the Basics | Contouring

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Since the rise of Kim K, everyone has been searching for the way to achieve a perfectly contoured look. Chiseled cheekbones and jaw line with an all over ethereal glow, it's one of the most sort after looks of the moment. But if you've never tried it before, here are some of the basics of how to contour.


Contouring includes the use of two types of products: highlighters and contours. These are used in tandem to give the illusion of a different bone structure to the face through creating shadows and peaks on the skin. This can be used to change the shape of your face or to accentuate your natural features to give them more definition.


Highlighters can come in liquid, cream, or powder formulations and all can be used in much the same way. Liquids, though, can be mixed into foundation or moisturiser to give an all over glow, while creams and powders are generally used on top of other products.

Contours are also available in liquid, cream, or powder. The classic Kim K look that you see so often across the internet used cream contours and highlights that are blended beneath foundations. Creams are often found in stick form but can also come in a pan.


Depending on the formulation of the highlighter or contour, you can apply the product beneath your foundation of on top as a finishing step. Liquids can disturb the products you've already applied to the face so these tend to be applied underneath but, with a light hand, liquids can be blended over the top of powders, etc.

Highlighters are used to highlight parts of the face, as the name suggests. Applying these products to the high points of your face (cheek bones, cupid's bow, forehead, nose, brow bone, chin) serves to draw these points towards the eye. Placing highlighter where the sun would naturally hit your face is the best way to achieve a natural sculpting.

In conjunction with accentuating the high points, contouring also include deepening the low points of your face. Use contouring products to create shadows under your jawline, around your nose, and under your cheekbones to make these places appear more defined. This alters the appearance of your bone structure and can dramatically change the appearance of your face.

Contouring is one of those processes that be used lightly on a daily basis to add definition and shape to the face, but it can also be exaggerated and completely alter how someone looks. Playing around with high and low points can be a good way to explore the impact makeup can have on someone's appearance.

xx Julia

the Basics | Foundation

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