Want to make your face look sharper, chiselled, thinner, photogenic, etc? We can go one with this list of adjectives, but how does one achieve it?
The obvious answer: Face contouring and highlighting (duh)!
Thanks to the Kardashians and every beauty influencer who propagated the trend further, contouring and highlighting have become a ubiquitous part of the makeup routine. Nearly every brand has a contour kit and a dozen shades of highlighters being released in different textures and at different prices. And there’s almost a new technique or hack being shown on the Internet every day. It’s no wonder that your head might spin if you decide to include this step into your beauty routine. Where to start from that’s the million-dollar question?
Below, we provide you with the tips and tricks for a makeup technique that is 2 parts over-hyped and three parts necessary. We have broken them all down in a way that even if you are a novice about makeup, you can master contouring and highlighting in no time!
Even with our tips and tricks, if you wish to learn more about contouring and highlighting from YouTube or any other app, be our guest. But you may get confused if you start watching and searching for tutorials, as each video will be stating tips and tricks that may be contradictory from each other. It’s best to follow an influencer whose methods make sense to you alone. That way, you can build your basic skills in contouring and highlighting from there.
Sure, there are hacks that claim to make your contouring and highlighting easier. But not all of them will be suitable for your face shape as the technique may make your face too small or not chiseled enough. Always look for a technique that is for your face. That technique will be instrumental in transforming your face that compliments you only.
There’s no need to contour/highlight your face with complicated steps or crazy techniques like “clown contouring.” Instead, just stick to basic steps e.g. contouring the hollows of your cheeks and forehead and simply applying a highlighter on top of your cheekbones. These basic steps will be more than enough to make your face more striking and photogenic!
Many contours and highlighters come in a variety of powders, liquids, and creams. To make shopping for these products easier, it’s best to buy those that suit your skin type. Powders for oily skin and creams for dry skin. Liquid contour/highlighter is suitable for both skin types. But it needs some practice to get the hang of it. This brings the next point;
While liquids and creams may create a face with more dimension and light, they are often tricky to use. This is because blending liquid and cream products can be very tricky and it can ruin your whole look if you are not skilful at it. Especially if you are doing it for the first time. It’s best to start off with powder products. They are easy to use and blend. And once you get an understanding of your face and how to apply and where then introduce cream and liquid highlighter/contours to your makeup stash.
The rule for buying contour is to look for a colour that is at least 1-2 shades darker than your skin but is grey in tone. This is because that grey tone creates the illusion of “shadow” onto your face. You may buy a few products that don’t suit your skin colour until you hit the jackpot. As for highlighters, while you can buy them in any shade, they must compliment your skin. Hence, it’s better to buy these products separately, rather than together in a kit. Oftentimes, the contour or the highlighter in the kit will not suit your skin.
For contouring and highlighting, the right brush is essential. Use a brush that is both wide and stiff that thins out at the end like a flat line. That way, you can place the contour at the precise spots of your face and blend them away with ease. As for the highlighter, you can use your fingertips or a sponge (with liquid/cream highlighters, mind you). But if you want to make your face stand out, invest in a good highlight brush. It will create a great effect on your entire makeup look. Particularly if you are using a powder highlighter.
If you are using liquid/cream highlighters and want to incorporate a concealer to create a greater illusion of light on your face, look for a product that is specifically for concealing. Concealers that have the words “light”, “highlight” or “illuminating” are the ones you should use.
While the contour with a heavy pigment or very bright highlighter will make a difference to your face, don’t go overboard about it. Some shades may be so pigmented that using them would be very tricky. It makes blending very difficult and can create shadows and lights on your face that will be most unattractive. An obvious sign that you contoured and highlighted your face in a bad way.
While your highlighter is to stand out on its own, a contour should always be under a bronzer. Just a contour on your face will look extremely odd. Adding a bronzer on top of it will not only add warmth to your face, but it will also hide the contour, hence further creating the illusion of shadows on your face.