What’s the Deal with Highlighting and Contouring?
You can learn to use contouring and highlighting make-up application techniques using different tones and colors of powder, cream or liquid foundations in order to enhance facial your features. What are the benefits of contouring and highlighting? Contouring uses darker than skin tone make-up to create the appearance of shadows in order to slim the face and minimize features that you feel are too dominant. Highlighting uses lighter than skin tone make-up to highlight and bring out features that you want to accentuate.
Strobing is all the rage as of late. Strobing is just another way to describe the layering of highlighters to shape the face or body. In the interesting picture above, the beautiful model shows how light will reflect off of the highlighted areas where a white frosted makeup has been applied, and light will be absorbed and a shadow will result from the darker applications. Highlighters are often applied to areas that protrude from the body such as the bridge of the nose, arch of the eyes and upper lip. Strobing accentuates the luminosity of the surface when natural light from above hits the highlights.
In the world of beauty and make-up, face shape is often taken into consideration. You can change the look of your face’s shape by artfully applying colored foundations and color correction products. If your face is longer and narrower than you want, contour on more of a horizontal plane. If your face is short and round, contouring in a more angular fashion will make your face look thinner and more balanced.
Day versus Night Contouring
Subtle high and low lights are appropriate for daytime where you may encounter harsh florescent lighting, and commercial lighting that may bring out the red or blue in the skin and make-up. Blending, then blending some more will go a long way to creating the intended look. Take a look at color correcting palettes of powder or cream make-up that can hide acne spots, hyperpigmentation, and other imperfections. Many make-up vendors sell palettes that contain a variety of colors in one kit so you can blend to create your perfect foundation and cover-up as well as high and low lights.
At night we have little natural light, so determining the appropriate amount of highlighting and contouring product will depend on the environment you plan to spend your time. Clubs and dark restaurants will be more forgiving, so darker or more prominent use of contrasting colors can be applied to achieve the desired results. Colors can be four shades lighter and four shades darker than your natural skin color when putting on make-up for low lighting conditions. Gradate the color value for a nice transition.
The woman below is gorgeous without make-up! Dressing up for a fun night out might call for a more glamorous look. Note how the fresh face (1) and glamour shot (4) look like they could be different people!
Perhaps you are wearing a beautiful off the shoulder dress and you want to play up your neck and shoulders. Color can bring out the peaks and valleys of your décolleté, making for a dramatic look.
Matching Skin Type to Make-up Type
Oily, Acne Prone Skin will find that non-comedogenic mineral powder foundations and oil free full-coverage liquid foundation that won’t clog follicles or cause acne, work best for contouring and highlighting applications.
To apply the powder foundation, use a flat surfaced, dense, Kabuki or Stippling Brush, tapping and rolling to deposit layers of color. Powder foundation needs to warm up and settle into the skin a bit before your final look will emerge. A foundation brush will give a smooth finish when using liquid make-up (see brush to the right of the color palette in picture above). Reserve opalescent and satin shimmer powders for areas that you wish to highlight, such as the upper cheeks, forehead and around the eyebrow arch. After blending your powder or liquid highlighter and contouring make-up, set the look with a high-definition finishing powder that will leave a matte finish and blur imperfections.
Dry and combination skin types benefit from liquid and cream foundations. Using make-up with a shimmer will make the skin look dewy moist, but less is best to avoid turning your whole face into one big strobe light! Strive for a natural, gentle transition between the low and highlighting colors to achieve a sculpting effect.
There are a few rules to follow to make use of strobing and contouring products, but above all, have fun playing with different looks. Be your own artist and remember that make-up application is a forgiving medium. If you don’t like what you created just erase it and try again. Don’t judge yourself, love yourself and have enjoy the beauty staring back at you from the mirror.