Contouring has literally changed my life. For those of you new to contouring, it’s a way to enhance your facial structure using different shades of powder. You will be amazed at what a little bit of makeup can do. I promise that after trying this, contouring will become a part of your daily routine.
Prior to learning this technique, I only highlighted my cheek and brow bones. After being introduced to contouring, I learned that just as important as creating a highlight, was creating a shadow.
You can contour one of two ways – cream or powder. I have tried both and really don’t prefer one to the other. However, I find that the powder is slightly easier to apply and less harsh looking than the cream, making it more ideal for daily use. This particular post will focus on products for creating a casual and natural look through contouring. Here are a few things to keep in mind while shopping…
When searching for a powder palette, I suggest choosing one with at least 6 color options – typically 3 deep powders and 3 highlights. It’s nice to have a variety of colors to choose from depending on the time of year. Look for something that has at least one contour, one bronzer and two highlights (one matte and one shimmer).
Finding the right color palette is the biggest challenge, particularly finding the right contour shade. Many believe that a bronzer can be used to contour, but I disagree. You want to give the illusion of a shadow, which can only be accomplished by using a shade cooler than a bronzer – typically a powder with beige, taupe or grey tones. After creating your contour, you can use your bronzer to help blend the areas between your shadows and highlight.
Contour Kit: Anastasia
My contour kit of choice is the Anastasia Contour Kit in Light to Medium. It features a total of 6 powder options: three highlights and three shadows. I use Fawn as my contour color. I then mix Java and Havana to use as my bronzer. For highlighting, I mix vanilla and banana for base highlight. To complete the look, I’ll lightly dust Sand (shimmer) over my base highlight on just my cheeks and brow bones.
The way you contour will depend on your face shape and what features you’d like to enhance or downplay. The areas I focus on shadowing are below my cheekbones, either side of my nose, just below my lower lip and my hairline. I highlight the very top of my cheekbones, under my eyes, top of my nose, and my brow bones. You will need to experiment on your own facial structure to see what works best for you. Don’t forget to finish off your look by adding blush to the apples of your cheeks (on top of your contour).
The brushes you use are just as important as your powder. I view contouring as an artistic technique. In a way, you are customizing your complexion. As any true artist would say, you must work with the right tools! The brushes you choose will dictate whether your contour is soft or more defined. For daily use, I prefer a softer, more natural look. To achieve this, I use three contour brushes. I’m in love with Sephora brushes so naturally, all three are from the Sephora Collection: 1. Pro Angled Contour Brush #75 (used to contour) 2. Pro Contour Brush #79 (used for bronzer and base highlight) 3. Pro Contour Highlight Brush #80 (used for shimmer highlight).
Another thing I love about this product is how the powders can double as eye shadows. Just as you contour your cheeks, chin, nose and forehead, you can use these shades to contour your eyes. Also, don’t be afraid to mix the colors. The darker tones are perfect for your eyelid crease and the lighter are great as a highlight. This palette is PERFECT for obtaining that au natural look. No one needs to know how much makeup you used or how long it took you to accomplish, right?
Hope you all enjoy the Anastasia Contour Kit as much as I do. If you’re looking for a more dramatic look, stay tuned for a post featuring my favorite cream contour picks!
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