Hello and Welcome back to Bee Beauty, Today I want talk contouring. Contouring for fair – light skin tones in particular, so I’m going to show you my favorite contouring products, how I use them, and what tools I use,
Contouring is everywhere now thanks to Kim K and her makeup artist Mario, in fact, he recently gave a master class and will be held another one in NYC in September I know I’d love to be there to learn his tricks because the man is a makeup genius, but he wasn’t the first to contour.
Contouring has been around for ages, I used to do it when I was in high school and had no idea this weird technique of putting a grayish brown shadow in the hollows of my cheeks and under my jaw line was a thing. I was just using the principles of valuing I learned in my art class about how darker shades cause things to recede and light brings them forward. I carried on doing this with various brushes that were a deep dusty plum. I found a L’oreal blusher that I haven’t seen at the drugstore in years but it was very similar to the NYX blush in taupe (more on that in a moment). Since that time of my late teen’s early twenties I discovered RuPaul’s Drag Race and watching the queens do their makeup was damned near my most favorite part of the show, The transformation never seems to amaze me and I love watching the process. Anyway, that’s when I learned what contouring was by its name and begin applying the techniques I saw on the show in real life, just a little more subtle… okay, sometimes not so subtle. It took practice and experimentation to find what was right for me. Thankfully I learned a thing or two online since then and what products might better suit me. Special Thanks to Wayne Goss for all his wonderful contouring videos, and Cora from Vintage or Tacky for introducing me to all the fair skin friendly products. Okay without further ado, on to the products.
The first product being the Wet n Wild Contour Palette. This subtle contouring powder has a nice smooth texture but the highlighter is very powdery and kinda pointless in my opinion. As I said in my monthly favorites, though, I still think it’s worth purchasing for the contour shade alone. The contour shade isn’t ultra pigmented making it kind of fool-proof and perfect for every day, The shade is just cool enough to work on very fair skin as well but probably wouldn’t show up or go a bit ashy on medium-dark skin tones. It does come in a darker shade, but my Wal-mart was sold out so I have no idea what it looks like. This product is also only found at Wal-mart from what I’ve gathered.
Next up is the Nyx Blusher in Taupe. Before I get into this product I have to warn you that I have heard a rumor that it’s been discontinued but I just checked the official site and it says they have it in stock. So I’m not sure what’s going on there. I’d advise buy backups while it’s available. Nyx also carries a taupe shade in their new HD Blush line. I haven’t swatched it to see if it’s exactly the same but I have seen some pictures online saying they aren’t. I’ll be looking into this soon for sure!
Now on to why I love this blush. It’s an extremely cool toned true taupe shade. It can almost pull plum, as if it has a purple undertone, It perfectly mimics the natural shadow one would have in their face. This product doesn’t have warmth really and isn’t going to bronze so to me it’s perfect for a “vampy goth” look that I’m fond of doing.
The last product I use for contouring is the Tarte Park Ave,Princess Bronzer. I sometimes use this on its own to warm to warm up my complexion and sometimes mixed with either product I mentioned above. Park Ave. Princess is a warmer shade and is completely matte. I find it to be flattering on most skin tones. It has a great texture and blends beautifully, Above I have pictured it as it comes in the Rain Forest After Dark Palette, but it’s available for purchase individually.
Here’s how all three swatch on my arm. You can see the color differences and pigmentation. I had to work to build up the color of the Wet n Wild so it would be clear on camera.
I want to list some alternative contouring products I’ve found and feel are worth mentioning in this post. All these have a cooler undertone that I look for in a contour.
- Kat Von D Shade + Light Contour Palette
- The Sculpting Powder by Kevin Aucoin
- MAC Pro Sculpting Powders
Let’s talk tools.
When I’m using the Wet N Wild Contour Palette or the Tarte Park Ave. Princess Bronzer I like to use a somewhat fluffy blush brush as see above is a Bobbi Brown Blush Brush. I like the shape and that it’s sort of slim. It applies the product and blends at the same time. It’s great for when I don’t want something too precise and dramatic. Listed below are some similar and affordable brushes.
- Sonia Kashuk Blusher Brush no.2
- Sonia Kashuk Blush Brush no.101
- Sonia Kashuk Medium Angled Multipurpose Brush no. 17
- Sonia Kashuk Small Powder Blusher Brush no 123
- ELF Studio Angled Blush Brush
- Real Techniques Sculpting Brush
- Real Techniques Expert Face Brush
For a more precise contour, I prefer a short flat brush like the one above by Sonia Kashuk, that one was from a limited edition set but I found one from her on Target’s site that I think is probably the same as this one.
When I use this brush I make a line tracing from my ear down the hollow of my cheek then blend upward. I’ll go more into the technique in a moment. Here’re some more options for precise contour brushes I found:
- Sonia Kashuk Contour Brush No.30
- Real Techniques Bold Metal Contour Brush
- E.L.F. Studio Contouring Brush
Here’re the results of just using the Wet N Wild Contour Palette alone. I think it’s just enough to enhance the shape of my face without looking contoured, Just brings back some dimension.
And here is a completed look with the Wet N Wild Contour Palette after I added some blush,highlight, and lipstick, By the way, a post on highlighting is coming soon. The rest of the products I used for this look are listed below.
- Kat Von D Everlasting lipstick in Bachelorette
- The Urban Decay Vice 3 Palette
- Buxom Mascara Bar in Full and Fabulous
- E.L.F Baked Highlighter
- Covergirl Instant Cheek Bones in Peach Perfect
- Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Pomade in Taupe
- Maybelline Fit Me Foundation
- Maybelline Fit Me Pressed Powder
- Nyx Dark Circle Corrector
This is how I normally contour my face. For this, I’ll be using the Nyx Blush in Taupe and creating something a bit more exaggerated so it’ll so on camera. In person, this looked very strong but my light washed me out a bit.
I typically start with my cheeks, tracing the hollow starting at about mid-ear and following it down toward my mouth. As a general rule of thumb, you don’t want to bring the contour down past the center of where your iris would line up with your cheek, but everyone’s face is different so you have to play around a find what looks best on you. As you do this be sure to blend the product upward toward your cheekbone and not down. Blending up will create a more lifted and youthful look. If you go to low with your contour it can my your face look sort of saggy and it can give the appearance of a five o’clock shadow or a bearded look.
Then I trace my jaw line and blend downward onto my neck to emphasize the jaw bone and create a slimmer look, It’s a handy trick for minimizing the appearance of a double chin.
Next, I sometimes will contour my nose, I’m back and forth on if it’s a good look for me. That being said, when done properly it can look absolutely stunning. Contouring your nose definitely takes practice and experimentation but once you master it can a great tool in your arsenal. It’s like being able to give yourself a nose job without the pain, expense or commitment, and you can do it differently every time as long as you blend it right. I tend to change how I do my nose depending on my mood, sometimes I bring the contour all the way down along the sides of my nose from the start of my brows, and other times I focus solely around the tip or just highlight the bridge,
Lastly, I add a touch of contour under my lower lips to enhance the shape and give the illusion of a fuller mouth. and sometimes place a little bit in the dent of my cupids bow before highlighting it,
I personally like a very sculpted face for a nighttime look, I have to be careful though because I have rather prominent cheek bones already and it can sometimes go a bit masculine. Depending on my mood, I sometimes embrace that and rock the most gaunt-faced masculine look of I’m doing a more “vampy” look. When I do this I try to highlight below the cheek contour and above the jawline contour, at the highest point of the jawbone if that makes sense, This keeps my jaw from disappearing because it’s somewhat narrow and can get lost.
The Results Round 2
Here’s the most dramatic contour finished off with some blush, bronzer and highlight and I used the same products here as before with the exception of the lipstick by Sephora and The Kat Von D Shade+ Light Eye Contour Palette for the eyes.
Thank you all for taking a moment to read my blog and I hope I was able to teach you something new, As always feedback is totally welcome and don’t forget to follow me here on WordPress and on my social media linked in the sidebar.