This has been big news in the beauty world since the Kardashians launched on to the scene with their contouring images over the past two years previous to that these were techniques that make up artists would subtly use to
soften a face shape or reduce the height of a forehead.
There are a million contouring products out there and we have tried and tested the best on the market to bring you the best value for money products and explain what they bring to the table.
Overall Illumination -
That dewy look and illumination is the hottest new trend in base at the moment.
Some of the best products on the market for creating a brightening effect on the skin under neath your foundation or base are:
Charlotte Tilburys wonder glow primer/illuminator - Pricey but if your looking for a real treat me product why not !?
MAC's Strobe Cream - This is a make up artist classic its is more reasonably priced at 33.50. It gives skin a fresh, brightness.
Boots Botanicals Radiance Cream - RRP 7.99 but this was for sale in Boots in Ballina for 3.99 at the weekend !!! This is a must try for a bargain price.
I would use the above on all skin types - but would be wary of applying too much in the t zone for those with oily skin & give sufficient time for the cream to absorb into the skin before make up application - 15 mins minimum but I would try for 30 mins if possible.
Overall winner for price alone: Boots Botanicals Radiance Cream
Highlighters (Shimmer based):
There are some amazing shimmer based highlighters on the market at the moment ranging from subtle shimmer to full on va va voom highlighter.
Some of the best:
MAC's Soft and Gentle - This is a must have for my make up kit it is soft, subtle while giving your face a real wow factor. Used on the top of the cheekbones, on top of the cupids bow, or just under the brows this gives a really subtle lift to the features without being too over the top. It is 30e from Brown Thomas but mine has honestly lasted me over two years at this stage and I use it alot!!
Mary Lou Maniser - By The Balm this product is brilliant it is very shimmery so not for the faint hearted but will give your make up a real wow factor. It is available from Foodys pharmacy in Ballina or Dublin. It is around 24e.
Marys sister Cindy Lou - is a more subtle highligher with a skin tone shade giving you great illumination but with a bit less shimmer. A fab day time highlighter. Again around 24e.
Overall winner for me - Mary Lou by The Balm it gives that extra shimmer and shine especially coming into the summer.
These highlighters with a shimmer base are best used at the top of the cheekbone, in a c around the temple, at the tip of the brow and on the cupids bow.
Highlighters (Matt Based)
For a matt based highlighter which you would use to bring forward something you wanted to highlight you can use a foundation that is two/three shades lighter than your base you are going to wear for the day or a concealer. This type of highlighting is typically used in a V shape underneath the eyes and on the middle of the nose. This type of highlighting can go terribly wrong and make people look like they have white powder underneath their eyes and look washed out. Something that you think looks amazing in natural light or light at home can give bounce back in pictures so make sure what ever you are using does not have any SPF. I use Vichy Dermablend during the week for this (available in in molloys) or for a wedding or at the weekend I use the amazing concealer available in the salon.
The main rule with contouring is that you are trying to shade back or recede something that does not make your face look like the desired oval face shape i.e. a high forehead, a strong jawline. Most contouring should be subtle and two/three shades darker than your foundation and always Matt with no shimmer.
There are some fab kits on the market such as this one from Blank Canvas Cosmetics - a powder kit is easy to work with and you can mix and match your colours with this kit. It is not for everyone most people will always go to two colours in a pallet but if you like experimenting it is not one that will break the bank at 14.99 :) It is quite big and you will get ages out of it. It wont fit in your make up bag though when traveling.
Another fab powder base for contouring is MAC's give me sun - this is a flat matt shade that will last for ages.
Compacts: Two of my favourite compacts for highlighting, contouring and blush are the Naked Flushed pallet and my recent favourite Sleeks face form in Fair. Both have a fab highligher in the pallet making them a really good affordable choice for a compact you can take with you anywhere. They also have a pink shimmer blush as well as a flat matt contour shade in the Sleek pallet. The sleek pallet is only 12.99 - it is the Face Form in Fair that I prefer and it is available in Boots and Molloys Pharamacy in Ballina. Use the pink shade on the apple of your cheeks as a blush.
When playing with introducing contouring the best areas to contour are from the top of the ear under the cheekbone to the fatty pad of the cheek and down either side of the nose and the tip of the nose. Start with a small amount of colour on your brush and sweep downwards do not saw the brush backwards and forwards in a line as this will use more colour than you might have intended. :)
Please see attached picture to give you an idea of where to apply contour - I use the F15 brush from Blank Canvas Cosmetics it is small enough to give a nice thin line and sift enough to blend the line once it is applied.
Thanks a mil