The Beauty Closet's Ultimate Contouring Guide:
1. First Things First...Determine Your Face Shape:
2. Pick The Right Tools!
This is key to contouring! Make sure that you have the right tool set or you won't end up with the results you're looking for. Check out some of my fav's below:
Instead of my fingers [for liquid or powder products]: I avoid this all together as it's messy and doesn't allow for precise application of the product for shading, highlighting, and contouring. These brushes [like the one from Artis Oval #3 for $40, pictured above] are easy to hold and make applying concealer, foundation, & highlighter an absolute dream!
To blend like a pro: Once you've applied the product, you'll want to blend...blend...blend! One of my fav ways to do this and achieve a flawless & ultra smooth look, I love using a beautyblender sponge. Sephora has actually come out with their own versions [pictured above, for $12 @ sephora.com] that comes in a variety set making it easy to get to all of the hard-to-reach places!
If using a sponge or beautyblender isn't your style... Try buffing and blending with a contouring brush! There are quite a few good ones out there and I would definitely recommend sticking with quality on this one- which also means you might spend a bit, but it's worth it to spend a bit more than might usually spend- you're going to get much better results and the brush will last MUCH longer! ;) Urban Decay makes some excellent makeup brushes and their Contour Definition Brush [pictured above] has a medium price point of $32, making this quality contouring brush a pretty good deal.
3. Choose Your Contouring Method:
There are a variety of ways that you can take when it comes to contouring and it really depends on which method you feel more comfortable using, as they each have their own pro's & con's. Below, are my top 2 methods that I personally have found to be the easiest, most effective, & affordable:
Powder Contouring Kits: You've probably seen at least one of these by now and most likely quite a few if you're a beauty-love like myself. Many of them are easy to use and include guided steps, like the one pictured above from Tarte for only $40! This is not only an affordable approach, but it makes it easy for even a beginner to become a contouring expert in no time ;)
Creamy Stick Contouring Kits: If you're into a mess-free solution that requires almost no effort, this is THE way to go! Go for one that features a well-designed stick that can be mechanically twisted up as needed and contains product that is creamy & blendable, yet shows staying power! Looking for an affordable option? Find out more about the awesome kit from Mally Beauty for only $36, featured in today's post- below!
4. Complete the Look:
Don't forget to "seal the deal"! This is a vital step that will help ensure that all of your work isn't lost and also aids in extending your contouring/makeup as well ;) Try a product that offers up a mattifying effect and helps lock in your look by setting & sealing in a quick, easy step. A spray-on product makes this achievement a cinch! Like the product pictured below from Cinema Secrets for only $24, humidity...heat...lighting- they're no match for this awesome product.
Want a flawless finish to your sculpting look? This awesome tool not only removes excess powder once you're done with application, but it's also perfect for applying highlighter with a "light-as-a-feather" touch. A fan brush will do the trick, completing your look with little effort ;) MAKE UP FOR EVER's 120 Medium Powder Fan Brush is around $31 at Sephora.com and is well worth it's price. The quality and craftsmanship of their brushes is difficult to come across and I've been very happy with each of the MAKE UP FOR EVER brushes that I've purchased.
5. Tips & Tricks:
6. Terms & Definitions:
- CONTOURING: Features a technique of shading and contouring the face with a mix of darker & lighter shades for shaping & highlighting for a chiseled effect.
- HIGHLIGHTING: A method of achieving a luminous look by applying a highlighter onto places that allow for natural light to fall upon & reflect- for an ultimate luminous effect! Balance your features and give your skin a beautiful glow with this technique.
- STROBING: Involves highlighting the face by means of featuring only lighter shades, using only light to enhance your face- think a dewy look, with no bronzers or dark shades involved. This look tends to be more on the luminous than sparkly side.
- BRONZER: A usually darker, shimmery or copperish-like powder or shaded product that designed to darken & shade the skin. Warms your skin tone- go for 2 shades darker than your natural shade to avoid looking orange or unnatural.
- HIGHLIGHTER: Utilized to help certain features stand out by catching the natural falling light on the skin- like on the temples, Cupid's bow, bridge of the nose, apples of your cheeks, & the jawbone.
- BLUSH: Primarily used on the apples of the cheeks and/or lips to help give the skin a healthy, rosy glow that gives definition & shape to your lips & cheeks.
The Beauty Closet Recommends:
Shimmer Shape & Go! Highlight and Contour Trio
*sale pricing for only $31.98 @ qvc.com!
I call this kit the "foolproof contouring" set. Not only is it affordable, but it's portable & super easy to use. You get a highlighter, a blush, and a shaper/contouring stick in the set. To start with, take the highlighter stick and apply the product on top of the center/bridge of the nose, center of the temple, upper cheek bones, & center of the chin. Use the shaping stick [darkest of all 3] and apply the product in the hollows of your cheeks [try making a "fish-face" or sucking in your cheeks to find this area]; also apply this product to the remaining areas where you want to shade and "trim".
Blend upwards and in, ensuring to blend completely. Lastly, apply the blush stick product to the apples of the checks for a fresh, healthy look :) Each product goes on creamy, blends like a dream, and has a silky-smooth soft powder-like finish. You really can achieve a natural contouring look that can ramp up your current beauty routine, leaving your face looking sculpted and your makeup look refined.
There are 2 options available- light or deeper that each features a customized shade depending on which palette you choose for the shaping & blush crayons. As for the highlighter, this stick is the same for either option you choose. If you've been on the hunt for a kit that won't break the bank, makes an the perfect gift, & is easy to take on-the-go...this is the contouring kit for you!
Want to snag this awesome kit for an even better deal than the one mentioned above @ qvc.com for $31.86 + $3 S&H?! Use code FIVE4U at qvc.com for $5 off of your first order! OR Pick it up for a down-payment of $5.31 [6 Easy Pay payments of $5.31+ S&H + tax].