HOW TO: Contouring & Highlighting

Contour & Highight

Contouring and highlighting is the perfect process for those looking to add a bit of definition back into the face after applying a flat colour of foundation. By contouring, you are emphasizing the natural shadows of the face and by highlighting, you are complimenting the contour by enhancing the more pronounced areas of the face where the sunlight would naturally hit. If done properly, contouring and highlighting can completely transform your look and can be picked up in an instant. Here’s how…

You’ll need to start with clean, cleansed and moisturised skin and perhaps even apply a primer, as you want to create the most even canvas you can for the subsequent products. You can then apply your foundation of choice and conceal as normal.
To add dimension and depth to your face, you will then want to move onto contouring. When choosing a bronzer for this step, it’s best to opt for a matte powder, like the MAC Bronzing Powder in the shade ‘Matte Bronze’, or something with a very minimal amount of shimmer, like the NARS Laguna Bronzer. If you would prefer to contour with cream or liquid products, you could always use your favourite foundation in two to three shades darker or go for something like the Illamasqua ‘Hollow’ Cream Pigment.

Begin by applying your chosen product to the areas you want to appear more prominent. Trace an ‘E’ or ‘3’ shape with your bronzer on either side of your face starting at the top of your head, as close to the hairline as possible, and follow it down the face. When you get to the cheeks, suck them in to find the hollows, and apply the product underneath the cheekbones. To finish off the ‘3’ shape, be sure to sweep the bronzer under the jaw line. If you want to go that extra step further, run a little bronzer down either side of your nose and a small amount on the tip of the nose to make it appear smaller. You can see where to apply the bronzer in the image above. Just follow the dark brown spots.

To compliment your contoured complexion, you will then want to move onto highlighting by using a flesh toned, shimmery powder to draw light towards the areas you want to emphasize. MAC’s Mineralize Skinfinish in ‘Soft & Gentle’ would be a great choice for this step or, if you’re more into your cream products, the Benefit Watt’s Up highlighter is stunning.

Using the same technique as before, create a ‘C’ shape with your chosen highlighter, starting just above the eyebrows and come down and round onto the top of the cheekbones. Again, if you want to go a step further or want to achieve that celebrated Summer glow, place a bit of your highlighter down the centre of your nose, in the centre of your forehead, on your chin and, to make your lips appear larger, add a small amount to your cupid’s bow. Just follow the cream dots on the image above.

And… that’s it! Don’t forget to blend both your highlighting and bronzing products into the skin as thoroughly as possible, after all, you want to this process to look as natural as possible. You can see some great examples of contouring on Kim Kardashian below, she always gets it right!

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