Contouring: How to Sculpt the Face You Want with Makeup
Every woman has a few features she wouldn’t mind changing, whether muffin tops, scarred legs, or an absence of hips. And for most of these problem areas there are simple fixes: girdles, high-heeled shoes, pantyhose, and even padded underwear have long been staples of the female camouflage arsenal. But what about facial features? What if a woman wants her nose, cheeks, eyes, or chin to look different, but does not want the danger and expense of surgery?
The easiest, safest way to solve these types of problems is with facial contouring, using little more than everyday cosmetics. Here are a few makeup tips for sculpting your features to create the face you want.
Before You Begin
First, gather together
- your normal makeup kit, including foundation that matches your skin tone and blush;
- loose, translucent powder (NOT pressed powder or a color-tinted formula);
- a white or very light-colored cream or liquid foundation, for highlighting;
- a third liquid or cream foundation, 1 to 3 shades darker than your skin tone; and
- an assortment of applicators, including wedge sponges, large and small natural-bristle brushes, and eye shadow brushes.
Next, wash and prime your face with a cleanser formulated for your skin type and a moisturizer or primer that provides sun protection. Women with oilier skin types may want to opt for a primer with shine control, as well.
How to Apply the Makeup
Now that you’ve created a clean palate for your colors, look at your face in the mirror and find exactly which features you’d like to minimize or maximize. In the beginning, it’s best to stick with the one or two aspects of your face you find most troublesome, instead of trying to rearrange everything. Once you’ve zeroed in on a particular feature, follow the instructions below to bring out the best in them.
Raising the Brow: To lift low eyebrows a little higher, apply a few dabs of very light, highlighting eye shadow or foundation just under arched or tweezed brows. Lightly blend outward with your finger, then apply a dark liner or eye shadow to the lash line, being careful not to take the color up to the crease of the eyelid.
For the Forehead: To widen a narrow forehead, tap highlighting foundation onto the temples and blend inward with a cosmetic wedge. Set with translucent powder. To narrow a wide forehead, use the same technique with your darker-colored foundation. (Note: Darker skin tones can afford to go two or three shades deeper than their natural hue for shadowing, but fairer-skinned ladies should use foundations no more than one shade darker than their skin color.)
Nosing Around: Shorten or narrow long or wide noses with a makeup sponger and dark-colored foundation; simply apply a drop or two to the tip of the sponge and draw a thin line marking the part your want to cover with shadow. Blend the makeup outward, over the edges of the nose, but not out onto the cheeks or too high up the bridge of the nose. For a narrowing effect, start at the bridge of the nose and bring the color down vertically to the nostrils; to shorten a long nose, start at the tip and blend in circles to create an outline similar to that of your regular nose, only higher up. Dust on translucent powder to set.
Chin Up: Camouflage a weak or double chin by shadowing with your darker foundation; apply to a wedge sponge and trace a line just below your chin and jaw, right below the edge of the excess skin. Drag the color down in sharp, quick strokes, fading the color as your reach the natural shadows created in most lighting. (Try turning off your makeup light and using natural light for this step.) Apply your regular foundation to the rest of your face, and blend at the jaw line so that your newly-created shadows don’t look painted-on, then set with translucent powder. To soften the area under the chin even more, apply a bit of dark, neutral-colored blush with a large brush.
Cheeky Girl: To accentuate cheekbones, create the illusion of stronger bone structure, or even make the face look slimmer, shadow the actual cheek area – that is, the fleshy spot between the cheekbones and the jaw – with dark foundation. The best way to do this is to suck in your cheeks; you should see a line running from your mouth up to your ear. Use a wedge sponge to draw a line of foundation just under this natural facial line, then blend downward and outward with short, fast strokes. Pull your cheekbones higher by applying a few dabs of highlighting foundation to the very point of your cheekbones, right outside the eye and below the temple; blend outward until it fades, and the apply the rest of your makeup as usual, being to let contouring makeup dry before moving on. Set all with translucent powder.
Remember, practice makes perfect, so make sure to experiment with your look during an off time or on the weekend, getting it picture perfect before going out on the town.
Take care of yourselves,