Before I get into how and which blushes I use to contour I want to show you WHAT on my face I contour. I found out about contouring from the late, great Kevyn Aucoin. The first book I purchased by him was called Making Faces. That is an awesome book where Mr. Aucoin transforms celebrities into OTHER celebrities. So intrigued by his talent I picked his other book Face Forward Let me tell you. This book has a wealth of information in it. Contouring is one of those important nuggets of information. Contouring is a technique that helps recreate natural shadows on the face after using foundation that could otherwise leave your face looking flat, two dimensional or too monochromatic. The face has natural areas that create light and dark shadows. When we apply one shade of foundation we mask these shadows. By adding the shadows back to the face using darker and lighter products we bring out that natural sculpted look to the face. I find that when wearing full coverage foundations (like I do) it is an essential step in creating polished and more natural look.
Mr. Aucoin's book Face Forward has a very famous face chart on where to apply contour and highlight. I don't think I have the rights to use that chart so I recreated it using my own face and a little Photoshop added "paint brush" application. As you can see in the over exaggerated chart above, the dark lines show the strategic places to add contour and the white lines show where to add highlight. However where you add your own contour and highlights may be different as you may want to highlight or shadow different parts of the face...but for the most part the chart above shows where most contour and highlight is placed on the face. For example. I do not highlight down the bridge of my nose or on my forehead a) because I fairly pale so it's light enough already and b) because I am fairly oily and my skin will produce its own shine sooner or later. I also contour the area above my lips between my cupids bow. This does not normally stand out on my face so I like to create a bit more depth in that area to define my lips even more.
When I contour I choose a darker, matte color. That's why the NYX Powder Blushes are great for contour as they are matte and do come in some very common contouring shades. NYX Taupe blush is good for almost anyone as a contour. Remember to use a light hand in application and BLEND or else you end up looking like a reject from the 1980's blush disaster era. Want to see pictures from a makeup book from the 1980's? Check out this link. It's scary. I promise.
So anyway, NYX Taupe is a great all around contour blush that works for almost anyone. Unless you are like me and you are a special snowflake so you have to make things difficult, then you might want to turn to another NYX Blush called Raisin. Raisin is more red based but still very dark. I have A LOT of red in my skin and sometimes a brown blush does not look "natural" That's when I like to layer certain areas with a more red toned contour. This is a personal preference. I am not saying you should or have to use the Raisin blush, but it's what I use and it works for me.
The NYX Powder Blushes can be purchased at a variety of locations, but I find that Cherry Culture has the best selection and prices. However, their shipping is INCREDIBLY slow. If you need something right away, this place may not be the best to order from. I waited a couple of WEEKS to get my order of two blushes. It was agony for an instant gratification/Veruca Salt/I Want it NOW type of person that I am.
I like to use the MAC 188 Small Duo Fibre Brush when applying the NYX Powder blushes as a contour. It's the smaller version of the MAC 187 Brush. It is often referred to as a Skunk Brush. The brush is perfect for highly pigmented powders because it picks up just a little of the product and effortlessly blends while applying. It's also smaller and thinner than the 187 brush and able to apply in the hollows of the cheeks and along the sides of the nose without making me look like a clown with too much blush all over my face, Of course you can always use the Kevyn Aucoin Beauty Contour Brush but I have not personally used it so I can't say if it works better or not.
No matter what brush you choose, what method of contouring you choose, and what type of product you use to contour (Blush, Creme Blush, Darker Foundation, Contouring Powder, etc.) Remember the Less Is More rule. You don't want to make it obvious that you have contoured. you want to make it look as natural as possible....and subtle is better!
Do you NEED this? YES! The NYX Powder blushes are incredibly well pigmented, the are easy to apply, they are perfect for contour and the cost on average $6! You can't go wrong with spending as little as $6 on a blush! In face Cherry Culture is having a sale and you can get them for only $5 right now!
Do you contour your face when you apply makeup? Have you always wanted to but never tried? What's your favorite tutorial on contouring on youtube or on another blog? What products do you use to contour? Let us all know in the comments section.
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