Tutorial: Highlighting & Contouring With Cream Products

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Today I have an extremely long post and tutorial about how I apply contour and highlighting products that are cream in formula. Usually my goal is for a natural look that emphasizes how natural light hits the face and casts shadows. Recreating this effect is particularly rewarding for photographs as the face can look very flat and washed out through a camera. The skin also looks a bit more taut and overall the face can appear a bit slimmer, which hey - can't go wrong with that!

There are a few advantages and drawbacks to using cream instead of powder. It's particularly appealing to those with dry skin as powder can further emphasize dry patches but using another emollient product may not be the best choice if your skin really tends to shine with oil. I find using cream products to be more time consuming since I apply with one brush and then blend with another tool whereas with powder, I can apply and blend with the same brush. However, I do find cream to be more natural looking than powder

Rather than attempting to blend contour and highlight shades at the same time (a very daunting task as accidentally muddling the shades together can look horribly murky and quite dirty), I choose to apply one at a time. 

 I'm using Graftobian Hi Def Glamour Creme Foundation in Hazelnut to contour. It is a deep brown that is in the neutral range and suitable for most skintones (though darker skin tones and those with super cool undertones may want to use even darker or cooler shades). I'm also using a beauty sponge (such as a BeautyBlender or any of the similar sponges out there)

Here's what Hazelnut looks like. Left to right: a single streak, blended out and a smaller amount fully blended out.

What I like about Graftobian Hi Def Glamour Creme is how much high coverage it has. You only need a tiny bit of product. I've seen some tutorials out there where it looks like half the face is covered with the contouring product. However with the Hi Def Glamour Creme, I barely need a few swipes because of how much color payoff it has.

I start out with primer, concealer and foundation already in place (check this post out for the full face routine). The sponge should be damp but not soaking, I rinse it in water and then squeeze it out in a towel. 

Using a concealer brush, I map out the areas for contouring with a few strokes. Again, less is more with this particular product and for the more natural effect I'm hoping to achieve. I trace right under the cheekbones, under my lower lip, down the sides and around the tip of my nose, the temples and the area closest to my hairline above my forehead. It's hard to see, but I also traced right under my jaw. 

Using the bottom of the tear drop shaped sponge, I lightly bounce and pat to blend in the contouring product. I'm always advocating bouncing instead of dragging, we don't want streaks or worse; the dreaded completely caked look.

I use the tip of the sponge for the smaller areas such as the nose and under the lip. Again, light dabbing motions rather than dragging the sponge. 

With contouring done, I reach for a lighter shade to highlight. I'm using another Graftobian shade, Graceful Swan which is a little lighter than MAC NC20. I'm opting for a shimmer/sparkle free product for this particular natural look. I apply product on the top of the cheekbones, the point of the chin, down the nose and a create a triangular shape on my forehead. 

Naturally, I don't want to use parts of the sponge already dirtied by my contour color. Instead, I use the widest part of the sponge, where it curves. Bounce, bounce, bounce. 

Here we have the completely look, before applying blush and powder.

Hope this was helpful! Please, if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask!

Products featured were purchased by me. Post contains an affiliate link. For additional information, please refer to my Disclosure Policy.

No comments:

Post a Comment

So, what do you think?
Please be respectful and do not spam links. If you'd like to link back to your own site, please use the feature in Disqus that allows you to do so.