There has been much ado of late about contouring. Lessons on the Internet, on how to contour and highlight your face like a superstar; accompanied with photos of stars contoured within an inch of their life (Kim Kardashian I’m talking to you). So how does this translate to you and me in the real world? Do we all need to apply a striped mask of brown and white war-paint to wear our best face? Au contraire.
What is Contouring?
Contouring is basically the art of sculpting your face. This is done with using a foundation or powder 1-2 shades darker than your natural skin tone, and a colour that is 1-2 shades lighter to highlight. I do this on a smaller scale for the girlies at Nine who read the news, but am careful not to go the full Kardashian or JLo, especially with the highlighting. As this is an American technique, on our screens, it can look a little dated.
The dealio with contouring when it comes to the celebs, like dirty old Kim K and the like, is that they always have to be photo ready. They live and breath for the camera. While you and I might pop up occasionally on Instagram or Facebook, we don’t really need to contour our face with 3 colours to be picture perfect for the paps. Just saying.
For us girlies in the real world, I recommend a natural contour with a bronzer (not one of those massively shimmery guys – more matte) to warm the face. That is: From the middle of the ear around the cheekbone, stopping at around the middle of the eye. To be successful at this, use a fluffy contour brush or smaller blush brush, which is soft. Hard brush equals hard contour line. And no one wants stripes. I also shade a little with said colour around my hairline and temple (I have a massive noggin, and this makes it appear a little less huge).
Apply your normal (right) coloured foundie. Then, choose a contour colour that is not too OTT. Meaning: a shade that is 1-2 shades darker than your skin. If you are one of our peaches and cream complexioned friends – then stay clear from your orangey-bronze tones. Hello tan striped face. I use MAC Mineralized Skin Finish in Med Dark for these fair skinned lovelies. It’s a great colour that contours our fairer friends naturally.
Highlighting: As far as the highlighting part of the equation, where one in Hollywood applies the lighter shaded product through the middle of the face and under eyes, I would tread carefully in this area. Especially if you are of age, as a whole lot of light coloured gear under the eyeholes is super aging. Instead, you can opt for the magic and fantastic YSL Touché Éclat under the eye area and cupid’s bow of lip. Apply this gently OVER your foundation or concealer. Again, don’t make the mistake of too light a shade. Hello stage make-up. And if you want that delicious, hint of shimmer down the nose like our friend JLo, try BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfecter as a primer pre-foundation. It will give you a natural sheen that will peek through your foundie, and works well with contouring.
Finally, to make contouring and highlighting really come alive, finish off the look with a dash of colour on the cheek-pillows. A beautiful crème blush or a shimmered powdered blush will marry it together beautifully.