The quick and dirty guide to contouring
BY: JOANN ROW
Have you ever wondered how fashion bloggers or celebrities have those amazing cheekbones, glowing skin and petite nose? If you have a slightly round face, it’s easy to miss the cheekbones seeing as how it barely stands out. Not to say that I don’t have cheekbones, or that you don’t either. With simple little tricks, the cheekbones can be highlighted, defining the nose and even subtly elongating your face. These steps will literally take one minute and such little effort can bring a new level of confidence. Step one: Apply your foundation and concealer as you normally would. I suggest using a primer all around the face before applying foundation. My go-to is the Nars “light optimizing primer” because it has light reflecting properties.
Step two: Use an angled brush and apply a deep colored blush or a matte bronzer around the temples of the forehead, diagonally under the cheekbones (make a pucker face and follow underneath the line of your cheekbones) and under the chin. This will create a shadow drop along certain of the face elongating the features. Use a flat eye shadow brush and apply the contour shade along the sides of the nose. I use MAC “baby don’t go” for everyday light contouring. It’s a more subtle warm tone and easy to build on. For a more dramatic contour I suggest using a deeper shade.
Step three: Highlight the apples of your cheeks with a highlighter shade or liquid applique. Use sparingly so you don’t end up with obviously white cheekbones and avoid matte highlighters. I use Benefit “high beam” very sparingly with a few strokes. I dab in a side sweep and circle motion to brighten my cheekbones. The shine actually creates a youthful glow. Matte finishes ages the face so a bit of shine on the face is actually a good thing.
Step four: Set and buffer the contouring with a kabuki brush. A lot of beauty columns suggest using a setting powder to buffer all over the face but I only buffer around the warm shades used for contouring. I leave the highlight from “high beam” alone without a power finish because I don’t want to lose the shine that pops my cheekbones. This is up to your own preference so I suggest trying both. The best setting powder I’ve come across is Nars “light reflective loose setting powder.” I’m all about anything light reflective to project a youthful glow.
BEAUTY TIP: Use a finishing spray after your entire makeup process is complete. Setting spray is a lifesaver for my 14-hour days. I go through my entire day with only having to retouch eyeliner. My setting spray standard is Urban Decay “all nighter” and it’s total worth the investment.