Highlighting and Contouring
Highlighting and contouring is one of the most requested techniques in professional makeup application today. But what exactly is it? Simply, it is an old-school technique where the highest points of the face are brought forward with lighter shades, and recesses pushed back with darker shades. In essence, all makeup is based on the basic principles of catching light and creating shadows – it is all about creating dimension. Noses appear slimmer, cheekbones more sculpted, and faces are overall slenderized.
The trend of highlighting and contouring is all over social media, with professional makeup artists revealing makeup techniques that look more like tribal markings in yellows and browns than a finished product. When it is all said and done, the technique provided can create a flawless canvas that photographs beautifully and creates perfect bone structure, even if you were not born with it. This can be too extreme for some, but is easily toned down for daily beauty looks. The key to achieving this look successfully is to choose a contour color that is not too orange, but slightly grey, in order to mimic a shadow. It is especially important to have the right color contour for professional photography and film, but in real life, a color two shades darker than your overall face will do just fine. Cream foundations are ideal for this type of makeup application, given their ability to blend seamlessly without using too much product.
Teach you client this easy trick to add contouring to their beauty routine. First, place color on top of your usual foundation shade the way you would your favorite matte bronzer. Imagining a number “3” on the side of the face, this will serve as guide for the contour. Place a small amount of the cream foundation with a brush at the temple, take the color down along the hairline to the hallow of the cheek (do not go past the center of the eye) and continue to outline the jaw. Minimize a larger forehead by adding contour color along hairline or prominent chin with a little color at the bottom. The same can be done to minimize the sides of a wider nose to make it appear more structured or straight. This step alone will give contrast and automatically illuminate the center of the face. Spray the face with a hydrating mist and blend away with a damp beauty sponge or dense buffing brush (synthetic preferably).
Use your favorite foundation palette to contour and highlight. This gives a glowing sun-kissed effect on skin with a yellow undertone and warms up cooler skin tones. With so many shades from which to choose, you will find your perfect pair.
Perfectly groomed eyebrows are essential. An overly-tweezed eyebrow can date a look as well as the woman. There are so many new eyebrow products like liquid pens to draw in individual hairs and creamy eyebrow pomades on the market from which to choose. If you have an eyeshadow that looks like it would make a good eyebrow color, mix it with liquid eyeliner sealer and create your own eyebrow gel. Whatever you choose, try a fuller look by filling in the ends more heavily than the area closer to the center of the face; this will give a natural and gradient effect. Going fuller does not mean darker, so overdraw eyebrows slightly for more weight.
Comb filled eyebrows upward with a mascara spooly and micro-scissors to clean up any stray hairs, with no need for razors and tweezers. Run a lighter shade of concealer along the eyebrow bone, carving out a clean edge with a flat brush; this is the secret to crisp eyebrows. The previous step can be repeated along the top, but again, concentrating on the “tail” of the eyebrow. The “concealer trick” instantly lifts the eye and gives a clean polished look that pulls a whole look together. Doing this for clients after a wax or threading session turns the experience into a complete eyebrow makeover and should be added to every spa menu.
The faux eyelashes available in today’s market are not your grandmother’s faux eyelashes. Companies are coming out with edgy designs that take faux eyelashes to new heights and instantly transform eye looks. Wispy, fluttery eyelashes are perfect for achieving a “no-makeup” look with the right amount of glamour.
The biggest giveaway that you are wearing falsies is the glue strip. To help conceal this, simply smudge cake liner in brown or black along lash strip and add a tiny flick to line up with outer most eyelashes. The simplest eye makeup will suddenly look smoked out and sultry with the right pair.
Cannot find the right pair of faux eyelashes? Make your own by stacking two eyelash pairs with different shapes and textures for a one-of-a-kind wink. Get creative and experiment. Ultimately, it is about enhancing existing features and making new techniques to make your usual makeup look feel fresh and modern.
Makeup is constantly evolving and professional makeup artists and everyday users alike are always creating new and inventive trends that captivate the cosmetic industry every day. Have your clients try these three popular trends to make heads turn the next time they go out on the town. Experiment with your own unique style. Who knows, maybe your creation will spark the next big makeup trend.
Marlene Rivera is a copywriter and visual content creator living in Los Angeles, California. Rivera currently works delivering content, discovering trends and developing relationships as a social media specialist for Cinema Secrets PRO Cosmetics. For the past five years, she has worked in the beauty industry as an independent freelance makeup artist, beauty advisor in retail, and a creative in marketing. These diverse backgrounds bring a fresh point of view to blogs, marketing collateral and make for authentic interactions and engaging discussions on social media platforms.