Benefits of Contouring & Highlighting

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Some people go off running in the other direction once they hear the word "contour". A lot of women can benefit from contouring when it is done right and in the right places. You do not have to completely alter your face to make you look stick thin, that would only make you look ridiculous.

In our line of work, contouring is crucial so that the model, bride, or celebrity will have dimension on camera or on tv. Otherwise, they will just look flat because of the harsh lights.

Let's start with contouring. I broke down Carolina's face in 6 parts so that I can show you important points that need contouring. When you contour, use a nice taupe shade or a deep bronze color. Try to avoid using bronzers when you are contouring, you'll just look too orange! When you tan, you do not go bronze in these places right? So use a matte taupe shade or a light brown matte blush.

1. The temple. The purpose is to make your face a little more oval in shape. As you might know already, the oval shape is the ideal shape for makeup application.

2. The nose. Try avoiding making your nose mega-narrow. This would completely alter your face. Imagine the shape and size of your face with a narrow nose. You will look too artificial! So use this technique just to define your nose so that you wouldn't look flat in pictures.

3. Cheekbones. This is my favorite part to contour. It really makes a lot of difference! It can make you look like you've lost 5-10 lbs! Hahaha! Just be careful not to pile it on, otherwise, you will look like you have a streak of dirt on your face. Just make it subtle and blend!

4. Jaw line. This defines your face more. It can easily disguise double chins and it really separates your face from your neck. It also adds shape to your whole face.

5. Eye Crease. The purpose of contouring this part is to create the illusion of depth in the eyes. It adds drama to any makeup, and make your eyes pop out and really 3 dimensional.

6. Inner corners of the eyes. Make your nose appear stronger and your eyes deeper by adding shadow on this area.

Highlighting is used when there is a certain part or feature you would like to bring out or "highlight" or "bring focus to" when there are certain flaws you would like to take focus off of. Here are the main 8 points to highlight to enhance your features.

1. The central part of your forehead. When you've completed points 1, 2, 3, and 4, this creates an illusion of an oval face because it highlights the central part of your face. You highlight your forehead to bring it out from the rest of your face.

2. Under eye and cheek triangle. Disguise your tired eyes or dark circles with highlight. In this area, you can use a little bit of shimmer (but not glitter), or go with a highlighting powder like that of Revlon's Bare Lights. The light reflecting particles reflects light so it gives your dark circles a lighter finish. This also brightens up your entire look. You want to bring out your cheeks, not make them recede.

3. Chin. This will bring out your chin area so that your chin is separated from your jaw line. Plus, this completes the oval-illusion we are trying to achieve.

4. Nose line. Highlighting the top narrow bridge of your nose will make your whole face appear more oval and a bit longer. Plus, this makes your nose look "matangos" so that it looks more, again, 3 dimensional. You want to make your best features come out. I cannot stress this out more.

5. Brow bone. This is the area between your crease and your eyebrows. By bringing this out, your eyes will have more depth giving you more space and "drama" to work with. Defining the eyes is important to give you that sophisticated and a put-together look.

6. The central part of your lips. By highlighting this part with a lighter shade of the lipstick you have already put on will make your lips appear poutier and more plump. Ideal for those who have thinner lips. I do not recommend drawing an artificial lip line to make your lips more full. Instead, use a shiny lip color in the same family as the one you have, or just dab gloss in the center of your lips.

7. Center part of your neck. When wearing a tube or bustier, highlight the center of your neck. This elongates your neck even more making you look slimmer.

8. Collarbone. Bring out your collarbones so that you appear slimmer! There is no other reason and purpose for this. Haha! When you do do this step, I recommend using a cream highlighter first before you top it with a highlighting powder. If you use powder alone, it will just get erased before you even step out of the house.

*Highlighting and contouring is not as easy as it looks. This takes practice and a lot of good lighting. If you do this in normal indoor lights, you might not realize how thick you have applied on your face. So use natural light as much as possible.*


Hair and Makeup by Sabs Hernandez
Photographed by Pocholo Ignacio, assisted by Louie Sumcio
Modeled by: Carolina

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