Sunday, 16 November 2014

Contouring, the product low down

I asked you all what you wanted to see and one of the requests was how to contour. Kim Kardashian and her amazing makeup artist are to thank for the big revival of contouring; and who could blame her for loving it. I for one join her in the love for contouring and highlighting as I unfortunately was blessed with a ball face instead of chiselled out cheekbones. Not to worry, in this post I'll address what products to use to fake killer bone structure as well as bigger or smaller features. 

The first thing to address when talking about contouring is whether you want a powder or cream contour. For the sake of this post, I'll talk about both however cream contouring is significantly more difficult and I personally wouldn't recommend it for a beginner. For a powder contour, you're going to need a cool toned bronzer/blusher which is at least 2 shades darker than your natural skin tone. By cool tone I mean something without an orange or yellow undertone, a cooler tone creates a more natural shadow on the face. My go to contouring product is MAC's Blusher in Harmony, as I find it suits a wide variety of skin tones and is the perfect colour. Other products I've used are the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour palette, NARS Laguna Bronzer and Sleeks Contour Kits all of which are great alternatives. Next up if the kind of brush you use for contouring, I'd say this is the most important part as the kind of brush makes a massive difference to me when contouring. The MAC 109 Small Contour Brush is my personal favourite as it's small enough to get right into the hollow of the cheek but also blends the product seamlessly. The MAC 168 is also a great brush if you're looking for a more natural and softer contour as this is fluffier therefore doesn't pack on as much product. However, with this brush I'd save your money and go with the Crown Brush C405 which is a great dupe and (dare I say) even better than the MAC one.

Now with a cream contour, you're basically going to use a very light concealer to highlight and a much darker concealer to contour. Sound like a lot of makeup? Well it is, not an everyday look and definitely more for special occasions or nights out. For cream contouring, I use the Bobbi Brown Foundation Sticks in Porcelain and Espresso. These amazing foundation sticks blend seamlessly to avoid that "dirty" look that so many of my clients talk about when they've tried contouring in the past. For a cream contour, your tools are key in order to achieve a perfectly blended effect. Personally, I use a Real Techniques Beauty Blender sponge (dampened) to melt the product into the skin and seamlessly blend colours together.

I'll be following this post with a "How to" blog post or video to show the techniques of creating a perfect contoured look. I hope you enjoyed this post and found it useful!


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