Contouring and highlighting for beginners

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Highlighting & Contouring is hugely popular at the moment thanks to Kim Kardashian who is a pro at this technique. I would just like to say that I am not a Makeup Artist but I do have a few hints and tips along with some of my favourite products  which I use for creating the highlighted/contoured look.

I’ll start with contouring, for those of you that don’t know contouring in simple terms is basically creating a shadow,for example creating the illusion of higher cheekbones or slimming down the nose. As I have quite a round face I personally like to use contouring to sculpt my cheekbones and slim down the face.

Contour Kit

There are lots of products on the market for contouring but I find the best are matte bronzers-No sparkle allowed! My favourites would have to be Diego Dalla Palma Tanning Cake or Benefit Hoola Bronzer. My skin ranges from NC20-NC41 depending on the time of year and I find that these products are the perfect shade to create a shadow without being too dark or looking mucky. I also have the Chanel Soleil Tan cream bronzer which is also lovely and would work well with someone with a lighter skin tone.

I apply my bronzer after my foundation and before my powder I like to use and angled brush either the BK04 by Crown Brush or a Mac 168. If I’m using a cream bronzer such as the Chanel I would use the Real Techniques Contour Brush. To create a contoured look I suck in my cheeks so that I can see the hollow of my cheeks and gently build up a shadow pushing the product back into my hairline so that there is a visible line.

I then take my Bobbi Brown blush brush and gently blend away the line and also apply bronzer to any other areas that the sun may naturally hit such as the top of the forehead. I then apply my powder to set my foundation and also blend away any harsh lines.

Some people like to contour their nose to give the illusion of a slimmer nose, if you’re wanting to do this I would recommend taking a fluffy blending brush such as the MAC 217 and gently running the bronzer either side of the bridge of your nose.

Contour using Diego Dalla Palma Bronzer

Contour using Diego Dalla Palma Bronzer

Highlighting

Highlighting is used to lift and brighten the face, there are various different products you can use to highlight and my favourites consist of using concealer,a highlighting pen and also a powder highlighter. Kimmy K has this one nailed and looks absolutely flawless however her technique is quite time consuming and involves a lot of blending which I certainly don’t have time for in the mornings.

Kim K

Kimmy K- Queen of contouring

My Highlighting Routine

To highlight I first of all like to apply concealer on my under eye area I do this using either my ring finger and gently tap to blend or using a Mac 188 brush. My favourite products for my under eye area are Bobbi Brown Corrector in Porcelain Peach, Mac Pro-longwear Concealer (NC20) & Mac Mineralise Concealer (NW30) to name a few. I will do a post on my favourite concealers later this week. I then apply a highlighter on the cheek bones, down the bridge of the nose,cupids bow and on the forehead fanned out as shown in my picture below. I like to use a highlighting pen such as Mac Prep +Prime Light Boost, Touche Éclat, Rimmel Wake Me Up (Soft Beige) or the Mac Lustre Drops which is a liquid highlighter and perfect for nights out. I blend all of this in with a real techniques buffing brush.

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To finish off I apply blusher to the apples of the cheeks and Mac Soft & Gentle Mineralise Skin Finish on the top of the cheekbones and down the centre of the nose.

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I know I don’t look quite as good as Kimmy K but this is simple way to create the highlighted/contoured look perfect for beginners who are wanting to have a go at contouring.

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3 thoughts on “Contouring and highlighting for beginners

  1. – HA! I have to laugh at your comment Maison, I tend to feel like that at times as well.
    – Zoe, really love the whole contouring and highlight post! It’s definitely the “in thing” at the moment. Love the fact that you also give brush sizes, brands and all that extra info. It’s great when your a beginner at attempting to wear make up.

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