Tuesday, April 2, 2013

How to: The Principles of Contouring: Part 2

In Part 1 of my contouring "how to" here, I showed how light and dark (highlighting and contouring) can create the illusion of bone structure and can allow one to "correct" areas of the face that one wants to change. This post will cover products that can be used to contour.

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The actual products that you choose will be based on your personal preference but there is one rule that all should follow: contouring products should be matte in finish, containing no amount of shimmer or frost. This is due to the fact that you will want the contoured areas to recede, rather than pull forward, which will be the case if the contouring medium contains frost. In the picture above, I'm showing you items in my collection that I use to obtain a contoured look. There are many, many more items in the stores (and in my collection for that matter) that can also be used, from concealers to eye shadows and pressed powders. 

Mac Fashion Fix eyeshadow, Mac Harmony blush, Illamasqua Hollow pigment, Smashbox Suntan bronzer, Bobbi Brown Golden Light 1 bronzer, Bobbi Brown Medium 2 bronzer

Since I have light skin, I tend to use contouring products that are lighter in color than someone with a darker complexion (the concealer I used in Part 1 is far darker than I would normally use). Some of the choices, above, I'd use in the summer, when I'm "faking" a tan, rather than in the winter. 

Mac Fashion Fix eyeshadow
Mac's Fashion Fix eyeshadow ($21) is a great contouring product for light to medium skin tones. It is similar to a product Chanel introduced last year called Joues Contrastes in Notorius, which was a taupe/gray contouring powder. The Chanel version sold out almost as soon as it was released because it apparently worked so well for lighter skin tones. The idea of using this type of product for contouring is that it mimics the color of an actual shadow. Now I've never used the Chanel product, but I do use Fashion Fix on occasion and I like it. As with any contouring agent, just blend it out to get the best look.

Mac Harmony blush
Mac's Harmony blush ($29) is another Mac product that I like for contouring. It's a lot warmer in color than Fashion Fix but works if I'm looking to warm up my complexion. From time to time, I also layer it over the next product.

Illamasqua Pigment in Hollow

My current favorite product for contouring is Illamasqua's Cream Pigment in the color Hollow $26. This taupey gray/tan cream works really well with lighter skintones. 

Smashbox Matte Bronzer in Suntan
Smashbox's Matte Bronzer ($29) is also a great product. I have it in Suntan and it's great! You can see I have used it religiously as it's quite a large tin and I've hit the pan in the middle.

Bobbi Brown's Matte Bronzers in Golden Light 1 and Medium 2
Bobbi Brown's Matte Bronzer  ($38) is wonderful and I have it in the two colors above. She has an illuminating bronzer as well but if you're looking to contour, use the matte version instead.
Graftobian palettes from top Cool 1, Neutral 1, Neutral 2
I also have three Graftobian Hi Def cream foundation ($19.99) palettes (I got these when I was doing my girlfriend's wedding makeup) that contain different shades in cool, neutral and warm color ranges. My complexion matches the second or third color in the Cool 1 and Neutral 1 palettes so I often just use a darker color for contouring. This stuff is great because it's so blendable and is waterproof. Palettes like this are great choices because their inexpensive and give you the opportunity to try different colors.

As I said before, these are just a few potential choices for you to use as a contouring medium. What have you tried? What do you like?