Wednesday, February 19, 2014

How To: Contour & Highlight

I get asked a lot of questions about contouring and highlighting.  It can get a little tricky, if you are new at it, but it is actually quite simple, it just takes a little extra time.  It does make a big difference in your final look.  Remember this:  Contour whatever you want to recede, and highlight whatever you want to come forward.  Highlighting the center of the face, and contouring the perimeter will give you that fresh, glowy look.  I also contour my nose.  Contouring the nose can make a huge difference!  You can really give the illusion of a slim silhouette. 


-  Maybelline Dark Spot Eraser - Light
-  Revlon Photoready Bronzer - Bronzed & Chic
-  E.L.F HD Powder
-  The Balm Mary Louminizer
-  City Color Be Matte Blush - Dragonfruit
-  Milani Baked Blush - Dolce Pink

Yeowza!!  Ok, I know I look cRaZy, and nobody should really be this close to my face, but things always get worse, before they get better, right?!  I apply highlighter under the eyes in an upside down triangle, down the bridge of my nose, center of the forehead, and chin.  If you like, you can also highlight UNDER your contour and above/below your eyebrows.  I love to highlight with the Maybelline Dark Circle Eraser, either in light or illuminator.  The illuminator has a pink undertone to it, and will give a stronger highlight.  When using a concealer type product to highlight, always go a shade lighter than your skin tone.  I wore this during the day, so I went a little more subtle.  I like to blend everything out with my E.L.F. Small Stipple Brush.  Don't smear or rub the product in, stipple it by using a tapping motion.  You can find E.L.F. at Target, Meijer, and online.  I believe this brush was $3, and it works great!!

 Contour (side view)

Contour (front view)
You can see the nose contour and forehead contour better here.

Next, I applied my contour.  I always use my Real Techniques Contour Brush for this step.  Find a contour color that complements your skin tone, and doesn't have any shimmer in it.  Have you heard of contouring in a 3?  It's a very simple concept:  You apply contour to your face in a 3, starting at the forehead.  I apply as close to the hairline as possible.  I start my cheek contour where my ear meets my face, and make a diagonal line.  The trick here, is to make sure that you don't bring that line in too much.  Stop the line when it is straight down from the center or your eye.  I also like to contour my jaw line.  I run the contour along the jaw bone.  If you have a bit of a double chin, you can also apply right under your chin to camouflage it.  I use my Real Techniques Contour Brush for all of my face contour.  .After that, I contour my nose.  Now, I already did the highlight down the center.  So, I apply to lines of contour down each side, starting along the inside corner of my eye.  You can use an eye shadow brush or pinch your contour brush to make it more narrow.  Finally, I take my E.L.F Kabuki brush to blend it all out.  If you blend a little too much, you can always apply a little more.  You definitely don't want those obvious sharp lines on your face.

I added my blush here.  I typically use two.  The darkest shade, I applied to the back of the cheekbones.  The lighter color, I applied to the apples.  Then, I blended the contour and cheek colors lightly, with my E.L.F Kabuki Brush.

And lastly, I applied my highlight.  I love The Balm's Mary Louminizer, but it is NOT subtle, and a little goes a long way.  If you do use this, make sure you use a light hand.  I applied this with a small blush brush on top of my cheekbones, and brought it up just a bit toward the side of my eye.  I also applied just a touch at the bridge of my nose.  You can also brush the tip of your chin, if you like.  Of course, I blended this highlight a bit with my kabuki brush.

Here is the final look!  I finished with lashes, mascara, lip liner, lipstick, and gloss.

You can contour really isn't a one size fits all.  Take into consideration the proportions of your face, but this is how I do it, and the basics are pretty much the same across the board.  Tweek it to your liking, but remember contouring is different than bronzing.  Pick a contour color that is matte or satin, but no shimmer or sparkle for best results.  You also need to make sure that the color compliments your skin tone.  If it doesn't you could end up looking muddy.  If you haven't contoured before, just give yourself a little extra time to perfect the look.  You may find that you add it to your routine a lot, because it is worth the extra time.  I hope this post helped and answered any questions you may have, if not, feel free to leave them in the comments section.  If you would like to see all the products I used for this look, Click Here!

-XOXO Monique

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