One of the earlier posts I wrote on Messy Wands was a mini contouring tutorial using NARS Multiples. I called it "mini" because it wasn't complete - I only demonstrated how to shade the cheeks, while contouring can involve the entire face. With summer quickly approaching, my makeup routine is now as simple as my clothing choices. I've been wearing less and less, and the contoured look is one of my stalwarts for something quick, easy, and effective.
As I mentioned in said mini tutorial, contouring is about manipulating light (or what we perceive as light/shadow) to make your features more pronounced. We have in our makeup arsenal highlighters or luminizers that has light reflecting properties, or powders one shade lighter than your skin tone to give a similar effect, and bronzers to deepen your skin tone to mimic shadow. When used together, it gives dimension to an otherwise flat face (in my case quite literally, which is why I like to contour my nose).
Below is a guide to how I contour my face, with the hope that it proves helpful to you.
Bare face, with shaded brows, CdP Concealer in Ochre and LMdB Peau Vierge #2
I shade according to the lines in the photo above:1. The area below the cheeks
2. The temples
3. The sides along the nose into the eyebrows
4. Along the jawline
L-R: bare face, contoured face
Contoured + blush
As for materials, you can use any texture you like, though I am partial to powders. There are dedicated contouring products out there (like the MAC Studio Sculpt line) but it is likely that you already have everything you need in your hands. You could use blushes or bronzers that are a couple shades darker than your skin tone – my personal favorite is Burberry Earthy.
Suqqu Balancing Eyebrow in Moss Green, Burberry Sheer Summer Glow Palette
For this particular post, I used Burberry Sheer Summer Glow Palette for most of my face, and the Suqqu Balancing Eyebrow palette for the contouring down the sides of the nose (I love that the palette has a dedicated shade just for that purpose!). To enhance the contours, I place highlighter down the center of the nose and the top of the cheekbones as well.
Top-Bottom: Suqqu Powder Brush, Hakuhodo 210 Blush Brush, Suqqu Eyeshadow Brush L
Hakuhodo 210 Blush Brush
Much of a good contouring experience lies in the brushes you use. It is important to blend the color into the skin while maintaining a defined line, so while your brushes should be soft (bonus points for comfort) it should also retain a firm shape. I've tried a few, such as Shu Uemura 20H (slanted cheek), Hakuhodo S103 (pointed blush brush), and the MAC 109 (rounded blush brush), which is similar to my HG, the Hakuhodo 210 Blush Brush. All are effective and depends on what you personally prefer. I like the rounded shape for the density and firmness, and prefer the Hakuhodo over the MAC due to the softness of the bristles. I also like to use the Suqqu Eyeshadow Brush L where precision is needed (like the sides of the nose).