DIY Beauty: How to Contour & Highlight

July 24, 2014

I’ve been wanting to add beauty/makeup tutorials to Drifter & the Gypsy for quite some time, but I just never found someone who was the right fit. About a month ago, I found Melanie of The Tia Fox and instantly knew she would be perfect for the column. A few emails later and I had secured a new D&tG contributor! Melanie will be contributing one makeup tutorial a month. I can’t wait to pick up a few tips and tricks from this column!

First up: How to Contour & Highlight. Let’s everyone welcome Melanie to the D&tG team…

diy beauty: how to contour and highlight - drifter and the gypsy blog

Naturally chiseled cheekbones and structured jawline can be hard to come by, but by contouring and highlighting, you can enhance your best features. Using dark shades (detract light) and light shades (reflect light) of makeup will instantly bring out your cheekbones, slim your nose and sculpt your face.

Here are front and side photos of me with only foundation and eye makeup. I have no concealer, bronzer, highlighting powder or blush on my face.

As you can see, especially from the side photo my face looks almost two-dimensional and my cheekbones look nearly non-existent, but fear not! This can easily be fixed with contouring!

diy beauty: how to contour and highlight - drifter and the gypsy blog

CONTOURING

In the photos below, I used dark brown lines to mark out which areas to contour. Different contour lines enhance and focus on different features. For example, contouring just below your cheek bones will give you the appearance of more pronounced cheekbones. Contouring the forehead and along the hair line will help to create the appearance of a smaller forehead. This is great to do in particular on occasions when you have your hair up. Adding dark contouring to the outside of the bridge of your nose and under the tip will make your nose appear more narrow.

When contouring your cheekbones, the easiest way to know where to contour is to suck in your cheeks and then work from the top of the hollows inwards and shade along just beneath the sunken area. Make sure you stop an inch from the corner of your mouth and blend well. I like to use a contouring brush for this. For a slimmer nose, blend two lines of the shading powder from the start of your brows down the sides of the bridge of your nose. I like to use a smaller eyeshadow brush to do this.

It is also important to keep your face shape in mind. If you have a round face, contour under your cheekbones. This will make your face look smaller. But if you have a narrow face, it would make your face look even longer. Instead, shade along the top of your forehead and a bit on the chin. This will soften angular features and give a more rounded effect.

Blending is key! I like to run a fluffy brush such as a foundation brush over the finished look in a circular buffing motion. It is important to hold your brush very softly. A tip is to hold the brush towards the end of the handle. This will give you a softer and more seamless finish.

diy beauty: how to contour and highlight - drifter and the gypsy blog

HIGHLIGHTING

Highlighting is especially important when you are contouring because it brings the light back to into your face. At the same time make sure you don’t over do it. You don’t want a glittery and shiny face.

I like to use a tapered brush for application along the top of my cheek bones. Then I dab whatever’s left over on my brow bones, center of my chin and top of my nose. Make sure you use a light hand when applying highlighting powder so hold the brush at the tip for light application.

To cover the dark circles underneath my eyes, I like to use a cream concealer. I prefer to use my fingers over a brush because the heat from my fingers helps to warm up the product and the concealer transfers seamlessly onto my skin.

diy beauty: how to contour and highlight - drifter and the gypsy blog

THE FINISHED LOOK

diy beauty: how to contour and highlight - drifter and the gypsy blog
You can see subtle changes such as more pronounced cheekbones, narrower nose, smaller forehead and less visible dark circles under my eyes.

The changes are not meant to be drastic, contouring and highlighting techniques are there to enhance the features you already have.

diy beauty: how to contour and highlight - drifter and the gypsy blog

BEFORE & AFTER

diy beauty: how to contour and highlight - drifter and the gypsy blog

Melanie (DIY Beauty Contributor)

click here for more diy beauty.

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