These days, in a matter of clicks, you can learn online how to contour your face like Kim Kardashian. You can watch how areas of white, beige and brown on her face are blended together to create the illusion of amazing bone structure, and the result looks like a mask, or a model of perfection, according to taste and opinion. This is contouring - or kontouring - taken to the limit, though, so don't be put off.
Look at what Kim gets out of her extreme efforts - a sharp jawline, a bright-looking complexion and killer cheekbones - and think what a bit of the same would do for you. A beginner's tip is to take a brown cream or powder, in a shade that you would consider a deep tan for your skintone, and draw the number 3, starting on the forehead, curving to below your cheekbone, then out and down and along your jawline. It should be really visible - and a bit scary - and then you blend and blend. Then, put a light-reflecting highlighter in a C-shape from the very top of your cheekbones to your brow bone. The effect is the impression of high cheekbones and a youthful radiance, and you can take it to the kontour limit later, if you wish.
Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate in Intensity One, €67, Brown Thomas Dublin and Cork
We have two Tom Ford products today because, basically, Ford is the king of contouring and this is a foolproof choice. The easiest way to apply it is to take some of the dark product on to your thumb, place it in the hollow under your cheekbone by your ear, and bring to the centre of your cheeks. Then, leaving a bit of a gap between the products, apply the highlighter to the top of the cheekbones. Blend. Available in two shades. "Amazingly easy to blend and I was stunned with the result. I have cheekbones," said one panellist. "And you use only a dab, so it'll last."
Smashbox Halo Highlighting Wand in Pearl, €33, Arnotts; selected pharmacies nationwide
The Halo products from Smashbox are designed to give skin a soft-lit effect, and this click-and-brush highlighter is among the best we've ever used. The highlighting is evident without being excessive, and provides an appreciable counterpoint to any under-cheekbone contouring. It's also available in a gold shade, better suited to darker skintones, or pale types who want to ramp up the glamour. "My complexion is more radiant and my bone structure is nicely emphasised by this," one panellist said.
Chanel Camelia de Plume Highlighting Powder, €56, Chanel counters nationwide
This is a limited-edition compact that is luxury itself, beautifully embossed with Coco Chanel's favourite flower, the camellia. It's a finely milled blend of gold and silver powders that is not at all gritty or glitterball-like on the skin. Instead, it bestows a layer of light-reflecting magic wherever you brush it. "Gorgeousness itself that made me glow beautifully on cheekbones, temples, even my cupid's bow," a panellist said. "Enlightened without effort."
Bobbi Brown Highlighter Pen in Opal, €27.50, Brown Thomas; Arnotts; House of Fraser, Dundrum Town Centre, D16
This is another click-and-brush product, but it's very different to the Smashbox offering because of its lack of warmth. This Opal shade is almost frosty, with opalescent hints of pink and white, that are pleasantly seasonal. It's a nice alternative to the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks, which are a powder product. It blends nicely, though you may need to do a little bit of fingertip action to finish the edges. "More a night-out product than a day-time glimmer goody," said a panellist.
Tom Ford Cheek Colour Duo in Stroked, €67, Brown Thomas Dublin and Cork
If you're just too terrified to try the brown-coloured products, take a look at this duo, which does a similar job but in a less daunting way. Two velvety powders are almost creamy on the skin, but the blush is matt for an enhanced shadow effect, while the highlighter is pearlescent. Again, apply the darker shade below the cheekbone and the light one above. It comes in two shades, with Stroked more neutral than the plummy Softcore. "Blush on speed," one panellist said. "This is addictively effective."
Sunday Indo Life Magazine