Beauty Tips: Highligt and Contouring #01

Friday, August 07, 2015

Image Source: Pinterest
Everyone loves the idea of using a make-up to change your face to appear thinner and more defined. I for one, jumped on the chance to try and learn contouring, especially around my forehead as its huge so any chance to make that smaller without the need for surgery was a win for me! (I am joking about the surgery, I wouldn't have that done as my mum would kill me!)
For those who don’t know the idea of contouring is to create a shadow on areas of your face to make your face look narrower, more defined and to hide any unwanted areas. Highlighting is then used with contouring to highlight and define your facial features. You usually highlight your T-Zone, under your eyes, your cheek bones and your cupids bow (the little dip on the top of your lip).
There are SOOOOO many different techniques, products and ways to contour and highlight. My best advice is have a play and find the style, products and technique to suit you. No-one will do it the same and that’s okay! You don’t have to copy your favourite MUA or bloggers way, it’s important to understand your face and its features and know what areas you need or want to highlight and to shadow.
The main rule (okay unwritten rule) of highlight and contouring is to know your face. It’s important to know the right areas to shadow and to highlight to reach your desired look. Different face shapes need different types of shadowing and highlights. For example, if you already have a narrow face, you wouldn’t want to over shadow and make your face look much thinner but instead you can shadow along the top of your forehead and underneath your chin just to enhance your natural features whilst making your face look slightly longer and to highlight, you could just focus on your cheek bones and your nose or chin. If you have a round-square face like me, contouring under your cheekbones down and across your jawline and in the corners of your forehead will make your face appear smaller and more defined, to highlight the main areas to focus on are your under eyes and down the centre of your face as this will make your face appear thinner and will enhance your facial features.
Image Source: Pinterest
Skin tone is key when you highlight and contour. If you don’t have the right shades to suit your skin tone, then you need have bothered as it will not have the same affect and can even give the complete opposite effect. And we wouldn’t want that! Its important to know whether you have warm skin tones or whether you have cool skin tones and that’s the first step to finding the right shades for you. You can usually tell by looking at your skin, if the pink to golden tones are more prominent then you will have a warm tone and if grey or yellow tones are more prominent then you will have a cool skin tone.
If you are unsure just pop into YSL or MAC counter and ask them to check 90% of the time, they will get it right. Once you have determined your skin tone, you just need to find products to highlight and contour that will compliment your skint one. If you have a warmer skin tone, to contour you should choose more natural and brown shades but just avoid the shimmer and to highlight you would choose a rose based highlight as this will compliment your natural features. For cooler skin tones, to contour you need to avoid darker warm colours and lean towards a more grey and plum shades as this will create a more natural subtle shadow, you can also use a brown shade but choose a grey-brown rather than a golden-brown. To highlight you should choose a yellow toned highlight to compliment the natural pigments in your skin tone. The great thing about cooler skin tones is that you can also use a rose based highlighter, but I tend to mix this with a yellow toned highlight to stay natural whilst adding a more dewy glow.
Image Source: Pinterest
I have only found the products that I find easy to use and right for my face quite recently, before then I used to use whatever I thought was the “in” product and when they were the wrong products for me, it looked awful. There are so many different types of products to choose from including creams, powders, gels, liquids or a shading cream. How do you know what is right for you? Sadly I don’t have the answer for this but it’s a case of just playing with different products. 

To find the type of product you like, I recommend picking up some of the sleek contour range as they have powders, creams or liquids and they are reasonably priced, then you haven’t wasted your money playing. Strangely enough, I actually use a cream stick and a powder as I find that combination works best on me as using a cream alone it seems to look like a dirty line and powders seem to be too thick and almost appear cakey. Instead I use the cream products as my base and I use the powder to set the creamy products in place. 

Of course, the formula is up to you and you may find that by using either cream or powder alone works best, but what I have found out of experience is that with highlight and contouring the key is to play and practise with products until you find something that works for you. I have included some of my faves' below. 

Under Eye Base Maybelline Eraser Eye Concealer in Light (Cream-Liquid Finish)
All Over Highlight YSL Touché Éclat Radiant Touch Highlighting Pen in 02 (Creamy Finish)
Highlight & Contour Setting Powder Anastasia Pro Contour Kit  (Matte Powder Finish)
Rather than waffling on in a massive post about highlight and contouring, I have split this into three posts so keep your eyes peeled for some individual contouring and highlighting tips coming shortly.
In the meantime, what are your thoughts on highlight and contouring? Do you have any hints and tips to share?

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