Bringing Your Best Face Forward; Contouring and Highlighting Basics


Alright ladies, I’m going to level with you. There are women out there who, by some incredible combination of genetics, Divine intervention (and perhaps well placed facial implants) are blessed with prominent cheek bones and perfect noses. You know them and, unless you were childhood friends, you probably hate them. Hahaha! I’m just joking! It’s not nice to hate people because they’re beautiful! They have to be smart and rich too; then you can hate them and not feel shallow or petty. Razz Anyway, the point I’m really trying to make is that yes, there are women out there who were born with perfect features, but for the rest of us there is a simple technique to bring out the best we have and this technique is a combination of highlighting the good and contouring the not as good. You’ll note that I didn’t say bad and that’s mainly because I’m not quite sure who decided that oval was the ideal face shape or that almond eyes are the most perfect, but I am quite sure that I have seen some drop dead gorgeous heart shape faces (um, hello, Resse Witherspoon, Eva Longoria, Jennifer Lopez) and deep set eyes (Jennifer Aniston, ahem-hem). I’m not talking about a totally face altering, extreme highlight/contour job a la Kim Kardashian, I’m just talking about a little play with shadows and light that can help bring your facial architecture forward in the most flattering way possible.

The way colour and light work, broken down into the simplest of concepts, is that lighter colours come forward and make things appear bigger while darker colours recede and make things appear smaller. You hear about this all the time when it comes to interior design; don’t paint  a small area a dark colour or it will feel smaller, keep your ceiling a lighter colour than the walls to make it seem higher and the room more airy. Well, the same principles apply to your face and makeup. Using a lighter colour, or even a shimmer which reflects light, can make a feature more prominent whereas using a darker colour, as well as a matte, can nudge a feature a little more into the background. Using these ideas and a few well placed (and blended) swipes of the right products you can make a difference in your appearance that’s subtle but still noticeable and completely fabulous.

Today we’re going to focus on cheekbones. Everyone’s got ’em, they’re just not always as obvious depending on your face shape. To find them, put your fingers on your temples and drag them down and in slightly. C’mon, do it. I’ll wait. Okay, you got it? There you go, those are your cheekbones. Alternately, you can suck you cheeks in an make a fishy face; I put the first option forward in case you were reading this in a public setting. Haha. Moving right along. The area under the cheekbone is the area you want to contour (darken and make appear to recede) whereas the cheekbone itself is the area you want to highlight (lighten and bring forward). The products you should be using here are blush, bronzer and a highlighting powder, stick or liquid. You can also purchase contouring kits which provide both contouring and highlighting mediums (so far, my favourite is the Make Up Forever Sculpting Kit). Blush should be applied starting on the apples of your cheeks and sweeping up towards your temples along the cheekbone. Next, a matte bronzer, or the right shade from a contouring palette (and by “right shade” I mean a medium tone that is about 2 to 3 shades darker than your skin tone but not so dark that it just looks like dirt) should be applied under your cheekbones. You can do the fishy face during application if it helps you get it in the right spot, or if it just makes you happy. Truly, there is no judgement here. Razz Make sure this shade is well blended so you don’t end up with what I lovingly refer to as “bacon strips” on the sides of your face. Finally, your highlighting powder, stick or liquid should be applied along the top of your cheekbone stopping just before you get to your temple. You can add a little to the apples of your cheeks as well to give a glowy, dewy finish, but I mean a little. There is a fine line between  dew-y and dew-not. Bazinga! Grin

If you’re interested in contouring and highlighting the rest of your face, well, I’m going to give you a visual aid that goes over all the face shapes rather than typing it all out. Of course, if you’d like some one on one instruction, you know where to reach me. Wink


Have a beautiful day,

Rina Smile


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