Sculpt Your Face: How to Contour, Highlight and Blush
Have you ever looked at pictures of celebrities with no makeup on and wondered what happened to their prominent features? How can they achieve the flawlessly sculpted skin and perfectly defined nose and cheekbones that they sport on the red carpet? The answer lies in the art of highlighting and contouring. With these makeup tricks up your sleeve, you can accentuate your face’s best features and hide those that are least desired.
When you’re choosing a highlighter or a blush, make sure to pick the right product depending on your skin type. According to Cosmopolitan, a powder blush absorbs grease and is better suited for oily complexions. On the other hand, a more emollient cream blush or highlighter is ideal for dry skin. M.A.C carries highlighters on both ends of the spectrum. If you’re searching for a liquid highlighter, look no further than M.A.C’s Lustre Drops. They come in two shades, one of pink and one of bronze undertones, that will instantly brighten your skin. They’re similar in texture to the well-received Benefit’s Moon Beam and High Beam shimmery liquid highlighters. If you prefer a powder, try MAC’s Mineralize Skinfinish, a superb line that doubles as a bronzer and highlighter, depending on the shade.
Once you’ve chosen your highlighter, blush and contouring color, you can put these products to work.
Grab a contour brush or angled blush brush like M.A.C’s 168. Pick up your contour color with the brush and apply it to the hollow of your cheeks. We find that what works best is making a “fishy face” by sucking in your cheeks. Sweep the brush upwards along the hollow, towards your temples. Finish off the cheek contouring by adding a little product to the angled blush brush and blending out the line. You can also try an alternative method, recommended by makeup artist Lisa Eldrige. To keep the look soft and natural, use a small dense powder brush and apply the bronzer in small circular movements, especially as you get closer to the hairline.
Next, move onto the forehead, jawline and nose. Simply sweep the contour color along the hairline across your forehead, on the jawline and on the sides of your nose. Make sure to blend it out after the initial application. For more precise nose contouring, Vogue India suggests using a fluffy eyeshadow brush instead of a big angled blush brush.
Whatever highlighter you’re using, you want to apply it to the high points of your contour, says Lisa Eldridge. Start with the high point of your cheekbones, near your under eye area. Add some also on your brow bone, down the bridge of your nose, and on the center of your forehead. For liquid and cream highlighter you can use a foundation brush, or blend it out lightly with your fingers.
To apply powder blush, grab a blush/powder brush and dip it into the blush color. Smile and then gently dust the blush on the apples of your cheeks. To apply liquid blush, start with a small amount and blend it directly onto your cheeks with your fingers. Use a liquid foundation brush to blend a cream blush onto your cheeks.