The concept behind contouring is fairly simple – you apply a darker powder on any areas you want to recede (or push back) and a lighter shade on any areas you want to highlight (or bring forward). While there are very dramatic ways to use this technique, I like to apply the principle in small doses to play up my features & enhance the shape of my face. I also don’t like the way my skin feels when I’m wearing a lot of product, so my approach produces a much more natural effect. It took me a little longer the first few times I tried it out, but now that I’ve gotten the hang of it, I can do these steps in less than 5 minutes!
STEP 1: It’s absolutely crucial to start with well-hydrated skin so you get that soft dewy look. I’ve mentioned it before, but I can’t say enough good things about this POND’S Dry Skin Cream. It has been a life-saver for me this season & has quickly become one of my winter skincare essentials! I rub a small amount on my face & neck before applying my makeup and it keeps my skin well-moisturized all day long. Tip: Give it a few minutes to “soak in” before putting on your makeup OR mix a small amount in with your foundation to create your own luminous tinted moisturizer.
STEP 2: After you’ve applied all your makeup, start with a darker shade powder that matches the undertone of your skin (I used Fawn). Using a fan brush, sweep the color lightly underneath your cheekbone, focusing on the area back by your ear and stopping in the hollow of your cheek. Then using the same sweeping motion, also apply the darker powder underneath the line of your jawbone. Tip: Start with a light application and build up the intensity as needed – it’s easier to add more than to take away.
STEP 3: (optional) Because I have a long nose & tall forehead, I also contour these areas. (I found this illustration helpful in determining the areas to focus on.) Using the fan brush, apply a small amount of the dark powder all around your hairline at the top of your forehead. Switch to a small definition brush & apply the dark powder in a straight line down the sides of your nose. If you have a wider nose, you can extend the line all the way to the tip and this will have a narrowing effect. Tip: The key to subtle definition is blending until there are no visible lines, only a gradual change of color.
STEP 4: Using a fluffy brush, apply highlighter to the tops of cheekbones in a crescent shape, sweeping up to your temples. You can be more liberal with the highlighter application – I like a generous amount and this particular shade (I used Sand) is hard to overdo. Tip: I also like to rub a bit of highlighter on my finger tip and apply it on the bridge of my nose & my browbones.