Saturday, 21 March 2015

What difference does contouring make?

I'd like to start off by saying that contouring is not for everyone, and it's not necessary at all.  Between the influence of drag queens and a certain celebrity, there's been a lot of fuss over contour and highlight in recent years, although it's been around in theatrical circles for a very long time.  I thought I'd just explain what it is and show the difference it makes. 

Contouring is the act of creating light and shadow on the face.  This can mask a double chin, shorten a face, chisel out your cheekbones or narrow your nose.  You use a darker shade where there should be shadow (in hollows), and a lighter shade where the more light would hit the face (raised areas).   

It's fairly time-consuming and not something I do everyday.  Also, as I'm at the very end of the skin colour spectrum, highlighting isn't so affective on me.  I pretty much have to use white for it to show up and so quite often do not bother.

Read on for the before and afters.

What difference does contouring make?
Before contouring
So this is me before any contouring, with just foundation and concealer.  Foundation gives you a blank, even canvas to add features back in to.  I had not powdered yet as I was going to be using a cream contouring product.  Creams, then powders as cream products don't blend very well on top of powders.

What difference does contouring make?
With cream contour
Using Topshop Contour Cream in Swerve I drew in where I wanted the contour.  For me this is mainly under the jaw line, under my cheekbones and at my hair line.
When looking for contour colours, you want a shade that is as cool as possible.  Warm tones can make your face look a bit muddy and (even) less natural.

What difference does contouring make?
With cream contour, blended
I blended the cream contour out with a Real Techniques Expert Face Brush.

What difference does contouring make?
With powder contour
As I was off work this day and had more time to play I doubled-up and did a powder contour as well.  Most days that I do contour are powder-only days as it's a bit easier and quicker.
For powder contour I used the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit in Light.  I mainly used Fawn as it's the coolest shade of the deep colours.  I used Java under my jaw line as it is a bit darker.

I went ahead and added my brows and blush here too, ooops.

Contouring can look a bit OTT just by itself but if you are wearing a full face of quite heavy makeup then it looks less out of place.

What difference does contouring make?
After contouring
See?  With the rest of my make up completed the contouring looks like it should be there.  Contouring just brings depth and dimension to my face that I can't achieve with blush alone, however I know that it is not necessary. It's fun to play with shade and light and to slightly alter the features of your face, if you have the time.

Do you contour?  What are your favourite products to use?


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