Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Conquer Contouring

It's amazing what a bit of contouring can do to change the structure of the face. It not only creates depth in any hollow areas, it gives a bronzed, healthy effect and it slims down the face beautifully (and we ALL know we want that!). You can take contouring to the extreme or you can go very subtle, either way, it will change your makeup routine forever!
Contouring can be done using creams or powders. Your dark contour should be two to four shades darker than your foundation, depending on how dramatic you want the look to be. It should also be matte. A darker matte cream/powder will give the illusion of shadows, you place this strategically in any hollow areas for depth, to make it appear further away (eg. under cheekbones).
Your light contour, or your highlight, can be matte or a shimmer. Again, this should be two to four shades lighter than your foundation. This will give the appearance that the area is sticking out more (eg. on top of cheekbones). If your highlight has a shimmer, the metallic particles in this will reflect the light, giving a more dramatic effect. I personally prefer a matte finish to the face and would definitely recommend a matte to anyone conscious of fine lines around the eye area! A shiny highlight will just sit in these fine lines, drawing attention to them.

Getting started......

The cheeks:
Using the side of your baby finger, feel the hollows underneath the cheekbone. You will also notice, when you look straight into the mirror, there will already be a slight shadow from your natural cheekbone. This is the area we want to darken yet still giving the illusion that it is our natural shadow. Now we know where to darken, it's time to start using product.
You want to use a fluffy powder brush that isn't too large in size as you want to be able to control how much product goes on, and where! I find the angled goat hair F40 Sigma brush the best to use. Dip the brush into a small amount of product (not too much as you can always add more product, but it's harder to take product away!). Using small circular motions, apply the product to the hollow area. This motion will blend the product out and into your foundation colour giving a more professional look. Extend the colour from halfway down the cheekbone (under the outer corner of the eye) , all the way backwards to the hairline and your ear.

The forehead:
After contouring the cheeks right up to the hairline and the ear, extend the colour all the way around the hairline using the same brush. This will give a natural bronzed look as this would be the area that is first hit by the sun! This isn't the only purpose. If you have a forehead slightly on the larger side, this step is important for you! Extend the colour downwards slightly onto the forehead, deepening the colour and density of the product at the top two corners of the face and the temples at the side. Again this gives the appearance of a shadow, giving the illusion of a smaller area.

The nose:
I could not leave the house on a night out without contouring my nose! It's a bit of an obsession. If you want to make your nose look skinnier, take a clean fluffy eyeshadow brush (I like to use the crown angled, flat topped eyeshadow brush) and your contour powder and lightly line the sides of your nose all of the way down to the tip. This should go from the inside of your eyebrow, down both sides in a straight line, to the end. Ta-da, your welcome! A skinny nose!! If you want to make your nose shorter, using the same brush and contour, lightly apply some product to the bottom area of the nose, from nostril to nostril.

You then need a different brush to apply highlighter. I use the Sigma F05 as I find it is the perfect size for highlighting.
Take your product and apply it to any areas you want to stand out.

The cheeks:
Apply the product in circular motions on top of the cheekbones and around onto the temples of the cheeks closer to the edge of your eye. This will make your cheekbones stand out more, give the face a natural lift and help blend the product out into your foundation.

The nose:
If you have contoured the sides of your nose, you can add a small amount of highlight along the centre to make it look even skinnier.

MUA Tip: If your wearing a strapless top/dress, add a small amount of your highlight along the top of your collar bones!!

And there you have it. Your tips to conquer contouring. Let me know how you get on!!

Happy sculpting



  1. What shade is your lip colour? Fab..

    1. The lip colour is number 72 Inglot lip pencil all over the lip with a small amount of a clear gloss over xxx

  2. Thank you! Love it xxx