Contouring and highlighting are no longer the beauty industry's best-kept secrets. There are more products available than ever before to achieve a sculpted look at home.
The products you choose depend on your complexion and the look you're trying to achieve. It's crucial to pick appropriate contour products in order to create a natural, skin-like finish. A great highlighter further enhances your sculpting and gives you glowy, illuminated skin.
What Are the Benefits of Contouring and Highlighting?
Contouring and highlighting is the art of sculpting your face with makeup in order to restructure your facial shape and define your favourite features. You can use a contour or highlighter alone, but they work best hand in hand.
Contour products are slightly deeper than your skin tone. Darker shading makes areas recede to create the appearance of lean hollows. Contouring slims your face visually and gives you a more prominent-looking bone structure.
A highlighter is a usually light-reflective product that draws attention to the high points of your face. Highlighters are sometimes used alone to add glow to the skin for a fresh, youthful look.
Together, these two techniques enhance your face shape and minimise any imperfections.
What Should I Be Looking for in a Contour Product?
The best contour product for you should have several qualities. A matte finish is an absolute must, as any shimmer will give away your secret. The contour shade is used to create the illusion of a shadow. Shadows are always matte because they are an absence of light.
Shadows also have a grey or beige undertone. It's tempting to reach for your nearest shimmery bronzer when you first try contouring. However, bronzers should be used to create a sun-kissed glow and aren't best for contouring.
You need to consider your own skin tone when selecting a contour. Your contour shade should be only one shade darker than your natural skin tone. Go any darker and your skin will look muddy and unnatural.
The newer contour palettes available are perfect for mixing your ideal contour shade. The Youngblood Contour Palette is great for those with pale skin, whereas the Gorgeous Cosmetics 8 Pan Palette suits darker skin tones best.
How About Picking a Highlighter?
The highlighter colour you choose should depend on your own natural complexion. Those with very fair skin should opt for pale tints and almost colourless shimmers, such as theBalm Cindy-Lou Manizer or Benefit High Beam. Distinct hues and warm shades will be too obvious on pale skin.
Generally, the most flattering highlight for you depends heavily on your skin’s natural undertone. If you have warm skin, go for a champagne highlight. If you have cool skin, go towards pinkish-white.
Contouring and Highlighting Formulas
When you choose your products, you also need to decide whether you prefer a cream or a powder. Cream formulas give a dewy finish and can be easier to blend. Powder formulas are harder to blend but give a more natural, matte finish. Cream products can be difficult for those with oily skin, whilst powder can accentuate dry skin.
We always recommended that you start off subtle if you're new to contouring and highlighting. As you become more comfortable with the techniques, you can always deepen your contour and increase your highlight.