The Contour Alternative
Contouring seems to be the latest style trend, given its massive impact on the makeup industry in the recent years. From clown contour to henna contour, people have used their contour powders in the most dramatic and innovative ways.
The technique has revolutionised how we see makeup and our cheekbones would not feel the same without it. That being said, there are new trends following up with the contour because, after all, not all of us have the time to go through all those steps everyday now do we? These new makeup trends are just some evolved versions of the contour that will rescue your makeup look without having to go overboard with the heavy products.
The first technique is known as draping. Although this may sound new, be assured it is not. It is one of the oldest techniques used by professional makeup artists dating back from the '60s and '70s, where they would emphasise the natural "drape" of the face. Hence the term - draping!
This technique draws attention to the natural lines of a person's face with a very light hand shading so the face does not look flat and even. It is different from a contour in the sense that it does not use dark contour products and there are no prominent lines to carve out the cheekbones. Instead there is a modest shadow under your cheekbones and other areas where the light naturally casts a shadow.
Draping is mostly done with blushes that are one shade darker than your skin tone to give your face that natural lift and definition. While it may sound like a lot of work, it is actually pretty easy to accomplish. Just apply a deep blush below the apples of your cheeks, and then go in with your actual blush shade on top the apples of your cheeks like you normally do; and then blend out to get rid of hard lines. Voila! You now have enhanced facial features and a flush of colour to your face.
This second method involves a ton of glow. Get ready to throw yourself into highlighters and let your skin immerse in golds and silvers. Known as strobing, this method focuses on the highest points of one's face where the light naturally hits, and uses highlighters to make it your focal point. Absolutely no amount of darker shades or contours is used to define but only highlight with radiant powders.
The key idea of strobing is to enhance your skin, and make it look dewy and healthy. There are a few ways to strobe and not all of them involve highlighters. The short cut to strobing is applying liquid or powder highlighter to the top parts of your face such as the forehead, cheekbones, bridge of the nose and your cupids bow. But if you want to go the extra mile and get a complete dew-strobe, which is a much more natural, glowy highlight look, then take the following steps:
First you must prep your skin with a good moisturiser and serum to get that even base for your foundation. Without a smooth base the rest of the products will not glide on like butter; the skin needs to be perfect before the rest of the stuff goes on.
Choosing the correct foundation for your skin type is also important. Dewy foundations will give you that glow all over your face, but if you have oily skin, stick to a normal or matte foundation. If you have dry or extremely dry skin go with a dewy foundation or try mixing a liquid highlighter in with your regular foundation to get a similar glow.
Choose your correct shade of shimmer. For warm undertones go with yellow based highlighters such as bronze or champagne shades and for cool undertones go with pink based shimmers such as silvers. Without the correct shade of highlighter the result can look like frosted skin instead of glowing skin.
Apply the highlighter on your temples, top of cheekbones, bridge of the nose and cupids bow with a light hand using a fan brush or damp beauty blender and blend away until you have a natural finish.
To get some extreme glow, go in with a liquid highlighter first then top it off with a powder one. This will make sure your cheekbones keep glowing all day long. A good cheat is to carry a nude or clear lip gloss in your purse and use it as a liquid highlight for a fast touch-up.
The third step is called non-touring, which as the name suggests, is almost like contouring but with some slight changes. Some people love to contour and wish they could head out with strictly defined cheekbones every day, but alas the thousand steps, layers of products and not to mention the sun prevent us from doing so. That is where non-touring comes in.
It is essentially using contour powders but not too dramatically deep along with slight highlights. Since it is more of an everyday makeup, powder contours are preferred instead of thick creams. Start by applying a BB cream or tinted moisturiser; then with a fluffy brush and not a defined contour brush, lightly apply a brown shade where you would normally contour and start blending. Blending is key! Remember to blend so you do not leave any harsh lines. Lastly, apply a highlighter with a light hand to your highlight points and you are done.
This is one of the easiest and most quick ways to get dimension to your face without harsh contours. This will feel much lighter on the skin, look less heavy and cakey and is summer proof! Inarguably contouring is and will always be a great makeup technique for occasions or events. But for everyday looks it can prove to be a bit too much. These newly surfaced old tricks will help you get that dimension you desire but with less product and time. It is now safe to step away from the contouring kits and to let your skin breathe but with style.
By Anisha Hassan
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Make-up: Farzana Shakil's Makeover Salon