Highlighting + Contouring Basics | Allison Marie

Highlighting and contouring is the new black. (That’s how that goes, right?) You see and hear about it everywhere, and I don’t think it’s going out of style any time soon. Now is the perfect time to learn! In this tutorial, I will cover the basics: must-have products, where & how to apply, as well as my before & after photos… so let’s get started:

“Highlighting” means to accentuate or brighten up your best features, while the definition of “contouring” is to darken, minimize, or diminish the less flattering ones. If you have a small nose, you can highlight it to make it look bigger or by contouring the sides and tip of the nose, you can make it appear smaller. It’s a play on lighting. You are creating depth and shadows where there aren’t any (for example, making cheekbones). With this technique, you can change the shape of someone’s face.

In my profession, I personally contour and highlight my face every single day. But for others, it may be saved for photos or special events. That’s not to say you can’t add a little highlight or bronzer here and there whenever you want. It just takes more time, that’s all.

Now, let’s talk about products. Highlighting and contour kits come in two forms: cream and powder. I recommend cream for dry skin and powder for oily skin. Anastasia Beverly Hills has both kinds of contour kits. Plus, they each come with six different shades: three light + three dark. Also, NYX has an awesome cream stick called the Wonder Stick. One end has a highlighter and the other has a darker color for contouring, which is less confusing for the beginner.

The next thing you will absolutely need to have is a contour brush. This is a must. I think when you see women with that dark streak across their cheek, it’s because they didn’t use or have the right brushes to properly blend it in. I recently purchased the Lorac Pro Contour Palette which came with their Pro Contour Brush. It’s a great palette and you are getting a pretty good deal by getting the brush to go with it. It even comes with instructions! Once you have your kit and brush, it’s time to get down to business…

, apply your moisturizer and primer, followed by foundation and setting powder. I always start with contouring first and save the highlighting for last. Either way is okay. I begin by applying the medium shade to the hollow of my cheeks from the corner of my nose to the top of my ear. Then, I go down the sides of my nose, blending as I go. This placement works for almost all face shapes.
Next, I take the light shade and go from the temple, across the forehead, and down the other side. Blending up into the hairline. For a longer forehead, blend down towards the browbone.

Lastly, I dust the dark shade along the jawline, under the chin, and down the center of the neck. Blend upward from the jawline to the cheekbone for square shape faces. If you are wearing a low cut blouse, you can add a contour to the base of your neck and chest. And that’s it for contouring! It’s that simple.

Before I use the highlight or shimmery shade, I like to conceal with the banana or yellow powder (shown above). It is my absolute favorite and I always seem to run out of it! But the good thing about the Anastasia Kit is that they sell individual refills for each color. I use the banana powder under my eye, and I also mix it with the light pink or fawn shade and dust it between my cheekbone and jawline contour. I like to make three straight lines in the middle of my forehead and blend. It is also great for around the nose to cover redness and between the cupids bow on your lip. It’s even good to apply around you lips to keep your lipstick from bleeding.
As for the highlight, I apply it under the eye and brush across the cheekbones. If your skin is oily– you may want to stick with the matte contour and skip the shimmer to avoid less shine throughout the day.

The key is to blend, blend, blend! The other day, I started to walk out the door and my husband noticed that I hadn’t blended my contour well enough and I had to go back and finish blending! It was so funny! I guess he has learned a few things over the years ; )

You can finish up this look with blush, eye makeup, filled-in brows, and lip color. By doing that, you will be able to have a put-together look. Definitely try it out and make it your own. If you have questions about this tutorial, please e-mail me at allisonmarie87.beauty@gmail.comor visit me at Ulta in the Meadowbrook Mall. We want your feedback– so let us know what you think or what you would like to see in future posts.




**Stay tuned to the blog this week for announcements on a holiday contest which includes a makeup giveaway!

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