Friday, April 11, 2014

Contouring & Highlighting - All you need to know

I feel like contouring and highlighting started to get really popular when Kim Kardashian and her makeup artist released this before photo of Kim. She's known for her gorgeous glowing skin and it was nice to see the secrets her makeup artist used. Since then, people have been scrambling to carve out and manipulate their facial structure using makeup.. and although there is a certain technique to learn, its easier than you think!

Part 1: The Basics
Here's what you need to know:

Contouring is using a darker shade to slim, carve, and make an area appear to be set back, like a natural shadow on your face. 

Highlighting is using a lighter shade to make an area 'pop' and give it a natural, glowy sheen. 

In general, try to remember that contouring makes something set back, highlighting brings it forward. 

Where to contour: 
- along the hairline (for a smaller forhead)
- along the sides of your nose (for a thinner nose)
- along the underside of the cheek bone (for a thinner, more chiseled face)
- along the jaw line (to hide a double chin and make face less round) 

Where to highlight: 
- center of the forehead 
- under the eyes and downward in a triangle motion on either side of the nose
- high points of the cheek bones (to make them look more pronounced)
- bridge of the nose, but not the tip
- top of the chin 

The picture above is a great guideline; however, the shape of your face is really the deciding factor on what exactly you should highlight and contour. Notice that contouring along the hairline makes your forehead appear smaller.. if you already have a small forehead, that's obviously not a step you should take.

Here's another great guideline, but this time it shows the general areas you should highlight/contour based on your face shape. (The dark is highlighting, the light is highlighting)

I hope you're with me so far! 

Part 2: The Products
Now for the good part: the products you can use! 

1. Maybelline Fit Me Foundation Stick 
(since we're contouring, you'll need a shade 2 or 3 shades darker than your skin tone)
2. Real Techniques Contour Brush
(this is available as part of the core collection)
3. Nars Laguna Bronzer

*Important: Contouring shades should be matte!! This is very important. You wont have the same effect at all if you use a bronzer with any amount of shimmer to it. 

1. Maybelline Dream Lumi Highlighting Concealer
(at least 1, preferably 2, shades lighter than your skin tone)
2. A Fan Brush, as long as it isn't too big, any fan brush will be fine
3. The Balm Mary Lou-Manizer Highlighter

Part 3: The Technique
Okay so we've covered what and why we contour, and what we use to contour..
now you need to know how to do it! Think of it this way: you've applied foundation to your face,
making it a blank canvas. So now you need to go back and add more dimension! 

I don't have a fancy graphic for this, and if you're a visual learner like me, I'm sorry..
try your best to follow my rambling. 

You'll notice with the products I included a cream/liquid product and a powder. You don't HAVE to use two different products every time, but you can. I'm about to tell you step by step how to do each, with both products listed, but you can always skip the cream or powder (one or the other) and limit it to which one works best for you. 

Step 1. Apply your foundation
Step 2. Apply the cream foundation stick, at least 2 shades darker than your
skin tone, to the areas you wish to contour.
Step 3. Using any type of clean, flat brush, start blending this out gently. Don't wipe it all away, but keep it from looking like a harsh line. 
Step 4. Using a pointed thin contouring brush, trace over the contoured line with your matte bronzing powder

Step 5. Apply a lighter shade of concealer under the eyes in an upside down triangle downward on either side of your nose. You may use a highlighting concealer like the Dream Lumi, or just a lighter shade
Step 6. Apply Maybelline Dream Lumi highlighting concealer on the other areas you wish to highlight
Step 7. Use your finger to slightly blend the liquid highlighter so it isn't harsh
Step 8. Use a fan brush to apply your powder highlighter/luminizer to the areas you highlighted

Step 9. Use a stippling brush to blend and buff everything out neatly
Step 10. Use a setting powder (be careful not to wipe any of the makeup away) to set the makeup and keep you matte! 


I hope I didn't lose any of you along the way. It really isn't as hard as you think, and the best way to learn is to just do it!  I hope you all enjoyed this and if you try it out (or any other looks or products you saw here) hashtag #makupyourmindblog on twitter or instagram! :-)


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