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Beauty tips with Andrea Byrne: Contour palettes advice

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Glowing sculpted skin as seen in Charlotte Tilbury's latest make-up campaign. Contouring Cheek Colour Duo, €67 Tom Ford, available at Brown Thomas Dublin.

Glowing sculpted skin as seen in Charlotte Tilbury's latest make-up campaign. Contouring Cheek Colour Duo, €67 Tom Ford, available at Brown Thomas Dublin.

Glowing sculpted skin as seen in Charlotte Tilbury's latest make-up campaign. Contouring Cheek Colour Duo, €67 Tom Ford, available at Brown Thomas Dublin.

Thanks to Kim Kardashian West, contouring has become a beauty obsession. Ask any make-up artist and they'll tell you that the request for contouring has eclipsed that of the smokey eye.

We've all seen the photos and  videos which show the transformation that contouring can achieve. Someone with virtually no bone structure can cheat their way to Kate Moss like cheekbones. You can hide a double chin, slim a large nose, create the illusion of a bigger bust. Anything is possible, really.

However, on an average day, the average person does not have the time or the skills to expertly apply three different shades of concealer around the face and take the time to perfectly blend them. Instead, we want a contouring palette that does a good job with only a few light brush strokes. Right?

As is the rule with all types of make-up application, there's no point investing in expensive products if you don't have the right tools. Whatever you do, don't use the same brush for shadowing and highlighting as it may dilute and potentially ruin the desired look.

Once your foundation is applied and you're happy with the level of coverage, purse your lips together and gently and lightly brush a matte, pressed bronzer beneath your cheekbones, into the hollow you've created, stopping about an inch from your mouth. Make sure your chosen bronzer isn't too dark or too orange. The bronzer in Lancome's palette seems to be universally flattering. Charlotte Tilbury's matte bronzer is wonderfully light, making it great for fairer-skinned people, or simply someone who prefers subtle contouring. The Bourjois Bronzing and Highlighting Duo is by far the best of the lower and mid-market brands.

If you want to wear blusher, now is the time (post-shadowing, pre-highlighting) to apply it to the apple of your cheeks. For a natural flush, Urban Decay's three-pan sculpting palette contains the most gorgeous doll-like shade.

Whether it is a cream or powder formula, I like to apply the highlighter with a fluffy eyeshadow brush, as it allows for precise application, particularly in smaller areas. Apply it in a C-shape from the brow bone down to the top of the cheekbone. I also like to apply it in the inner corners of the eyes and on my cupid's bow.

The highlighter in the Tom Ford palette is by far the best I have ever tried, as it gives an unrivalled pearly sheen without being too sparkly or artificial. And it honestly works on all skin tones. The key, once your shadowing and highlighting is complete, is to blend any harsh lines. Usually they'll be found in the area between where you have applied the bronzer and the blusher. Hello cheekbones!

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