Contouring; I first found out about this idea when I was in elementary school and obsessed over the books by Kevyn Aucoin (look. these. up.). He broke down how to do contouring on your face and what products to use and made it very easy to understand. Unfortunately, I think that contouring has become better known because of the Kardashians and like most things that they get involved with, it's gotten a bad reputation. The Kardashians really take contouring to the next level and wear photoshoot contouring in their everyday lives. Keep reading to find out how to do contouring in your everyday life and how to maintain a natural look.
So here I am before any contouring, just foundation routine and eye makeup. When I show these photos, I should let you know that I get washed out a bit due to the lights, so I do not look this "flat" in real life. However, we'll use this as a before reference photo.
Here are the products that I used for my contouring:
1) L'Oreal True Match Super Blendable Blush in Bare Honey (for skin tones Warm 1-2). I use all of L'Oreal's True Match products in their warm shades because even though I have fairly neutral skin, I have a bit of yellow undertone. I never use this product as my blush, I simply use it for contouring.
2) Mac Mineralize Skin Finish in Redhead. This is my go to highlighter, but you can use any highlighter that you like, cream, gel, powder; go crazy.
3) The blush brush on my Bare Minerals dual ended brush. You can definitely use an angled contouring brush and if you're just starting out, I would recommend it. Brushes made for contouring offer a lot more control until you know what you're doing. I'm comfortable with contouring and I like that blendability that a blush brush gives me.
Here is a general layout for contouring and highlighting, but not everyone's face is the same, so you will need to tweak this to fit your own bone structure. Obviously, the dark areas are where I put my contour and the white areas are where I apply my highlighter.
For contouring, you will typically apply color wherever there is naturally a shadow on your face.
Cheekbones: I apply my contour under my cheekbones and blend it back into my ears; this makes my cheekbones pop more by making the area underneath look sunken (but not dead!).
Chin & Jaw: I work my contour under my jaw line to make it look stronger and slightly up onto my chin to make it look a bit shorter. I also work a bit of color into the line between the bottom of my lip and above the bottom of my chin; it makes your bottom lip look bigger.
Lips: I put a dab of color in my philtrum (the area between your nose and your lip) to make it look deeper, which makes your upper lip look like it protrudes more.
Nose and Eyes: Typically speaking, I don't contour my nose, because I don't like to draw attention to it, I would rather have it look flat. I wanted to show you how it looks though, so if I were to contour, I would put color down the sides of my nose and under the tip. I also add a touch of color right beneath the beginning of my brow on each side. This helps to make my eyes look a bit deeper, but if you had close set eyes, do not do this, contour on the oustide corner of your eye.
Forehead and Temples: I fill in the entire temple area and add color all across the hairline.
I put my highlight where I highlight every day which would be the areas where the sun would typically hit your face: Forehead, brow bones, top of the cheekbones, bridge of the nose, chin, and just a tab above the lips on the cupid's bow.
And here I am with the contouring and highlighting. I have a ton of makeup on in this picture, but I wanted to make sure that you could see the work regardless of the lighting. I want to reiterate that you should apply with a light hand and work your way up. If you start contouring too much, you are going to start looking like a drag queen, which if that's what you're going for, more power to you (actually, if you are a male trying for a drag look, you can use these same principles, but round everything out a bit more to make your face look more feminine).
And here I am with my hair down. Like I said earlier, I don't typically contour my nose because it's noticeable enough on its own and I typically try to flatten its appearance.
And here is a before and after side by side. I didn't add any other makeup, just added my contouring and highlighting and doing those two things does make a fairly large difference. My face just pops a bit more and looks a tad more streamlines; my cheekbones look higher, my eyes deeper, and my nose a bit slimmer. I contour on a very small scale most days and just use my blush color to do it, but I do highlight every day.
So what do you guys think, is contouring for you?