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Contouring has become a beauty swear word of late. It’s started to invoke the same wince caused by phrases like ‘bleached highlights’ and ‘lip plumping’. All we can think when someone says ‘contouring’ is a face caked in make-up that resembles the cast members of the Rocky Horror Show and that’s not really a look we want to emulate.
However, like most beauty expletives, it started off as a carefully guarded secret that was used by make-up artists for years. But when these techniques turn into a craze they become bastardised by popular culture into something unrecognizable (remember what uncle Karl Lagerfeld so scathingly taught us: ‘Trendy is the last stage before tacky’). So try to forget all the images of orange zebra stripes, because if done well subtle contouring will enhance the cheekbones and slim your face.
Since not all of us are blessed with a supermodel bone structure, we’re using some sneaky contouring to fake it ‘til we make it and add dimension to our face. Sound good? Here are the three golden rules to chisel your cheekbones, sculpt your chin and accentuate your eyes.
1. First up, foundation
Using different shades of foundation (one lighter and one darker than your usual base) is a super subtle way of building dimension into your face. Use a light-tone foundation to highlight, and one slightly deeper than your skin colour to contour. The way to avoid the telltale signs of an OTT contour is to never use a foundation that is more than two shades lighter or darker than your natural skin colour.
2. Ready, steady, shade
To find where to add a darker shade to fake a shadow, feel your cheekbone from below and dab (if you are using fingers with a cream or liquid) or brush with a super light touch. Flick up against the underside of your bone.
3. Highlighters at the ready
To get a glowy highlight, first look at the curve of your cheekbone and think about where the light naturally falls on to it. Hold a mirror against skin by the window if you are unsure and see which part the light hits. Blend in the highlighter with a bronzer for a super dewy finish.
Killer cheekbones, here we come!