Master illusionist Cara Macken – makeup artist at Brown Sugar, brownsugar.ie – shares her tips for clever contouring in the comfort of your own home.
As with any trend, the way we contour is always changing. For the past while, a strong contour has been the statement, but things are beginning to return to a more natural look. Make-up artists have always contoured, but now we get clients requesting to have it done like it’s an add-on.
HOW TO APPLY GOOD, BASIC CONTOUR
Choose a contour product that’s two shades deeper than your natural skin tone. With your fingers, find the hollow beneath your cheek bone – this is where you’ll apply the product. Apply with a brush, making sure not to bring the shade too far down, as that would equally drag the face down. Choose a cool tone when purchasing a contour product – this will add definition. You can then add warmth to the face with bronzer.
TRICKS FOR CLEVER CONTOURING
If you are confused as to where to apply contour, take a make-up brush and line up your ear to the start of your smile line – that’s your guideline. Also, contour isn’t just for cheeks: foreheads can be minimised and noses transformed with some clever shading … Just remember to use a smaller brush for more detailed places, such as down the side of the nose.
WHERE DOES BRONZER COME IN?
While Irish women are great with a tan, there’s always confusion with bronzer. The golden rule is that contour creates a shadow on the face, bronzer adds warmth. Apply bronzer after contour by taking a large brush, load with product and create a large “3” shape, from the forehead, along the cheekbone and back around the jaw; repeat on the other side. Add a sweep down the nose and chin too, for a sun-kissed look. I call this the 3E technique.
Your perfect starter kit: Left, The Balm Mary-Lou-Manizer, €21.50, Top right, Sleek Face Form contour, highlight, and blush trio, €14.49, Bottom right, Kohl Blush in Captive, €22
AND WHAT ABOUT BLUSH AND HIGHLIGHTER?
Highlight adds brightness and a glow to the face, so apply this to areas you want to show off – the brow bone, and top of the cheek-bone, above contour. The cupid’s bow of the upper lip, and the bridge of the nose are also great places to highlight. The blush comes last, as it adds colour to the face. My cardinal rule is to choose one place – either the apples of the cheeks or up towards the hairline – but not both, as that can look overdone.
PEOPLE WITH GREAT CONTOURING
Emily Ratajkowski from Gone Girl is one of my favourites – she always seems to get it right on the red carpet.
I guess it’d be rude not to mention Kim Kardashian too. Her makeup artist, Mario Dedivanovic, is unreal at transforming faces … I’m constantly on his Instagram.
EASY DOES IT
Finally, when it comes to contouring,I always say, think natural! I love my make-up, but going too severe can look false. Remember, you always have the option to build it up for a more impactful night-time look.
Get these beauty tips and more in the Image Magazine August issue, available nationwide.