… and contour and highlight your cheekbones to supermodel proportions!
For the ultimate in chiseled cheekbones, follow these three steps:
1) Contour: shade the underside of the cheekbone.
2) Color: apply blush to the apple of the cheek and on the cheekbone.
3) Highlight: illuminate the area above the cheekbone.
Not blessed with prominent bone structure? The three-step technique outlined above, which is based on the principles of light and shade, will allow you to define your facial contours and alter your perceived face shape. Basically, light shades are applied to features you want to highlight, maximize or bring forward, and dark shades are applied to those you wish to play down, minimize or push back. These principles not only apply to the cheekbones, they can be used all over the face. For example, if you want to make your eyes pop, create depth by using a dark shadow along the crease of the eyelid; and for a fuller-looking pout, add a lighter shade of lipstick or gloss to the middle of the bottom lip.
Where to start.
After applying foundation, concealer, eye and brow makeup, and loose powder, familiarize yourself with your facial structure. Using your fingertips, press over, under and along your cheekbones to determine the areas you will need to contour, color and highlight.
1) Contour (with the darkest shade).
The aim of contouring is to define the “hollow of the cheek” (underside of the cheekbone). Select a matte, natural brown blush or bronzing powder that is two or three shades darker than your skin tone. Take a small amount of the powder on an angled blush brush and tap off any excess on the back of your hand. Begin near the ear and follow the natural curve of your cheek until you reach the point which lines up with the outer corner of your eye. Build the color gradually and blend well using a series of upward and downward strokes.
Catwalk talk … Contouring is a fantastic way to add drama and definition. For photoshoots and runway shows, makeup artists can afford to be heavy-handed with bronzers and blush because the strong lights pare it down, leaving the features sharp and face sculpted.
2) Cheek color (Little Miss In-Between).
To emphasize the apple of the cheek and cheekbone, add a flush of powder blush! Select a color that complements your skin tone and matches the contour shade you used. Peach and beige browns look great on blondes, while pink and plum tones work well on brunettes and redheads. Using a soft, round blush brush, apply blush to the apple of the cheek (this is the part of the cheek that protrudes most when you smile) and on the cheekbone right up to the temple. Blend the color in an up-and-down motion over the cheekbone to achieve seamless integration with the underlying contour shade (no obvious lines please, girls!)
Makeup artist tip: To add a touch of radiance to the cheeks, choose a powder blush with a hint of shimmer. For a dewy effect, use a cream or stick formulation and blend well. Fingertips are a useful blending tool: their warmth helps to melt the color onto the skin. Creamy-textured blush should be reserved for those with dry skin because it often makes oily skin too shiny. For a bolder finish, liquid tints and cheek stains are another option, but blend quickly because they tend to dry fast.
Want fast yet effective?
Only have time for a quick flick? Just do steps 1 and/or 2. Use step 1 alone to top up a tan, or step 2a by itself for a flirty flush. Feeling cheeky? Combine steps 1 and 2 for a strong and structured party look.
3) Highlight (with the lightest shade).
To make your facial structure more pronounced, apply a light-reflecting powder, cream or fluid to the top of the cheekbone (just under the outer eye socket). Choose an iridescent highlighter with white or silver pigments for ethereal luminosity, or one with gold undertones for subtle warmth. Don’t want sparkle or shimmer? Use a matte highlighting powder.
Confused about color? Some cosmetic companies produce palettes for the cheeks, which makes the color selection process relatively painless. The duos generally contain a contouring shade plus a cheek color, while the trios also include a highlighter.
FAQ: Should I apply powder before my blush? When I use a powder-textured blush, bronzer or highlighter, I usually prep the skin with a layer of loose powder first. However, when I use creams and liquids, I don’t powder the cheek area beforehand.
Now, swipe on some lipstick and strike a pose. Work it!