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Monday, April 4, 2011

How to Contour, Highlight and Blush!

Whether you are looking to enhance your cheekbones or looking to create the illusion of defined cheekbones (that's me!), then follow these tricks of the trade! I will also show you how to disguise a large forehead -, slim your nose, and define your jaw line all with just a few products!

Contouring (Sculpting)

As you can see in the photo, I have indicated the main areas to contour but I will also explain a couple of other areas to sculpt that will further enhance your look!

You can contour with a powder, cream base, dark foundation, concealer stick or some bronzing powders as long as you follow these simple rules; the shade must be 4-6 shades darker than your skin tone and the formula must be matte!  I am really liking the Coastal Scents Blush & Contour Palette. 
Take a contour brush or chisel brush and start applying the contour shade under your cheekbones.  It should follow a line from the corner of your mouth to the top of your ear, however it should go over as far as your mouth, just under your pupil is perfect.  Be sure to blend this right into the hairline to make this as natural as possible.  Next, continue contouring at the temples and up the side of the forehead along the hairline.  **If you have a large forehead continue the shade around the hairline at the top of the forehead creating a big "C" shape from the temples.

If you wish to thin your nose you can apply the contour shade to the sides of your nose.  Blend very well! You can also shorten the appearance of your nose by applying it to the tip of your nose.

If you have a round face you may wish to define your jawline. Apply the shade on the jawline and just under the bones. You will want to avoid this step if you have a thin face or a very structured jawline as this can come off looking quite masculine to those face shapes. 

Be sure to blend all of your contouring really well using circular motions with your brush.

Highlighting (shaping)

Highlighting will enhance your look by drawing the eyes to the higher planes of your face.  You can also use techniques to straighten your nose.  I absolutely love the Cream Colour Base in "Hush" by MAC.  It has a beautiful shimmer that catches the light and is so gorgeous! You will also need a matte highlighter if you want to do a complete sculpt and shape.  In the photo I have marked the areas to highlight with a shimmery highlighter.  I will explain where you can apply the matte highlighter to fully shape your face.
Start highlighting by taking your shade right on top of your cheekbones from under the pupils to the outer corners of the eyes.  This area is particularly flattering when the light catches the subtle shimmer.  Take a small amount and run it down the centre of your nose.  This will make your nose appear straighter and slimmer.  You can use this as a brow highlight too!  Those are the only places you want to apply a shimmery highlighter.  For the next few places you will need a matte highlighter.  The one in the Coastal Scents Palette is great for this too.  Take this product on a fluffy brush and apply it to the centre of your forehead, on your cupid's bow and the centre of your chin.  You will also want to apply this matte colour on the tops of your cheekbones from the corner of your eye to your pupils to meet up with the shimmery shade.  Take a clean fluffy brush and blend all contouring and highlighting.  You should not see any lines, this is to look like natural highlights and shadows.


Too many times I see wrongly applied blush and hear people give such poor advice on how to apply blush.  I will tell you how to apply blush the proper and most flattering way!  DO NOT SMILE to apply your blush- doing so will cause you to apply your blush too low!  When you smile you raise your cheeks so your application falls when your smile does!  Instead, follow these tips to find the perfect spot to apply blush on your face!  Make a kissing face rather than a smile if you need to find your apples.  You can also draw an imaginary line from the corner of your nose (right in the crease beside your nostril) to the top of your ear.  On this line directly below your pupil is where you want to start applying your blush, from there all the way back into your hairline.  This should be right in the middle of the highlighter and contour shade.  Do not allow the colour to go any closer than this to the centre of your face, doing so will make you look years older and blush is meant to mimic a natural youthful glow!  Be sure to blend all of these steps together we don't want stripes!

Have fun shaping and sculpting! You are beautiful!


Samantha said...

Love the step by step and pictures!! I have added these products to my shopping list!!

Leslie Lim said...

Great article. I spent my spare time reading some blogs. And I found yours a great and knowledgeable content. Keep it up.


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