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Contouring and Highlighting for a Fresher Face

As many makeup artists know, a large portion of what creates a beautifully made up face is contouring and highlighting.

Contouring and Highlighting, Scizzors, Worcester, MA

Contouring and highlighting works to accentuate a model’s best features. In the same way, you can bring contouring and highlighting to your regular makeup routine in order to brighten up your own face. All you need are a few different shades of powders, creams, or eye shadows to use for contouring and highlighting.

Contouring and highlighting creates a superficial form of shading, as if an intentional light were cast dramatically on your face at all times. By darkening portions of the cheeks and jawline, you can create the illusion of thinner and more defined features. And by highlighting sections of your face such as under the eyebrows or above the cheeks, attention will be drawn to your best features. Depending on the amount of makeup utilized, contouring and highlighting can be either dramatic or subtle.

The following article from Makeup For Life explains the techniques for contouring and highlighting so that you can have a photo-ready face.

Contouring and Highlighting Basics

Contouring and highlighting are one of the makeup techniques that every makeup addict should master. They can totally transform your face by playing up your features and downplaying your flaws and they usually go hand in hand.

Rule of thumb: Darker colors push back areas while lighter colors bring them forward.

So are contouring and highlighting necessary for everyone? No, but everyone can definitely benefit from a little contouring and highlighting. All you need is practice and make sure everything is well-blended (seriously, who would want lines on their faces?!)

Contouring and highlighting also look best under evening lighting so if you are going to be in an environment with really bright light, I would recommend keeping it to a minimum.

What You Will Need
* To contour, you will need a color that is one to two shades darker than your foundation. You can use a brown eyeshadow, bronzer or a darker foundation.

* To highlight, you will need a color that is one to two shades lighter than your foundation. You can use a shimmery white/beige eyeshadow, a lighter foundation or a highlighter.

* I highly recommend using pressed powders or cream formulas as they are the easiest to use. Remember to pick a color that is neutral, i.e. one that is not too yellow or too pink.

Areas to Contour
* Under your cheekbones
* Along both sides of your nose
* Bottom of your chin
* Jawline
* Creases of your eyes
* Temples

Areas to Highlight
* Front of the forehead
* Along the bridge of your nose
* Right above your cheeks
* Inner corner of your eyes
* Browbone
* Center of your chin
* Cupid’s bow (lips)

How To Contour/Highlight
Simply follow the picture taken from Kevyn Aucoin above, and blend the lines by gently pressing the color onto your skin. You can use your fingers, a brush or a sponge but I would recommend a sponge for best results. Make sure there are no harsh edges and be careful not to blend the different colors together. Remember to start out a little at a time – it is always easier to add more color – and experiment to find out what works best for you.

Along with contouring and highlighting the face, this technique may be applied to the neck and chest area as well. For more contoured cleavage, apply the darker color to the center of the chest. Contour may also be applied under the collar bones and diagonally along the neck to create a thinner look.

Bronzer also works well for the contouring, while a white eye shadow may be used to highlight. Chances are, you will already have the correct tools for contouring and highlighting in your makeup bag.

Depending on lighting, one may choose a lighter or heavier version of contouring and highlighting. For example, contouring and highlighting should be kept to a minimum if you work in an office with fluorescent lighting, as too much makeup can tend to look heavy. However, more intense contouring and highlighting is perfect for a night out in dimly lit restaurants and bars.

If you would prefer a hands-on guide to contouring and highlighting, consider stopping by Scizzors in Worcester, MA for a full makeup tutorial. We can teach you the basics of contouring and highlighting and recommend products that work well for this technique. Call us today to make an appointment.

Have you experimented with contouring and highlighting yet? Which beauty tools did you find worked best? We’d love to see your comments below!

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