Contouring may be the newest makeup trend to sweep the feeds of every Instagram and Pinterest user, but this blazing hot makeup trend is actually based on an art concept called the “dark/light illusion.” It is a very basic principle: dark things look smaller and appear to recede, while light things look larger and appear to come forward. Slimmer nose? Model-status cheekbones? Smaller forehead? Jerome Alexander has tips for tweaking nearly every facial feature you desire with the simple principles of contour – no surgery required.
What You’ll Need
- Shading color (bronzer, foundation 1-2 shades darker than skin, matte brown eyeshadow)
- Highlighting color (concealer, foundation or shadow 1-2 shades lighter than skin)
- Blending brush/sponge
When contouring your nose, the typical objective is to slim down the broadness. To do so, use a highlighter and blend it down the entire length of the top of your nose. Then, use a matte bronzer or a light brown eye pencil to lightly shade the sides of your nose. If you have a naturally thin nose, you can highlight the sides; however, we recommend leaving it. A better option is to apply highlighter at the very top of your cheekbones under the outside corners of your eyes, as it will draw eyes upward and outward, deemphasizing the length of your nose.
The goal here is to create the illusion of high cheekbones. To achieve this effect, suck in your cheeks and look in the mirror. By sucking in your cheeks, you have created a hollow. Using your shade color, start in the hollow directly under the center of your eye and work straight backwards toward your hairline. This will create the illusion of greater definition of the cheekbones. In contrast, you can highlight the top of your cheekbones, beginning directly below the center of your eye and working upwards and outwards to the end of your eyebrows.
If you have a low forehead, you will highlight the area to make the space between the eyebrows and the hairline appear larger. The most natural location to highlight is above the outer corners of your eyebrows. If you have a high forehead, you will shade the area to minimize the space between the hairline and the eyebrows. To do so, lower your hairline by shading along the top perimeter of your forehead.
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