It really makes me chuckle when I’m asked (and I’ve been asked A LOT lately!); “do you do contouring?” or “I’m looking for someone who specialises in contouring” as if it’s a new skill that suddenly you need to be qualified in! Contouring has been around for a very, very long time but thanks to some clever marketing and social media it’s being seen as something brand new that we must all now start doing! *sigh*
Contouring and strobing are just new words for what has always been known as highlighting and shading to create the illusion of light and shadows. Its aim is simply to enhance your features and create shape and definition where needed. In my opinion and I think I speak for (I hope) all grooms out there, on your wedding day you should just look like the best version of YOU! Not a completely different person! So my advice would be keep contouring subtle and natural.
With highly filtered images all over social media of heavily contoured faces people are rushing to the shops the buy the latest contour pallet or strobing stick in hope of achieving the same look, so it’s no surprise the beauty shelves are stacked with so many products being advertised to do the job, making it extremely difficult to know where to start in choosing the right product for you.
Here are a few of my favourites that I am currently using in my kit…
MAC MINERALIZE SKINFINISH in the shade ‘Soft & Gentle’ – this has to be my favourite highlighter! Can be used on all skin tones but most suited to those with warmer tones, or used during summer when a stronger glow is acceptable! You only need a small amount of this to create a stunning glow. Apply with a duo fibre brush for a subtler highlight.
MAC MINERALIZE SKINFINISH in the shade ‘Lightscapade’ – Another of MAC’s gorgeous Mineralize highlighters. This shade may look a little crazy in the pan but it works beautifully on paler skin tones or during the winter for a subtle icy glow.
MAC BRONZING POWDER in the shade ‘Matte Bronze’ – be careful with bronzer, only use to contour/create shadow if it is matte as anything with a shimmer in it will create the opposite effect and highlight the area which you don’t want! This matte bronze shade by MAC works so well as a contour powder.
MAC CREAM COLOUR BASE in the shade ‘Hush’ – This is such a great little multi-tasking product! I particularly like to use it as a highlight by using my fingers to dab it along the top of cheekbones. Because it is a cream product it really gives that pretty, dewy, youthful glow which works particularly well for creating that perfect, fresh faced, bridal look. When using cream products remember not to powder over them, just powder where you need it rather than all over your face otherwise it can end up looking cakey. You can also use this product as a cream eyeshadow or even on your lips!
TOO FACED COCOA CONTOUR – I mainly use the medium cocoa shade in this pallet as for me it is the perfect shade for contouring with its slightly greyish tone which is very similar to the shade of the natural shadows on our faces. The greyish, brown contour shades in my opinion look much more natural, however, it will depend on your natural skin tone, if you are darker skinned you will need the intensity of the dark cocoa. It’s also great to have a matte highlight which this pallet contains for when you want to highlight without the shimmery look. These powders are extremely pigmented so apply a little at a time and build up the shadow gradually and blend well! I’m not such a fan of the shimmery highlighter in this palette so I’d use one of the above instead. Oh and did I mention the Too Faced products actually smell of chocolate! Make up and chocolate! What more could we want!
MAC POWDER BLUSH in the shade ‘Harmony’ – This is a matte powder blush in a great shade for contouring, especially under the cheek bones. It’s super easy to blend and very pigmented so you don’t need much at all!