I remember a few milestones in my makeup-loving life. The first one was when I was finally satisfied with my way of drawing a natural eye brow (took a couple of years) and the second was when I figured out what contouring entailed. Before that, the word "contouring" itself was so daunting because I didn't know what it meant. I was watching video tutorials of people sweeping bronzers "in the shape of a 3" around the sides of their faces, but I never knew why they were doing what they did, only that they did it to "look better/slimmer."
It was a long time before I understood that contouring was about mimicking the (most flattering) way light would fall on your face. Since I recently acquired three NARS Multiples in hues that were made for this purpose, I thought it might be helpful if I demonstrated how I've been using them as a cheek contour/highlight.
- Face: Le Metier de Beaute Peau Vierge Shade #2, NARS Multiples in St. Barts (contour), Maui (blush), and Luxor (highlight).
- Eyes: NARS Grand Palais Duo, Chanel Le Crayon Yeux in Berry, Maybelline Volum'Express The Falsies Flared in Very Black
- Lips: NARS Train Bleu Velvet Matte Lip Pencil or Burberry Lip Mist in Feather Pink
Here's how I look after applying Peau Vierge and shading in my eye brows, just to demonstrate that I really have no color on my face.
To find out where to apply the contour color, suck in your cheeks like in the picture below. Use a stiff brush to pick up the color and apply it in even strokes following the line where your cheeks sink in.
My best friend calls this the Dory face
Note: I applied it extra dark on the image above to show you approximately where the colors should go. That is not the amount I used.
Your contour should look barely noticeable, like a shadow below your cheekbones. If you find your lines are too harsh, soften it by blending with your finger.
Next, use a finger to dab Maui onto the apples of the cheeks and bring it all the way to your hairline. The placement of the blush color should be right on top of your contour color. Be careful while applying so as to not blend away your existing contour color.
Finally, with a clean finger, dab Luxor onto the top of your cheekbones (generally this will be just above where you placed the blush color) and once again, bring it into the hairline.
The idea of contouring is playing with light and shadow to accentuate your features. That's why you're literally trying to create "light" and "shadow" above and below the cheekbones, to mimic the way light would fall (in the most flattering way) on the face.
Finish up the rest of your face with eyeshadow/liner/mascara and lip color of your choice.
I applied two very different lip colors just to show you how drastically the color of your lips can affect a look.
Burberry Lip Mist in Feather Pink
NARS Train Bleu Matte Velvet Lip Pencil
I love the stark contrast of the dark lip paired with nude hues.
If you don't own or don't like the Multiples, you can always substitute them with other products in the same color family. Remember to make sure your contour color is not more than one or two shades darker than your natural skin tone.
NARS relaunched their website a few days ago and is offering $20 off any $100 purchase for an unspecified period of time. Head on to www.narscosmetics.com and enter code "NewWebsite" during checkout to receive the discount. You also get to enjoy free shipping on any order, no code required.