Monday, 12 December 2011

Corrective contouring and plain old contouring!

Happy Monday beauties!

Hope you all had a great weekend. I was loving the rain in JHB on Friday, and the little we had over the rest of the weekend. Yesterday we went to the Canon expo at the Sandton Convention Center, where they had HUGE specials on Canon equipment, my hubby got himself a battery grip for his camera, it usually retails at over R1000.00, and he got it for R99.00! And it is the original Canon product too!

Anyway, on to makeup! Corrective contouring is what we do to perfect our face shapes. I have done a post about face shapes before, so if you haven't determined your shape yet, check it out. The oval shape is the most sought after of all the face shapes, and is considered the perfect shape. So corrective contouring is how we approach making our face shapes more oval.

I actually got out my drawing board and did this drawing of faces myself, using a textbook pic as reference (don't you think the oval shape looks a little like Kristin Stewart??) :

The pink is where you want to contour, and the purple is where you want to highlight. What the what am I talking about? Don't stress it, it is really simple.

When I say contour, I mean a shade foundation 1 or 2 shades darker than your own skintone, applied to soften the angles, or the widest parts of your face.

Highlighting means that you take a foundation shade, 1 or 2 shades lighter than your skin, and apply it to the parts of your face you want to emphasize.

So if you have an oblong face, you are going to contour your chin and forehead. This is going to shorten the face, and make it seem more oval. You don't want to highlight this face shape, because it is going to cancel out the effect of the contouring.

The same goes for a rectangular face, no highlighting, and the contouring shortens and softens this shape. Focus on the "corners" of the face, the sides of the forehead and the jaw.

You want your rounder face to look slimmer, so contour on the sides of the face, and highlight the chin and the forehead. This will elongate the face.

For the square face shape you want to soften the corners, like you did with the rectangular shape, but you also want to elongate it, that's why you highlight the forehead and chin,and contour the sides of the forehead and jaw.

The inverted triangle shape has a broad forehead and a narrow chin, so you want to take some of the "weight" (I'm not saying you have a fat forehead! It's like a visual scale, like black slimming and white making thins look bigger. Because the forehead is broader, it is perceived to have more weight, and the face seems unbalanced.) from the forehead and add some to the bottom of the face. So you are going to contour the sides of the forehead and the chin, to make it seem slimmer, and highlight the jaw. This will even out the face, and make the forehead and jaw seem the same width.

The heart shape is really angular, so you want to soften the angles of the forehead and cheekbones, by contouring them, and highlight the chin to balance out the broader forehead.

The diamond shape needs to be softened and evened out. Contouring the forehead, cheekbones ad chin will make it seem less angular, while highlighting the sides of the forehead and jaw will make the face seem more oval.

Lastly, the triangle. This is the opposite of the inverted triangle (obviously), and this shape has a broader chin and narrower forehead. So you are going to highlight the sides of the forehead, to make it seem wider, and contour the chin and a small part of the forehead to soften it.

The key to this is in the blending. You really don't want to walk around with three shades of foundation on your face that is easily detected! You need to spend some time blending the shades together, so it looks like natural shadows and high points on your face.

Now, as I have said before, almost every person i know has a combination shape face. My own face is a combination between oblong and oval, it is too long to be oval, and too short to be oblong. So the chances are, you have a combination shape too. As in the narrow chin from the heart shaped face, but the rest of the face is more square. It happens people!! :)

I'll do a post about corrective makeup on the eyes, nose and mouth too, if you are interested. Please let me know!

Contouring can be understood as this : you want to highlight the center of the face to emphasize it, and contour under the cheeks, the jaw and temples to slim the face. This is different that corrective contouring, because we are not correcting anything! You do this in your everyday makeup to look more striking. Also, you don't need to use foundation to do this, as you do with corrective contouring, you can use bronzer and cheek highlighter, or blush and eyeshadow to get this look.

This is how MAC cosmetics sees contouring :

You are going to use the bronzer / blush (some people actually use darker foundation or concealer here too) where the brown arrows are, and highlighter on the blue parts.

Highlighter can be understood here as one of a few things : you buy products specifically designed to highlight at your local beauty store. They come in matte or sheer. You can also use a very light eyeshadow to get the same effect, or once again, a lighter shade foundation or concealer.

Here is another diagram about highlighting and contouring :

The first two pictures show you where to highlight, the last one shows the contouring of the temples and jaw. You can always contour under the cheekbones if you want a slimmer looking face too.

I hope I didn't bore you to death here!! :)

Please remember one thing though, you are beautiful without makeup! You don't need to have the "perfect" shape face to be perfect. We are all gorgeous in our own right, no matter what shape or size we are. I did this post because i have been asked to do it, and a lot of you enjoyed the post about hairstyles to suit your face shape. I don't do either corrective contouring, or contouring and highlighting on my own face, except when I am going out to a black tie, and guess how often that happens!! Believe in yourself, and you'll get that hottie or the increase you have been working so hard for! You don't need makeup to make your dreams come true. Well, except if you want to be a makeup artist!! How's that for a Monday inspirational!! Haha!

Stay beautiful!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the information. You have a very good article. I found it informative and useful. Keep up the good work and God bless!