I hope you’ve read pt. 1 and pt. 2 of this series (Color Made Simple! Using the Color Wheel to Master Your Makeup, Pt. 1: FINDING YOUR UNDERTONES and Color Made Simple! Using the Color Wheel to Master Your Makeup, Pt. 2: PICKING OUT FOUNDATION) because if you haven’t, you’re going to be lost!
Highlighting and contouring your face is done to give your skin dimension. It’s supposed to bring out some features, hide certain features, and reshape some features.
Although makeup isn’t plastic surgery, it can work wonders as though it is such. If you apply it right, makeup can transform your face by 80% (that’s just my own personal opinion). I drew that conclusion when I saw Kevyn Aucoin, a makeup artist that died of cancer in 2005, who used to do makeup for Oprah Winfrey. One day Oprah had a show where she was in her home makeup-less. She looked very, um….different than the way she usually looks while she’s filming the show. I had no idea that makeup could change someone’s face that drastically.
When I was at the library, I was fortunate enough to come across a book by Kevyn Aucoin. It was called Making Faces. In the book, he instructed how to properly apply makeup and had pictures of famous and everyday people he made over. He drastically transformed them the way he transformed Oprah. He used highlighting and contouring to change the structure of the person’s face, and I’m now going to pass his tips over to you.
HIGHLIGHTING: Highlighting is done to bring features forward, and shadowing is done to make features unnoticeable. Shadowing is similar to contouring, which is adding a certain shape or form to the face. For both shadowing and contouring, you will use a shade that is darker than your skin. For highlighting, you will use a color that is a bit lighter than your skin with a shimmery glow. Highlighters aren’t supposed to match your undertones. They are supposed to match your “overtones”, meaning the color that you generally appear to be–but brighter. Simply put, highlighters should be the color you would be if someone shined a light on your face. Think about the glow you will have. For most of us, it will be either a silver (for fair or light skin), gold (for tan or brown skin), or bronze (for chocolate or dark skin).
APPLICATION: Take a powder, cream, or gel highlighter and highlight the places where light hits: the forehead, cheekbones, nose, and chin. If you’re using a gel or cream, use a little drop at a time. These usually have harder to manage shimmer, and they’re easier to overdo. If you’re using a powder, apply it with a blush brush or a small travel sized blush brush.
Rest your face, and gently rub a little on your chinbone, then on the cheekbone, on the bridge of your nose, on the bones on the outer corner of your eyes, and across the middle of the forehead. Blend well. If you have really dull skin, apply your highlighter all over your face and neck–but do it lightly!
SHADOWING/CONTOURING: When you shadow or contour your skin, use a color that is about two shades darker than your skin. I won’t advise using a cream foundation as a contour color. It’s too harsh. I will suggest using a powder because contouring must be so smoothly done, that it isn’t noticeable.
APPLICATION: Take a contouring brush or small blush brush, and dust the color in the hollows of your cheeks, around the outer edge of the nose all the way up to the corners of your eyes, and around the outer edge of your whole face. This is the general way it is applied. It makes your cheeks look more chiseled, your nose look narrower, and your face more oval shaped. You may find that this look doesn’t work for you, and you want to bring forth some other features. Just remember to use the highlighter on what you want to bring forth, and the shadowing on what you want to hold back.
Stay tuned for Color Made Simple! Using the Color Wheel to Master Your Makeup, Pt. 4: BRINGING OUT THE EYES.