Blame Kim Kardashian. What was previously reserved for theatre, high fashion editorials, and drag queens, the skillful art of makeup highlighting and contouring became main stream with a simple Instagram photo. In the midst of a major glam session with celebrity makeup artist Scott Barnes, Kim posted the below pic with the caption, “Wanna see how @scottbarnes68 contours?!”
photo credit: Kim Kardashian’s Instagram
While men, makeup novices and children were frightened at the tiger-like streaks of makeup on her face, makeup aficionados’ curiosity peaked and thus began a multitude of diagrams, blog posts, and youtube tutorials outlining their version of the ‘Kim Kardsashian Kontour’ (sorry about that—I had to). After all, her makeup looks are the most searched on the internet.
Realizing that the trend isn’t going anywhere, beauty retailers are cashing in and products specifically designed for contouring and highlighting are hitting the shelves. But is this a trend you should skip or jump on?
Let’s get to the highlights:
- What is conturing? Simply put, using a shade or two darker than your complexion you can contour your facial features to minimize areas you want to appear smaller. On the contrary, you can use a shade or two lighter than your complexion to highlight features you want to stand out. When put together, you can fake cheekbones, a nose job, a smaller forehead and more. The placement of the highlight and contour is crucial to pulling the look off. If you need a refresher, Danielle covered highlighting and contouring in depth here.
- What is a contour palette or kit? A contour palette or kit will have both your contour and highlight together in one kit. Some have just one color for the contour and one color for the highlight. Others, like the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit featured below, have more than one shade of contour and highlight.
- Do you need one? If contouring and highlighting is something you want to try for yourself, chances are you probably have what you need already. A bronzer and concealer will do the trick. I like to use Guerlain Terrecotta Bronzing Powder in 08 and NARS Illuminating Concealer in Custard. But if you are little unsure of what to use, a contour palette might help. A palette with more than one highlight and contour color can allow you to mix your way to the perfect shades. Here’s a list of some contour palettes worth checking out:
- NARS Contur Blus, $42
- Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate, $77
- M.A.C. Sculpting Powder Pro Palette, $17
- Smashbox Step-By-Step Contour Kit, $45
- Make Up For Ever Sculpting Kit, $48
Whatever route you go, my best tip when it comes to highlighting and contouring is to blend, blend, and blend!! What do you like to use to highlight and contour?