Highlighting & Contouring
Today, I answer my first great reader question...How the heck do you highlight and contour your face, and what are my favorite products to use to do it? Great question! Highlighting and contouring is for sure a challenging topic that many women want to know more about to achieve that beautiful, sculpted look. However, with a little practice and knowledge of your bone structure, you will find it is pretty simple. I will start with a little step by step how to, then get into products to use.
1. Take a minute to really study and look at your face in the mirror. Notice the spots where light hits it and reflects, and notice the spots where the light is not so prominent and recedes. Now take your hand in a fist, and turn it so the pinky side of your fist faces you. Gently, (I don't want anyone punching themselves in the face!) place the fist on your cheek bone till you find it, and move it slightly underneath so you feel the hollow of your cheek. You found it! Now this is where you want to contour. You will also find other spots on your face that recede, such as the crease above your eye lid, jaw line, temples, the space under your lip above your chin, and the sides of your nose.
2. The key to a natural looking contour is to make it soft, yet defined. I will just talk about cheek contouring in this post to keep it simple. Now that you have found the hollow of your cheek, you should be able to better understand where the contour should be placed. A great starting point is the tragus, better known as that little part of skin in the center of your ear that sticks out. Place your brush at the hairline by your tragus and brush forward along the hollow of your cheek and stop where the outer corner of your eyebrow and eye stop. That is how far forward you want to go. You can go a tiny bit further to blend the edge out, but any further and it starts to look super fake. Now brush back and fouth in a fluid motion to get a nice, even blend of color in your contour. There! You did it!
3. Now on to highlighting. Remember the parts of your face that the light bounced off from? Those are your highlight spots. Some examples are your under eye area, the bridge of your nose, forehead, tip of the chin, the "C" shape above your cheek bone to around the eyebrow, and the cupid's bow above your upper lip. We will just talk about the under eye area and the "C" shape.
4. Under eye concealing can be tricky and you really have to pay attention to your own individual skin type and coloring under there. Some people can be a darker, more purple tone under the eye, where others may have more red tones, and so on and so fouth. Some people may be super dry and dehydrated under the eyes, and others may not have that problem at all. Finding the right concealer and/or corrector takes paying attention to YOUR individual under eye area. I will use myself as an example in this case, but that does not mean you are the same :) I am pretty dark and semi dry under the eyes. I will use La Mer's eye cream first then M.A.C's pro longwear concealer and Bobbi Brown's corrector mixed together to get my perfect under eye hue. Take your ring finger and gently press your concealer and/or corrector from the inner corner of the under eye, in a "V' shape or what I like to call "the triangle of light" to your outer corner of the under eye and fill in the space between by gently patting the product there. This should give the eye a more awake appearance.
5. Highlighting the "C" shape of your cheekbone is the perfect soft touch to compliment your contour. Place your highlight right above the contour, but make sure you softly melt the edges together when you blend. Start at your hair line again, but above the contour, and move the brush forward above the contour. Again, make sure to stop where you stopped your contour, then move the brush back softly to blend. You can take the brush up the side of your face and wrap the highlight around the side of the brow for a more dramatic look. The picture above really shows a great example of where to start and stop your highlight in that "C" shape. And your done! Now you should be able to achieve a soft, highlight and contour effect on the cheeks.
On to products. Some of my favorite products to contour with are the M.A.C pro sculpting powders and creams. I know these are not available to everyone so some other great alternatives are any bronzer that is going to be matte and more brown, not orange or red toned. I love to highlight with M.A.C Pearl Cream Colour Base as well as M.A.C Mineralize skinfinish in soft and gentle. A less expensive option for a highlight would be Physician's Formula shimmer strips in Vegas Strip.
I hope this post was semi-helpful to you! Please let me know if you still have questions!
xoxo Maggie : )