The best makeup for contouring and highlighting should be a long-lasting formula that won’t smudge or run. It’s also important to make sure that the product you choose matches your skin tone, so it looks natural.
Contour: If you’re looking to create a slimming effect or define your cheekbones, you’ll want to use a matte bronzer. This can be applied with a brush or your fingers, as long as you blend well.
Highlight: If you want to brighten up the rest of your face, consider using shimmery highlight powder instead of blush. This will give off a dewy effect without making your complexion appear oily.
Best makeup for contouring and highlighting
The makeup technique of contouring is a beauty industry phenomenon, but there is little advice out there for those with dark colouring. In her first article for the Guardian, beauty blogger Hani Sidow reveals her technique
For dark skin tones, golden shades work better than silvery ones to add brightness. Photograph: Hani Sidow
Professional make up artists have been contouring for decades. But it wasn’t until Kim Kardashian brought contouring to the attention of the Internet that the wider world caught on. Since then, contouring has become a beauty craze, with thousands of Youtube video tutorials advising on how to use various shades of concealer and powder to sculpt and add glow to the face. Very few of these videos offer much advice for us dark skinned girls, though, when so many contouring products create a grey, ashy effect. Here’s how I do it.
Step 1: prime. Photograph: Hani Sidow
Cover your face with moisturiser and primer – this is a full-coverage look, so your skin needs prepping. Apply your foundation – use a stippling brush for precision – and blend with a beauty blender sponge to give a flawless finish. I like natural, dewy foundations such as Make Up For Ever Ultra HD in the shade Y505 (Debenhams, £30).
Step 2: conceal. Photograph: Hani Sidow
Apply concealer to the areas of your face that you would like to emphasise. Depending on your face shape, this might be underneath your eyes in an upside-down triangle, above your lips, in between your eyebrows and the middle of your forehead, down the middle of your nose, on your chin or underneath your cheekbones connecting down to the corners of your mouth. My advice is to go a few shades lighter than your skin tone and to choose one with a warmer, yellow undertone. I like to use the Nars creamy concealer (John Lewis, £23) in the shade Amande.
Step 3: set. Photograph: Hani Sidow
Blend the concealer and set it with translucent powder or banana powder: a yellow-tinged theatrical powder that really gives brightness; try Ben Nye (preciousaboutmakeup.com, £13.95).
Step 4: bronze. Photograph: Hani Sidow
To add warmth back into your complexion, brush off the excess powder using a powder brush loaded with pressed powder in your skin shade. Then lightly apply a darker bronzer to contour. I use this under my cheekbones, on the sides of my nose, under my jawline and on the corners of my forehead. Finding the right shade can be tricky for those with a deeper complexion; you need to find a deep, rich brown. I like the SportFX bronzer and powder duo in Deep (SportFX, £14.99).
Step 5: blush. Photograph: Hani Sidow
Add a touch of colour with blusher applied directly above the contour. For my skin, Fashion Fair Beauty Blush in Earth Red is perfect (Debenhams, £18).
Step 6: shimmer. Photograph: Hani Sidow
Add a shimmery golden bronze to the highest points of your cheekbone, the middle of your nose and your cupids bow. Silvery-toned highlights can look a little dull and grey; I used the Makeup Revolution highlighter in the colour Golden Lights (Superdrug, £3).
And that’s it! But play around and see what works for you, because we can’t all highlight and contour the same.