Everyone wants to be an expert when it comes to highlighting and contouring. After all, who doesn’t want that super-chiselled look for all their selfies? But it doesn’t have to be so intense or time-consuming — a few strokes of the right products tailored to your face shape and skin tone can create a subtly sculpted, but still noticeable effect that’s wearable in the real world. These strategically placed swipes of bronzer and highlighter cam enhance your natural features.
Contouring and the bare-faced trend can co-exist — the trick is using sheer, tinted skincare instead of shimmery bronzers and highlighters. The real key to getting this no-makeup look is working with a shade that’s close to your natural skin tone.
Start with the base in a tinted moisturiser that’s suited to your skin tone. Next, using a liquid foundation that’s lighter than your skin colour, highlight the highest points of your face — down the bridge of the nose, the middle of the forehead and on the tops of the cheekbones — to brighten. To contour, opt for a few shades darker than your natural shade, and apply the same along the hair line and jawline to define. To blend the two together, apply the medium shade on the apples of the cheeks, along the bridge of the nose and on the chin. Simply use a damp beauty blender to get a seamless finish.
For a fresh, dewy flush
Applying a bronzer along the hollows of your cheekbones to help define them is contouring 101. To really make your cheeks pop, try contouring with two different shades of blush. This technique works best with creamy, easy-to-blend products, to give you that coveted dewy finish.
For this look, opt for a peachy blush palette, before dabbing a caramel or darker, pinker shade, behind it and higher up on the cheekbone. Next, trace along the hair line and under the apples of your cheeks with a foundation stick that is a few shades darker than your skin tone. This will make your face appear elongated. Finish the look with a shimmery liquid highlighter with a pink undertone, down the bridge of the nose, on the chin and cheeks to add dimension without piling on more bronzer. This will give your skin a healthy glow.
For a warm, air-brushed finish
When contouring on darker skin tones, steer clear of powder products that can look chalky. Instead, use a liquid matte foundation in one to two shades darker than your skin tone to bronze.
Taking that liquid foundation, begin with the forehead, along the sides and under the nose, and along the bottom of your chin, to elongate the face. Next, apply a blush in an upside down triangle shape on the apples of the cheeks to create more length, and dab the top corner of each cheek with the matching bronzer. The cream-to-powder formula creates that airbrush finish that is smooth, without being too dry. Finally, apply small dabs of an illuminator on the bridge of the nose, above the Cupid’s bow, and at the centre of the chin, to accentuate your lips.