Contouring and Highlighting

So, as you are all aware, contouring has been the trend in make up for a while now. When clients come in to the salon, they always ask ‘Do you do contouring’, ‘Can you do that contouring thing on me’. 

Some people don’t even know what contouring actually is. Basically, contouring is a technique that was used on runway models and photoshoots. It is giving shape to areas of the face and enhancing the facial structure. Contouring is all about creating shadows.

It’s not about dipping your brush in some bronzer and applying a brown strip on your cheek. It is all about the artistry. 

There are two main ways to contour. You can use powders and you can also use creamy products. 

Powder Contour

If you are a beginner, the easiest way is to start with powdered products. The most important thing to remember is to always avoid shimmery products when contouring. Stick with matte. You can use the shimmery products for highlighting afterwards. It’s all about creating texture. 

Because you want to create a shadow illusion, don’t use a bronzer to contour. Colouring is key. A bronzer has orange elements - have you ever seen orange shadows on your face? You will need to use tones of beige, brown, taupe and grey. The best contouring products I have used are the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contouring Palette, you could also use Hoola by Benefit to contour as it is matte and Sleek Makeup do contouring and highlighting palettes for different skin tones. 

The main areas to contour are under the cheek bones, temples and down the side of your nose. Start with a little product and build up. It is always better to gradually build than applying loads and trying to remove it! 

When contouring, shadows are setting the face structure backwards where as when you are highlighting you want to bring the structure forwards. My favourite highlighters include Mac Cosmetics- 'Soft and Gentle' and Hourglass - Luminous Light.

Cream Contour

If you feel a bit daring, it is always good fun to experiment with this technique. Have you seen the pictures of the ladies with brown and white lines all over their faces? That’s cream contouring. You use cream based products and blend them all together. You can purchase cream contour sticks which are the best to blend along with cream contour palettes. I tend to use Nars products for this look. 

With this technique, to highlight elements of the face, the trick is to use a lighter shade of concealer than your skin colour. 

Dampen a beauty blender sponge and blend the whole look together. 

After you have applied the contouring and highlighting, don’t forget to add some blusher on the apples of your cheeks to further enhance your complexion. 

Brushes matter - a lot. Make sure you use brushes that blend nicely. An angled bronzer brush is always a good one to use because it fits perfectly under the cheekbone. 

Always remember to BLEND, BLEND, BLEND. 

Do you have any questions about contouring? Ask below! 

Poppy JohnsonComment