Makeup Tip of The Week: Contour and Highlight

From Kevin Aucoin's Book "Making Faces"

Contouring and Highlighting:

Contouring and Highlighting is one of the oldest tricks in the world of makeup. It is also one of the most frequently left out steps in makeup applications. Perhaps it seems unnecessary or too difficult for alot of people. Do not leave this step out. It is just as important as concealing your under eye circles. Especially if you are going to be photographed. What is contouring and highlighting? And what does it do? Contouring and highlighting create balance and definition for the face with makeup. How? Simple. Darker/Brown products (bronzers, foundations etc) create an illusion of recession and Light Shimmery products (highlighters, eye shadows etc) Create the illusion of coming forward and accentuating.

There a few different reasons for contouring and highlighting.
1) Perhaps you have a bump on the bridge of your nose or a little extra skin under your chin or maybe you have a large forehead. These "imperfections" have an easy fix. Dip a powder brush into some dark brown powder and dust it over those areas. They will recede.
Maybe you have really pretty cheekbones or a part of your face that you really like you can highlight those areas and bring them forward or perhaps you have a very small forehead you can highlight it to make it appear larger.

2) Face shapes. You can make any shape face appear to be another shape. For example if you have a heart shaped face and you want it to be a little more oval or round looking you can easily do that with a little contour and highlight.

3) When taking pictures or even just taking a walk on the street the light and shadows will bounce off your face creating deeper shadows where it is contoured and bringing out the highlighted areas.

The most common parts of the face that are highlighted and contoured are the nose, cheekbones, forehead and chin. Kevin Aucoin showed the contour and highlight technique in his book "making faces ". The picture above is from that segment. It's obviously over accentuated so that you and I can understand it better. You wouldn't walk out on the street like that of course! :) But it is a really great photo to describe the technique and show you where contour and highlight is best applied. It can be smoothed and blended in and then brushed over with some powder to really blend it into the face and avoid those "stripes". It can even be done before the foundation routine. It will be more subtle but still do the trick.

Contour and Highlight is a fundamental part of applying your makeup. It is easily done with some practice and should not be left out.

Here are some products you can use for easy application:

e.l.f. Studio Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder

                       It costs $3. The bronzer  on the right side can be used to contour. The blush side is so light and shimmery. I sometimes use that to highlight my cheek areas.

       Revlon Colorstay Mineral Finishing Powder

This one is probably meant to be a bronzer. But I find it to be a  great highlighter. Its shimmery and pretty.

Don't want to shop? You can use any light cream or white eyeshadow to highlight!

I hope this was helpful to you in your makeup routine!

I know this totally contradicts everything in this post! :) but I truly do believe that being perfect isn't the most important thing in the world and that you will always be beautiful on the outside if you are in the inside. So do something nice today! Say something nice to someone or mend a relationship that had a rough patch etc. Be beautiful inside and out!

Blogging tips