Monday, September 22, 2008

Beauty How-to: Contour Cheeks

Up until recently, I'd erroneously thought that cheek contouring was something only runway models and Hollywood types did.  I thought that in real life, the technique of carving out cheek bones would look overly made-up and cheesy.  I've equated the contouring technique with this:  The updated idea of contouring first piqued my interest when Stila came out with a compact called the Contour Trio.  Each compact contained a highlighting shade, a lowlighting shade, and a neutral shimmer.  This new product gave me pause and had me re-thinking the Joan Collins-esque look.  

I dove into my makeup bag and pulled out a few products that mimicked what was in the Contour Trio and began experimenting.  After a few missteps, I think I've mastered this face-altering makeup technique.  And when I say altering, I mean it in the best possible way.  

Most plus-size women carry some weight across their cheeks.  It's not always easy to see where a Bombshell's cheek bones. This lack of definition can make her face look less dimentional and proportionate.  Contouring is the only way I know how to fake cheekbones.  When done correctly, it'll be a subtle difference in the landscape of your face.  But one that will make a big (but subtle!) impact.  

To get started, you'll need:
  • Blush in a shade suited to your skintone
  • Blush that is slightly darker (something with brown undertones); you can use bronzing powder too as long as it doesn't contain shimmer
  • A light shimmer eye shadow (cream or powder, your choice)
  • A blush brush that isn't big and fluffy
  • Eye shadow brush
Start by dipping the blush brush into your darker shade of blush.  Tap off the excess.  Place the brush at your temple and sweep it into a C-shape along the underside of your natural cheek bone. 

Dip the blush brush into your everyday blush.   Position it at the outside corner of your eye.  Gently sweep in a C-shape along the top side of your natural cheek bone.  

Now, grab your shimmery eye shadow and brush.  Sweep the shimmer shadow along your brow bone, right underneath your eye brow.  This pop of highlight at your eyes will balance the contouring at your cheek (and also makes your eyes look more wide open).  That's it!  You're officially contoured.  

If you can see stripes of color on your cheeks, you need to blend them out really well and use a lighter hand the next time you contour.  

My product picks for achieving a naturally contoured look are:

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