Contouring became the latest hype last year attributed to Kim Kardashian who shared mapped out selfies of her contouring routine on Instagram. She created an enormous buzz while demonstrating how make-up can create a dramatic difference in your overall appearance.
Contouring and highlighting isn’t a new invention, it’s been a make-up artist secret for years and has been around for as long as makeup and photography have been married! If you look closely at pictures of Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn you’ll notice a swipe of colour just under their jawlines. Audrey Hepburn also has a shadow under her cheekbone where the contour has been applied.
We may not all be blessed with the cheekbones of Kate Moss, but there are some clever insider tricks which, if mastered, can really make the most of each woman’s unique face shape and enhance their individual bone structure.
Dark and light shades of makeup help to accentuate features you love and features you dislike, changing the shape and look of your face. The idea is to highlight the areas on your face that you want to pop, normally where the light would hit your face. This is the bridge of your nose, cheekbones, centre of the forehead, brow bone and along the jaw line.
Contour (darker shades) is generally applied in the hollows of the cheeks, under the jawline and on the temples. They should be matte, as the idea is to create a shadow in that particular area, while highlighters can be either matte or shimmery.
Many companies have taken advantage of this contouring hype and created specific contour kits. I believe that unless you’re a make-up artist working on a variety of faces, you don’t need these, and instead can use a cool toned eyeshadow to achieve the same look. These companies have jumped on the bandwagon and utilised the word “contour” so that we buy them, as it’s the latest trend that we all want!
My budget recommendation is this eyeshadow. This is a cool toned, taupe shadow, which is the perfect contour colour for fair to medium skin. Learning how to do this technique takes time, practice and lots of trial and error, and for less than £2, this suits every budget and is great to practice with.
I strongly suggest trying this in natural day light, even if you plan to only use this technique for a dramatic, evening look. You never want to be caught off guard with very strong lines and shading that is extremely dark.You may even want to snap a few photos of yourself to see how this will show up on camera if you plan to take pictures with this look.
What are your favourite products to contour with?