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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Highlighting and Contouring: Make-up 101

Make-up works wonders! If worn properly, it can hide all the right angles and bring out those that you want to accentuate. Highlighting and contouring has become extremely popular in the world of make-up artistry. Let's first explain what highlighting and contouring is. Highlighting is making certain areas of your face lighter to bring those features forward and bring attention to them, whereas contouring is making areas darker to set back and retract attention from those areas.

I have to admit, I feel like I'm putting on war paint or Indian paint when doing this because before the makeup is blended, it looks like a bunch of harsh thick lines all over your face. It looks super funny at first, but once it's blended it looks FAB! Truthfully, many people say that contouring gives the illusion of plastic surgery, altering parts of the face to look smaller or bigger. Who would want to go through plastic surgey when you can just contour?! Here's an example showing why I feel like I'm putting on war paint:

She looks gorgeous after the makeup is blended in! But the before picture can be a little intimidating if you've never contoured before. Don't be alarmed!

Above I mentioned contouring and highlighting can make you look like you've had plastic surgery, below is a picture that you can  tell there is a difference in the facial features. The end result gives her a slimmer face because of the contoured cheeks and her nose looks a lot smaller. Incredible, right?!
So how do you achieve this look with highlighting and contouring? Well, for starters - get the right products. There are a million different products out there that you can use, but the ones I use are NYX matte bronzer powder for the contour and I use my NYX HD Photogenic concealer in beige (about two shades lighter than my skintone) for my highlighter. I set my highlight with NYX illuminator powder in Ritualistic. These are all drugstore products for all you bargain beauties!

But I'm starting to dabble in the high end makeup, so I will update once I use those products. I heard MAC Pro Longwear concealer is great for highlighting so I might try that next! In any case, there are tons of products to choose from, you just have to find the ones that work for you. There are both liquid and powder highlighters, illuminators, and some people just use concealer. For contour they have cream and powder products. I'm always overwhelmed when going to get makeup because there are SO many options! But just do some research to see which one you would like best! Or if worst comes to worst, do some trial and error. Makeup is all about practice and trying new things, so don't be afraid to venture out of your comfort zone or your normal, everyday make-up look.

There are tons of tutorials on YouTube for contouring, but as far as where to put the highlight and where to put the contour, below is a guide for you. Highlight under your eyes, the center of your forehead, down the middle of your nose, cupids bow, middle of your chin, and under your cheek.

To contour, I do my cheeks, the sides of my chin, each side of my nose, the sides of my forehead, and I know this picture doesn't show it, but I also do the top of my forehead near my hair line.
I hope I made this easy enough for you to follow. If you have any questions please email me at

*Note: I do not own any of these photos*

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