Monday 5 December 2016

Add a little structure: A lesson in contouring

You don’t need a model’s face to have shapely features, says Aisling Keenan

Aisling Keenan

Published 05/02/2011 | 05:00

Big Beautiful Eyes kit, €33.50, Benefit counters nationwide
Big Beautiful Eyes kit, €33.50, Benefit counters nationwide

Kate Moss, if you're reading this, I know you love the column, but this week isn't for you. You have the God-given gift of perfect bone structure, so reading a lesson in contouring would be a waste.

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Everyone else, listen up. Make-up is there to help us make the best of what we've got naturally. We're not all blessed with a model's features, but that doesn't mean we can't create the illusion of a gorgeous, angular face. All it takes is a bit of technique and the right products.

Remember, contouring is about highlighting your features and downplaying your flaws, not putting on so much make-up that your friends don't recognise you. Here's what you need to reinvent your natural shape...

Areas to contour

The aim is to create the illusion of structure on your face by darkening areas that naturally recede. Using a bronzer a couple of shades darker than your foundation, darken the area just under your cheekbone, continuing up along the side of your face towards your temples, as well as along both sides of your nose.

Bronzer extraordinaire Sun Shimmer works a treat as a contouring powder. If you’re on a budget, there’s no better option.

Rimmel Sun Shimmer Compact, €7.25, most pharmacies and department stores nationwide. Bobbi Brown also has a great dark powder which would be perfect for darkening the face.

Bronzing Powder, €32, Bobbi Brown counters at selected department stores nationwide. Areas to highlight You want to accentuate the parts of your face that are naturally prominent, such as the top of your cheeks, your brow bone and along the centre of your nose. Use a highlighter to sweep a line under your eyebrows, blending down into your eyeshadow.

Dot some highlighter along the highest part of your cheekbone, blending it into your foundation. Add highlighter under your eyes, on the bump of your chin and anywhere else that protrudes a little.

Benefit High Brow pencil, €21, Benefit counters is ideal for highlighting anywhere on your face.

Brushes The key thing is to make sure everything is well blended. My all-time favourite brush is Clinique’s Bronzer/Blender Brush, €30, Clinique counters nationwide. It’s really versatile, and if you can only afford one brush, this is the one to get. It can blend, give great bronzer coverage and it’s great for building colour.

MAC has a brush specifically for contouring, MAC no 168 Slanted Contour Brush, €35, MAC counters in Brown Thomas and BT2. It has a slanted edge, perfect for drawing under cheekbones and down the sides of your nose.

Eye contouring Benefit makes contouring your peepers easy with its Big Beautiful Eyes kit, €33.50, Benefit counters nationwide.

It has small versions of its top-selling shadows and concealers, plus a step-by-step guide to each sweep of the brush.

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