Excessive contouring and highlighting was a coveted trend in recent years, but as the popularity declines, it does not mean that we need to end it completely! It is something that I now use in my day to day makeup and I find that it greatly enhances the shape of my face. It can accentuate my favourite parts and draw away from the aspects I wish to minimise. Contouring and highlighting with your daily makeup is a great way to change the look of your face, giving the illusion of a more desirable shape, whatever that may be. The use of these techniques has only become more subtle and natural. It is a way to enhance your natural face shape, working with what you have rather than trying to create features that do not exist. No longer are we trying to carve out prominent cheekbones where there are none.
Contouring has been used by celebrities and their makeup artists for decades, while it has only been introduced to us in recent years. Artful shadowing with bronzer and accents with highlighting is meant to enhance your natural features. It is not a difficult technique once you have the hang of it! There is no need to be a professional to achieve this Photoshop-like look. The first thing to do is determine your face shape and then it is easy to pinpoint how to use these products so they work best for you!
- Seal it in
One of the worst things about using these contouring products is how quickly they can fade after they have been applied. Contouring products tend to do what is known as ‘melting’ down your face during the day. This means that it can slide into different places and look far different to how it was applied. Highlighter in particular is also quick to disappear because of its light and shimmery nature, it can rub off quickly. To make them last longer, you will need to use a setting powder and spray once you have finished your look for the day.
You can do this just after using your contouring products and also when you have finished the entire look to make sure that everything stays in place for the long haul! When applying you should use a large kabuki brush to gently dust the setting powder over your face. This will ensure that it does not upset the makeup that you have just applied. After the powder, you can lock it in by applying a setting spray. You will need to spray it in a T and X-shaped motion. Contouring products should always be the second last thing that you apply before your setting powder and spray. This will avoid them smudging and getting dull throughout the day.
- Make sharp lines
Sharp lines are important when contouring and highlighting your face. Without applying using sharp lines it is likely your face will end up looking splotchy and uneven. It is much easier to make your face look slimmer and more defined when using sharp lines to apply these products. This is most easily done if you use a sturdy, angled brush to apply the contour products. A more rounded brush for the highlighter can help to sweep it across your face. Many companies have a dual-ended brush for both products available specifically for contour and highlighting. This is a great investment to achieve the look you are going for!
While applying your bronzer and highlighter it would also be beneficial to rest your elbow on the table or another flat surface. This will help you to use a steady hand as you apply the contouring makeup and ensure the lines you are trying to create are straight and as perfect as possible.
- Blending is beautiful
Sharp lines are extremely important when applying your contour, but to make them look as natural as possible it is important to blend properly. The lines help to shape and slim the face while, and highlighter will illuminate your skin, sufficient blending is equally as significant. If you do not take the time to blend these products then your face will be left with a severe and unnatural look to it. With contouring, it can also be blotchy, discoloured and a lot darker than the rest of your face.
To prevent this, use the wide, flat side of a makeup sponge. This is the perfect tool to blend contour into the rest of your makeup. You will want to blend outwards in the direction that you have applied it. Do not use a swirling or circular motion as this will smudge the line that you have created.
The pointy end of the makeup sponge can be used to blend the highlight by swirling in small circles. But you can also use your fingers to blend your highlighter by blending it outwards with the tips of your fingers. Either way is sufficient although I prefer to utilise the makeup sponge for both contouring and highlighter.