The Art Of Contouring

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Beauty is inherent and of course we all love to enhance it with our attire, our attitude, our body language and more often with our makeup.

Contouring is not just the forte of models and superstars. The chiseling of your nose, lifting the cheekbones or creating the perfect jawline is very easily achievable by a little knowledge and of course intense passion and practise. The more you practice contouring on your own face the more perfection you will achieve to attain this glamorous effect. The trick is to create an illusion with accurate placement of the foundations used and the concept of shading while understanding the art of highlighting your good features and minimizing the not so good ones.

Give wings to your creativity and work like a pro, this is where you can work on the structure and anatomy of your face which is the upper, middle and lower face extending to the neck region.

Face contouring or sculpting is mostly done by professional makeup artists but when doing it yourself you need to understand the principle  of using dark and light foundations, powders or makeup sticks to enhance and  recede facial features.The foundation palette, stick or liquid foundations from Kryolan, Mac or Bobbi Brown are some great professional products to choose from to do glamour makeup. So rather than opting for a face sculpting surgery let’s weave the magic with some makeup and invest in a few tools like brushes and sponges to get great results.

Two colours of foundation will be necessary to help you get the effect. You will be able to give some lift and definition to your cheekbones, jaw and chin with smart makeup techniques. The first foundation should be two shades lighter than your skin tone and is applied with a brush under the eyes in the shape of an inverted triangle, then in the centre of your forehead in a V shape starting between the eyebrows and going up and then coming to the bridge of the nose and the tip of the nose. Next apply the same foundation above the upper lip and below the lower lip, now from the small ear to the chin draw lines on both the cheeks with the same colour. Your contouring foundation will be two shades darker than your skin tone.

Take a clean brush to start application on the temples extending up towards the hairline. With a narrow brush start softly from the crease of the eye  down towards the sides of the nose making sure the previously applied lighter foundation on the bridge of the nose is not disturbed. Now from the bottom of the ear to ear apply this dark foundation right across the jawline. Apply some vertical strokes of this foundation down the neck avoiding the collar bones which need to be brushed with the lighter foundation. Finally, one brush of dark contouring foundation from the top of the ear upto the hollow of the cheeks. Suck your cheeks in to check out the hollow part of your cheeks. Now starts the tactful blending. Preferably keep two clean and moist beauty blenders.

Start blending on the lighter areas first, and blend on each area where the lighter foundation is applied. With the other clean blender start blending on the darker foundation area and while doing so there will be a shadow where the dark and light foundations meet without any demarcating lines. Later you can go over the face with a little weightless powder and big powder brush to keep the makeup result stay longer.

It will take you very little time to understand your own personal needs of contouring makeup, and getting this awesome result will surely make you more confident.

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Rashmi Kapur Abrol has been in the beauty industry for the last 37 years, a columnist to the Times of India, official make-up therapist to the Miss World contestants and a soft skills trainer for Leading Hotels in the country and abroad.

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