Makeup 101: Highlight and Contour to Enhance the Facial Structure, Part 1

Updated: Feb 29, 2020

I have both good and bad news for you, Indigo Blue Stylers...

I usually like to get the bad news out of the way first, so here it is:

Supermodel bone structure just isn’t something that we are all born with. And for some of us, going under the knife to have procedures like filler added to the cheeks and jawline to create a more chiseled face or having invasive surgery, like rhinoplasty, to obtain the perfect nose, just might not be in the cards.

The good news is that there are ways to create the illusion of “snatchedness” using the tried and true power of makeup.

We can add dimension and depth to our makeup look using techniques like what the makeup Gods have coined “highlighting” and “contouring” to add a new level of fierceness to our makeup arsenal.

For all of my Stylers who are newbies to the makeup game and who are still mastering Soft Glam and Smoky Eye looks, I’m sure you may be scratching your head thinking...”What the heck is “highlighting” and “contouring”?” Or, “How do I get a grip on these concepts when I’m still trying to figure out how to hold my blending brush correctly to get my eyeshadow smoked out perfectly?”

Never fear! We are going to slow it down this week and laser focus on one aspect of these life-changing techniques at a time, so that you are able to gradually build these tricks into your makeup routine and either scale back or intensify a look to your liking. Every event will call for a different look, and it’s helpful to remember that every day will not call for full-on-glamazonian-level weaponry. Using some of the techniques we’ve covered in conjunction with others to create an eclectic look all your own is the definition of style. Highlighting and contouring can be highly addictive, Stylers, so use these techniques with caution. Otherwise, I PROMISE YOU, you will be late to EVE-RY-THING!

Today, we will cover the first part of the makeup technique that celebrities like J.Lo and Kim Kardashian have make famous: Highlighting. These beauties use this technique to reshape and bring light to the “high points” of the face where light naturally falls. These places include the forehead, the area directly under the eye, the high points of the cheeks, the Cupid’s bow, and the bridge of the nose. These portions of the face all have one thing in common: they look beautiful when they cast the illusion of being “pulled forward”. And if your bone structure doesn’t naturally highlight those areas, the right makeup application can do the trick.

To “highlight” the face, gently press and bounce a foundation or concealer a few shades lighter than the foundation used to create your base to the areas directly under the eye up to the high point of your cheeks, to the center of your forehead above the eyebrows, to the bridge of the nose, and lightly above the Cupid’s bow with a damp Beauty Blender. Blend the application out by bouncing product out onto the face to diffuse any lines of demarcation. A great concealer to use for highlighting the face is Tarte’s Shape Tape.

Set the highlighted areas by “baking” them with a translucent, flashback-free, powder. Using a damp beauty blender, apply a GENEROUS amount of powder to all the areas where you’ve applied highlighter. This will set the highlighter while you complete the rest of your makeup look. When you’ve completed your look, take a clean, fluffy powder brush and dust the excess powder from the face. Set your makeup with setting spray to bring back the natural dewiness of the skin and lock your completed look in place for hours of wear.

Don’t forget to check yourself out with our new, IndigoBlueStyle Empress Accessory Mirrored I-Phone Case before you hit the door, Stylers! And stay tuned for next week’s editorial where we delve deep into “Contouring”, which is my FAV makeup technique of all time!

-Angelika S. Realer

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