No surgery required — a couple of make-up brushes and some deft wristwork can work just as well as a scalpel in enhancing your face shape. Sonic, M.A.C’s senior make-up artist takes us through the steps.
“Once you’ve got your moisturiser on, stand directly in front of the light,” recommends Sonic, “Where you can see the light shining off your face, those are the areas you need to highlight. Where the natural shadows fall will create your contours.”
Foundation and concealer
The process of highlighting or contouring begins in the first step in the make-up process – while applying your base. Start by using concealer just to cover any imperfections in your skin. “With the foundation, start under the eyes and keep the make-up in the centre of the face,” says Sonic, “and blend it out towards the jaw-line. The more you highlight the centre of the face, you get that contoured look even without using a bronzer.”
When choosing a bronzer to contour, pick a matte product in a hue that’s one or two shades darker than your natural skin tone. “Feel your cheekbone with your brush, starting almost at the centre of the ear,” advises Sonic, “And sweep the colour on just under the bone. Just make the colour more intense near the ear, because that’s where the natural shadow will fall.” Brush it also along the hairline, under the jaw bone and the sides of the nose to complete the process. “Many people try to contour with blush, but your blush is not your contour,” he clarifies.
When choosing a shade of blush, make sure it doesn’t look ashy on your skin. For Indian skin tones Sonic recommends a warm terracotta shade. The key to placing blush correctly is in your smile. “When you smile, the apples of your cheeks become pronounced, and that’s where you apply your blush. Follow your cheekbone with your blush brush and blend it well with the bronzer. There has to be a gradual fade in colour,” says Sonic.
As with the other steps, to place your highlighter too you need to follow your face’s bone structure. Don’t be heavy handed with highlighter; it needs to be quite subtle. “Look into the light first to see where your face shines – that’s the area to highlight. Blend the highlighter lightly around your eye socket following it all the way down and stopping just before the apple of your cheek,” directs Sonic. Finish your look by brushing your highlighter lightly over the bridge of your nose, the centre on your forehead and your chin.