Unless you have been blessed with a perfectly oval shaped face and beautiful prominent cheek bones then you will want to contour your face. Without adequate contouring and highlighting you face will look dull and flat.
By contouring and highlighting your face properly you can reshape your face, making it appear more oval, thinner and more 3-dimensional.
The method being highlighting and contouring is, by contouring you push away that area from view and highlighting will pull forward and area. Together they will give such great depth to your face shape.
When contouring, try to use a matte taupe shade, or a powder with a blue base colour.
I love Benefit Cosmetics ‘HOOLA’. It is perfect for so many skin tones as it can be built upon for a more intensified colour, it also contains no sparkle or shine so it is perfect for contouring.
There are 6 main areas to contour on your face. All equally important as each other. Please note that depending on your face shape you may or may not need to contour all 6 areas. Below are the 6 areas that I would stick to when contouring:
1. Cheekbones – This is such a great place to contour as it can instantly change the whole look of your face. Remember that contouring is a subtle art. You should not see any drastic lines, but more of a shadow effect.
2. Jaw line – Contouring the jaw line is really great for hiding double chins. It will further define the shape of your face while separating it from your neck.
3. Temples – By contouring your temples and upper hairline you can’t really start to achieve your desired Oval face shape.
4. Nose – By contouring the sides of your nose you can change how the shape of your nose will appear, you can either narrow or widen it. Make sure not to narrow your face too much, you don’t want to completely change your nose shape so that it looks unnatural, but contour it so that it is complimented along with the highlighting.
5 . Eye Crease – By contouring the crease of your eye. It will give the illusion of depth and can completely transform your eyes, to really make them stand out.
6. Inner Eye socket – This will work to deepen your eyes and further narrow your nose.
Now you know where to contour, let’s talk about where to highlight. Highlighting is used when you want to bring someone’s attention or focus to something. Again, I cannot emphasis enough how this should be a subtle application. Later in this post I will show you the effect of these techniques when they go wrong.
Try using this guide to show the areas of contouring and highlighting.
Listed below are your 6 point of highlighting:
1. Central Forehead – When you have contoured your temples, highlighting the centre of your forehead will really work to bring forth this area to really emphasis your oval shape.
2. Brow Bone – Highlighting the space between the crease of your eye and your brow will help to make your brows stand out and will compliment your previous contouring to give your eye depth and help to give your eye makeup some drama.
Look how contouring and highlighting is used in this photo of the beautiful Marilyn Monroe to give her eyes shape and definition.
3. Under eye and inner cheeks – Highlighting under your eyes will work well to disguise dark circles. Highlighting these areas will work to bring out the apples of your cheeks as well.
4. Nose – Highlighting the bridge of your nose will once again add depth to your face and make it appear more 3-dimensional. It can also work to lengthen your face.
5. Chin – This will work to separate your chin from your jaw line while lengthening your face for achieve the desired oval effect.
6. Central Lips – By highlighting the centre part of your lips, you will give the illusion of more full plump lips. This is great for people with small thin lips or you want them to appear larger. A simple way of doing this would be to add a little clear gloss to the centre of your lips over whichever colour you choose.
Now have a look at what happens when highlighting and contouring goes wrong. It actually works to have the complete opposite of the desired effect. It breaks up your face in blocks and looks completely unnatural.
When highlighting try to use a natural coloured highlighter, if you use a gold highlighter in the wrong place on your face you will look completely false. The point of highlighting and contouring is for your face to appear naturally shaped.
Can you see how in this photo, the eyes lack depth and shape due to the missing element of contouring in the crease of the eye?
This photo of Rihanna captures beautiful subtle highlighting, however the lack of adequate contouring makes her cheeks very one dimensional and works against creating prominent cheekbones.
When this technique of shaping the face is done correctly it can have such beautiful and unbelievable effects on the appearance of your face. See the before and after effects of correct application on the model below.
Contouring and Highlighting your face is not an easy job to do and will take patience and practice. Once you learn how to best do it for your own face shape you will LOVE the effects.