Contouring & Highlighting for Dummies

(For the record, I am one of those dummies.)

Contouring and highlighting is something I have yet to completely master. However , I have been asked to write a post on the topic and I am going to try my darnedest to give you all the information I’ve got. 
Contouring is one of those things that if it’s done right, it makes a person’s face look sculpted, proportional and symmetrical.  

If it’s done wrong, one can look like a muddy, blotchy mess. This has happened many of times to me. I usually don’t realize this till I see myself in a picture after going all day thinking I look like the bomb.com!! Soo, sooo wrong 😦 
The tricks are to find the right products and tools to help you achieve those nice high cheek bones, small forehead, tiny nose and strong jaw line. 

And also to understand the basics of shadows(contouring) and light(highlighting).

If you want to disguise or make something look smaller or more sunken in, you contour (add shadows/dark colour) .
 If you want to bring out something and put emphasis on it, you highlight. (Add brightness/light colours) 
Pretty simple right?
If you understand this concept, you can contour and highlight your face. It just takes practise to make it look perfect! 
Since these techniques have become more common and more mainstream, a lot of companies have developed products for the everyday woman.
There are powder and cream options. It’s just personal preference on what you would like to use. 

I prefer to use creams first and then setting them with powders in similar shades. Double the work but double the pay off!!!! πŸ™‚

Recent favourites I have been reaching for are:
Cream – Stila Contouring kit, Maybelline Foundation Stick in Coconut, Maybelline Better Skin Concealers ( in fair or light)
Powder- Kat Von D Shade and Light pallet , NYX Taupe Blush( yes, a blush!) The Balm Bahama Mama Bronzer, Too Faced Chocolate Soliel Bronzer. Besame vanilla brightening powder, The Balm Betty Lou Luminizer highlight powder and Mac’s soft and gentle.

  
Contouring and highlighting can be tricky because everyone’s face shapes are not all alike. I have an oval face. Meaning, it is more long then it is wide. I have deep dark undereye circles and I’m not a fan of my nose. The above  picture is generally how I cream contour. I apply my primer, foundation then my darker contour shades and light concealers.

Once you figure out what placement of colours works best for you, the next step is Key;

BLEND, BLEND, and BLEND Some more! When you think you are done blending, blend it again!  Whether you use brushes or sponges, it’s up to you! I really like Stila’s double ended contour brush and Real Techniques Beauty blender sponge. I also use a Mac contour brush I have had for years and the # has worn off 😦 

                                                                           

face shapes and a general guide to contouring


I hope this helps anyone that is nervous or someone who is not clear on how contouring and highlight works. I could ramble on and on with this topic, but I’ll spare you the torture and tell you to go to YouTube and watch tutorials on it. That is how I was taught. Practise makes perfect with this, so try it out. πŸ™‚ 

 

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