush. With the lightest brown shadow you can find, lightly draw two lines from the inner corners of your eyes all the way down and apply a highlighter in the middle of those two lines.
Blend thoroughly because you don’t want to see any lines or streaks.
For people with prominent jaws who want to hide it a little bit, shade the area from your jaw to your cheekbones.
Highlight your cheekbones with a powder that is lighter than your skin.
Don’t use any brown with red tones in it and remember to blend, blend, blend! The worst is seeing obvious lines on your face.
When you can no longer see the division between light and dark, you’re done.
Have a fashion or beauty question for Erica? Drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Erica Paredes has been working in the publishing industry for almost a decade as a fashion and beauty editor, newspaper columnist, stylist and make-up artist. Nowadays she juggles her time between food and fashion, beauty and travel plus mommy duties to her 8 year old daughter.
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