Contouring...

   Contouring and highlighting (known as shading and countershading in the professional world for an extremely long time, not a new concept) is something I get asked about A LOT. There are a few ground rules I want to establish before going into further detail:

  • Shadows are COOL not WARM in tone
  • LESS IS MORE
  • DO NOT try to carve a new face out of your own
  • DO NOT put stripes on your nose or cheeks
  • DO NOT use anything more than 2 shades lighter or 2 shades darker
  • BLEND BLEND BLEND
  • If you are still struggling with this, ask a PROFESSIONAL makeup artist for a private lesson

   Now that we have that out of the way, let us go over why seasoned professionals are against the "Instagram" contour:

  • No professional celebrity artist would still be working if makeup was done this way
  • It is a drag technique from many years ago used improperly on women's faces
  • A "portfolio" containing looks with said heavy contour would not get you any work with celebrities, private or commercial clients that PAY
  • You would never be considered for agency representation
  • This look along with the "Instagram eyebrows" and crazy eyeshadow isn't even considered Avant Garde
  • It cheapens the true craft of makeup artistry
  • Clients that they have want to look like a better version of themselves, not a clown 

   There will be people that will argue "But its how that person wants to look" or "Makeup is art" and my FAVORITE "Makeup has no rules" 

 THE WRONG WAY: Did a live demonstration of this in front of a friend of mine who does hair, she now really understands why NO ONE wants to look like this! 

THE WRONG WAY: Did a live demonstration of this in front of a friend of mine who does hair, she now really understands why NO ONE wants to look like this! 

   That is wonderful, and you can do what you want to do, no one can stop you! But in the makeup industry, you will never make it by doing this. People can't seem to grasp that heavy makeup doesn't look right in an everyday kind of setting. The heavy contrast with an almost white shade will make shadows under the eyes, and the brown on the cheeks looks more like a bruise than a shadow. When it comes to creating lights and shadows on the face, color theory is a big part of this. Earlier in my little list, I stated that shadows are cool not warm. Have you ever gone outside on a sunny day, sat under a tree in its shadow and noticed the color? Its dark and COOL. Cool in tone such as a grey sort of cast. This is where a huge mistake is always made of using a bronzer as a shading color, which is warm. 

 By Jordan Liberty: Left is using bronzer as a contour, Right is using a cool-grey toned shade as contour

By Jordan Liberty: Left is using bronzer as a contour, Right is using a cool-grey toned shade as contour

   This photo above shows the difference perfectly! We can all agree that the right is much better than the left photo. THIS is a proper highlight and contour! No warm tones, no shimmer, just perfect shading of cheekbones. 

   Now for highlighting, you must keep the shades no more than 2 shades lighter. As I stated earlier, too light of a highlight under your eyes, especially in the day time and indoor lights, can cause a shadow to appear under your eyes. Too much of a contrast in colors causes this. If you are looking to mask under eye darkness, you need to color correct instead of over highlight. Even in dim light, there is no reason for such a drastic difference in color. 

THE PERFECT HOW-TO VIDEO:

By Cle De Peau: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAg4Hr_hYIw