Shaping your face by cleverly contouring and highlighting areas with makeup is a technique that adds depth and enhances your facial structure. Strong cheek bones, a slimed down nose and defined jawline are all effects that can be achieved, for men and women, using contouring and highlighting.
Using the idea that dark (shades) takes back and light (highlight) brings forward, we use dark matte colours to make areas appear less prominent, such as side of the nose, jawline and hollows of the cheeks. We then use highlighters with shimmery effects and iridescent light reflecting pearls for enhancing cheek and brow bones. These techniques add depth back to foundation, which can often leave skin looking one dimensional.
After applying foundation, contouring can be done with cream or powders, depending upon your preference. Using a shade 2 or 3 darker than your foundation/skin tone, and ensuring the shade is matte, blend using a medium size brush to keep the definition and precision. If the brush is too big, you’ll lose the effect and won’t be able to keep the makeup in the exact area required. If it’s too small, you’ll get hard lines, which will be more difficult to blend.
And that’s the key, BLEND!
Suck in your cheeks, and feel the hollow areas on either side under the cheek bones and above the jaw. Then starting from the base of your ears, sweep along the hollow to the corner of your mouth. From the sides of your forehead to your temples too.
You can also use this technique to slim down a wide nose by shading with a small brush down each side of the bridge of your nose. Highlighting can help get you those fantastic prominent cheek bones.
By using dark to shade and light to highlight specific areas, you can appear to change the actual face shape entirely. We see this with talented drag artists who use the technique when applying their makeup to change the shape of their male face into a female one – male and female bone structures are slightly different, and makeup can help them create the illusion of a female.