Monday, April 18, 2011

How To: Basics of Contouring Cheeks

Model Justine Stevens, Photographer: Marlowe Holt, MUA: MakeupbyJanalyn (actual photo from my final photoshoot at Bella Torre Academy)

Contouring is probably one of the most difficult techniques to perfect (I still practice contouring) but its one of the most important, especially for fashion makeup!

I helped out the Bella Torre Academy graduating class recently with their final exam (not sure if Im allowed to say what the exam is, so I wont spill the beans!). But anyways they needed to apply all the techniques and theory they learned in class throughout the entire course. I found that they needed some pointers on contouring, so I was happy to share my tips and tricks with them.

As a disclosure, all makeup artists use different techniques, tools and products for contouring, and there are many different ways to contour, but this is just one of the easiest ways I know and a great way to practice. Later on, you can experiment and even make up your own way or what works for you. There are NO RULES in makeup artistry!

In the words of the Black Eyed Peas..."Lets get it started!"

Tools/Products You Will Need:
  • Contour Brush, Blush Brush or Small Duo Fibre Brush (any one will work)
  • Kabuki Brush (or any brush you would use to buff out product)
  • Powder Bronzer (Nars 'Laguna' is my fav!)
  • Good lighting!
First Step: Analyze.
  • Of course, you always want to analyze before doing any makeup, especially contouring. Placement is key to this particular technique.
  • Feel for the cheekbone. The cheekbone will usually run from the ear down to the apples of the cheeks.
Second Step: Apply.
  • Now that you know exactly where the cheekbone is, you want to apply bronzer to the hollows of your cheekbone, which is that soft area right below the cheekbone.
  • Start from the outside (base of ear) and work your way in (towards below apples of cheeks) in a straight, slightly diagonal line (everyones face structure will be different) using light strokes
Third Step: Buff.
  • Just like with eyeshadow, you usually dont want any harsh lines, but a gradient effect.
  • Take a step back and see if you went too dark in any areas or if it travelled to places you didnt want it. Buff it out.
TADA! Pretty simple right? 'Perfect Practice, Makes Perfect'!

Model: Kaitlyn Metcalf, Photographer: Steve Dantzig, Swimsuit: Blue Nalu, Jewelry: Jane Metcalf 'JAM Designs', MUA: MakeupbyJanalyn

Contouring is such a great technique to learn, and once you get comfortable with it you can really create a wide variety of looks, characters, and even change the appearance of your facial structure!

Do you have any tips, tricks, products or tools you use for contouring?


VijiiS said...

Great post: very interesting and informative. I can imagine this being helpful to both beginners and those more experienced with makeup!

Janalyn said...

Thanks VijiiS!! Yes its a great starting point for beginners, once people get the hang of this, then theyre set, you can use different products and techniques for different facial structures =)

Vulcan_Butterfly said...

Awesome post, this is really helpful! Once again, the makeup in your photoshoots looks fantastic!

Janalyn said...

Thank you Vulcan_Butterfly!! Im so glad you like it =))

Red lips, Black hair said...

Thank you for taking the time to do such informative posts! The mu on both models is fabulous! You used red l/s! *iz so proud* ;_;

Janalyn said...

Yay! Thank you! Both photos were taken last year sometime when red lips were the trend!

Delyteful Speaks said...

Sweeeeeeet! Awesome tips! Thank you for that!

I love my contouring to be subtle.. Not obvious at all.. I just my Soleil Tan De Chanel (Bronze Universal) for my contouring.. It's so beautiful and blends so nicely on my skin

Janalyn said...

Ive been trying to save for the Chanel bronzer!! Everyone I know who has tried it, LOVES it so ill be really excited once I get mines!