Before Contouring / After Contouring with NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation
Contouring with cream foundation is an easy way to achieve seamless, blended contours and highlights because you’re using products designed to work together in order to create a canvas that transitions from shadow to skin to highlight beautifully. Highlighting and contouring bring back definition and shape to the face, especially after you’ve created a beautiful, flawless blank canvas with your foundation. Because foundations are one color, and depending on the coverage, they can leave the face looking flat and shapeless.
More of us are familiar with highlighters–shimmering powders and creams patted along the high planes of the face to reflect light–but contouring can be a more difficult and daunting task. The best part about makeup, though, is freedom of choice; you can go as defined as you’d like, so you don’t have to go for a dramatic contour and highlight but something subtle that just defines and helps lift the face. I’ve tried to show a more dramatic contour (but you could go further and make it even more dramatic) so that you can clearly see the differences before and after.
Don’t be afraid if you’re new to contouring! Uzo, NARS International Lead Stylist, recommends beginners to use cream foundations for contouring “because they are easier to blend” as “powders in an unskilled hand can make contouring look harsh and un-blended while liquids don’t give enough definition. It is not about having a stripe of darker, un-diffused color along the sides of the face but subtly blended dimension that defines the cheekbones (and jaw line).”
With the full range of NARS Radiant Cream Compact at my disposal, I matched my skin tone match to Santa Fe, which is described as a “medium with peachy undertone,” and it is categorized as “Medium 2.” This is the product I used to create the blank canvas (as my regular foundation) to even out my skin color and cover any blemishes and imperfections.
Find your shade match using our NARS + Temptalia Foundation Matrix–just enter your current foundation and out pops your new shade match!
To highlight, I chose Siberia. Generally, your highlight shade should be two to four shades lighter than your actual skin color. To contour, I used Cadiz along with Benares. I opted for two, because I wanted a subtler contour on areas like my nose and eyes, but I wanted a deeper, more dramatic contour for slimming and defining my cheekbones and jawline. Generally, you will want to select a shade that is two to four shades darker than your natural complexion and opt for a shade that has similar undertones to your skin tone or one that is more neutral.
Now, get the step-by-step!
From blushes to lipsticks, I have my personal five favorites for fall lip color! This idea is courtesy of readers Maribel, Sara, Shahnaz, Camille, and Rebecca, who all wanted to see some great shades for autumn. As always, I look forward to hearing about your top five!
- NARS Train Bleu — matte, purple berry
- Burberry Bright Plum — bright, bold berry-pink
- MAC Endless Drama — deep red
- Buxom Runaway — rusty plum
- Urban Decay Venom — shimmering berry
What are your top five fall lip colors?
With fall coming around the corner, reader Maribel’s suggestion for a top five on blush picks for fall was spot-on! In this list, I wanted a good variety in color, not just a bunch of plums. I thought about the colors we tend to see more often during fall, like berries, plums, and burgundies, but not just on cheeks but lips, too. When I wear a stronger lip, I like pairing it with cool pinks or neutral browns/beiges, so cheeks can still have color and definition but not too much color.
- NARS Dolce Vita — medium-dark, rosy plum with a satin finish
- Burberry Earthy — satin-finished medium brown-beige
- Chanel Inspiration — slightly cool-toned, light-medium pink
- MAC Ambering Rose — warm, rusty plum
- NARS Oasis — shimmering plum