Tuesday, August 20th, 2013


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 CompactAdvertisement 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!  Continue reading →

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

By Victoria, Theatre Makeup Artist

Victoria is a 19-year old college sophomore who attends school in Massachusetts for Engineering, but she’s an avid Theater Makeup Artist and has worked on a variety of shows, from dance shows (think intense, flamboyant glitter) to periodic musicals. She aims to combine her “nerdy” passions with her artistic ones: to overanalyze the mathematics of reshaping the face, learn the science of why a product works better or worse. She’s a romantic dreamer who enjoys re-imagining herself in a soap opera, pretending one day a prince is going to come riding in on a dragon and take her away. Until then, she’s planning to use her makeup brushes and colors to force her friends to be the stars of her imaginary fairy tale.


How-to: Contouring

I remember the first time I looked at my pictures from a dance performance:  my face was completely bleached out, and I was so embarrassed I didn’t want to show them to anyone! At the next show, an older girl with beautiful orange stripes down the sides of her face came over and lovingly gave me some help. After a friend asked me if that performance was “Lion King” themed, I knew I needed a change. Since then, I’ve joined the battle against the monster we theatre makeup artists have to fight: giving life and dimension to a face that is flattened by unforgiving lights.

My weapon of choice is contouring. Highlighting and contouring is the art of changing the face. For theatre, we may contour for two reasons: one, because theatre lights bleach out all the shadows and dimension of the face, or two, to make the face look like a different ethnicity entirely. Today, I’m going to concentrate on the former: on giving yourself beautiful cheekbones.

One thing that I really want to highlight (ha!) in this post is that having beautiful cheekbones is not just about the cheekbones! It’s about how things look in relation to each other; how far the cheekbones are positioned from the eyes or the shape of your jawline. A relatively wider set jaw can mask any high cheekbones. Just shade along the jawline to soften and recess it a bit, and your cheekbones will pop out naturally.

Cheekbones generally start a finger or two widths away from the edge of the eye; if yours don’t, you might want to consider shading under the outside corner of the eye to push the cheekbone down further. Some cheekbones are naturally quite prominent and maybe your goal is to diminish them a bit! Avoid highlighter and place your blush further down. Before you start, analyze your own facial structure and compare it to the look you’re trying to achieve.

Find out what you’ll need and how to contour! Continue reading →

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

Sam, 14, Georgia | Sam is 14-years old, lives near Atlanta, Georgia with her mom and two (of three!) older brothers. She was born and raised in Georgia, but her family originally hailed from Illinois. You will find her busy meeting new people and enjoying teen soap operas/dramas (like Vampire Diaries)–and of course, she’s madly in love with all things beauty. When she’s not playing around with makeup, you’ll find her with headphones on listening to everything; from classical to rap, pop to heavy metal, and almost everything in between (though she favors rock!).

Halloween Makeup:  Leopard
Halloween Makeup: Leopard

Halloween Makeup Tutorial:  Leopard

I have a quick Halloween makeup tutorial for you, and I promise it’s easier than it sounds. This was my first time doing Halloween makeup! My cousin, Nicole, was crazy enough to let me experiment with my makeup on her, so she will be modeling for us today.

What You Will Need:

  • Your Foundation/Skin Toned Eyeshadow
  • Matte Light Brown Eyeshadow (Urban Decay’s Naked, from the Naked Palette)
  • Matte Medium Brown Eyeshadow (Buck, also from the Naked Palette)
  • Matte Light Taupe Eyeshadow (Velvet Revolver by Too Faced)
  • Satin Grey/Brown Eyeshadow (NYX Charcoal Brown)
  • Matte Black Eyeshadow (NYX Black)
  • Black Eyeliner Pen (NYX Super Skinny Eye Marker)
  • Creamy Brown Eyeliner Pencil (NYX Brown Slim Eye Pencil)
  • Warm Light Brown Lip Liner (NYX Nutmeg Slim Lip Pencil)
  • Beige/Brown Lipstick (NYX Tea Round Lipstick)

These are just the colors that worked for Nicole and her skin tone. You can use whatever works best for you!

Get the step-by-step guide & see more photos!  Continue reading →

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

Applying foundation with the 190 brush is one application method to use with liquid or cream foundation. It is not my personal favorite, but I thought I’d show you how based on a request by reader Roxanne.

Products Used

  • MAC 190 Brush
  • Make Up For Ever HD Foundation
  • MAC Margin Blush
  • MAC Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder
  • Water

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Thursday, July 30th, 2009

Beauty Basics: How to Contour & Highlight Your Face for Everyday Wear

This tutorial is about contouring and highlighting your face in a way that’s subtle and practical for everyday. You can always create darker shadows for a more dramatic look.

Products Used

  • MAC 165 Brush (Review)
  • MAC 184 Brush (Review)
  • MAC Sculpt Sculpting Powder (Review)
  • Dior Amber Diamond Skin Shimmer (Review)

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Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Beauty Basics: How to Apply Blush to Get Glowy Cheeks

Struggling with blush application? It’s all about applying it to the apples of your cheeks, then diffusing the color towards you temples. The MAC 116 brush makes this *super* easy!  Tomorrow, I’ll have an easy, everyday highlighting/contouring tutorial up. :)

Products Used

  • MAC Enough Said Blush (Photo)
  • Dior Amber Diamond Skin Shimmer (Review)
  • MAC 116 Blush Brush (Review)
  • or MAC 129 Blush Brush (Review)

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