Sunday, February 21, 2016

Contouring Basics + Anastasia Beverly Hills Powder Contour Kit Tutorial

Today is my first contouring tutorial! It's also the first good contoured look I've ever done, which is saying a lot because my attempts have been numerous. In today's tutorial, I'm giving away all the secrets to a perfect, natural contour without all the trial and error. The contouring palette I'm using in for this tutorial is the Anastasia Beverly Hills Powder Contour Kit in Light to Medium, and it's my all-time favorite contour kit.
After priming my entire face with the Figs & Rouge Mattifying Emulsion & Pore Refiner, I'm taking the Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in Light and applying it liberally in a right triangle shape under my eyes, down the bridge of my nose, in the center of my forehead, on the sides of my nose, on my cupid's bow, and on my chin. This creates a smooth, uniform canvass for the rest of my makeup.
Now, I'm patting it all in with a teardrop-shaped sponge. It's important to pat rather than rub because by rubbing the product in, you're losing a lot of coverage, and a lot of the product is just being swept away and wasted.
Now, I'm taking the top left Vanilla shade from my palette and using it as a setting powder. This isn't really the best setting powder ever, but considering that using it eliminates the need to carry an extra compact, it works well enough.
To contour, I'm beginning with Fawn, the bottom middle shade, and applying it along my cheekbones, following my natural contour until I reach just beneath my pupil. I find that it looks much more natural to stop there than to continue down to the corners of my lips. I'm applying it with the i on Beauty Powder Brush and pressing my index finger into the side, making the brush more crescent-shaped and allowing the contour to be more defined. To create more depth, I'm also using the bottom left shade, Java, at the very beginning of my contour since that is the place your natural contour will be most hollow. Using more than one color makes it look much less stripey and unnatural. I also apply the Fawn shade to the line of my jawbone using the same brush.

I'm also applying Fawn around the edges of my forehead with the powder brush and to the sides of my nose with a RealTechniques Brow Brush. These two steps vary greatly from face to face, so it's best to play around with it a bit to find what looks best on you. If you already have a small forehead, contouring will make it look even smaller, so you may not need any in that area. If you have a larger nose that you want to remove emphasis from, you'll want to make that contour more defined and have it closer to the center of your nose to minimize the bridge, creating the illusion of a smaller nose. 
Highlighting is a really varying technique. Many of these steps will be optional, but I generally try to highlight just a bit in every area listed to make my face really glow. Highlighting makes it look like you're always under a spotlight, so you're focusing on the places that would naturally be illuminated.

To further set my undereye area, I'm using the top center shade, Banana, on the same i on Beauty powder brush and pressing that under my eyes for maximum coverage. To highlight, I'm sweeping the shade Sand, the top right color, across my cheeks and forehead to give them an extra glow. If you have a large forehead and don't want to draw attention to it, you may want to skip this step. I'm also highlighting between the contour of my cheekbone and the contour of my jawbone to give them some extra oomph and make them look more defined. If you'd like your contour to appear more natural, this isn't necessary.
Now, I'm highlighting the bridge of my nose with the RealTechniques Deluxe Crease Brush. If you really want to remove focus from your nose, you can skip this step. I'm also applying this to my cupid's bow to accentuate the shape of my lips. I'm highlighting my chin, but if you want to remove emphasis from your chin, feel free to skip this step. To define my brows, I'm applying the highlighting shade under my arches.
Since this is a face-oriented tutorial, I decided to go light on the eyes, using a shimmery pale shade on my lid by Pacifica and a very light bronze shade from theBalm in my crease, followed by a few swipes of Smashbox's Full Exposure Mascara and Billion Dollar Brows' 60 Seconds to Beautiful Brows Kit on my brows. I know contouring can seem very intimidating, but if you practice and work to understand your face shape and what looks best on you, you'll have it down in no time. I have a heart-shaped face, so if you have a square, oval, or otherwise-shaped face, you will have to tweak this a bt, but fundamentally, it's the same stuff. Good luck!

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