Hey Renee. Just making an official request about what makeup I should wear for graduation, because there will be a lot of photos, argh! I’m gonna try to run a little so I’ll have less cheeks by May… but I wanna do a nice amount of contouring… blush, bronzer the works. So will you hit me up with some hints and tips? I’m also ready to do some makeup shopping! – Di
My best friend emailed me this the other day, and that woman… I love her but she has been talking about her so called “fat cheeks” for years! Tsk tsk. Either way, it gave me an idea to write a general post on contouring and how to bring out your sexy supermodel cheekbones (yup, we all have them, and all it takes is a little makeup technique called “contouring” to bring them out)!
First, there’s 3 things you need:
- A highlighter
- A contoured blush brush
- A countor blush color
A highlighter is a makeup product in several formulas (powder, liquid, cream) that will bring some kind of light to your face. Whether it’s a liquid illuminator, a powder highlighter, or even a pearly nude eyeshadow; this is a must-have for bringing out your cheekbones. Below are some suggestions:
Benefit High Beam (buy here) is a pink-pearly liquid illuminator that you apply with a brush. Just “dot” it on and rub with your fingers to blend. Next is YSL Touche Eclat (buy here), a super famous product (that is also super expensive) and gives skin a nice glow. I’ve only heard good things about it, so it’s worth a try. And lastly, NARS blush in Albatross (buy here) is a cult fan favorite.
If you’re not into buying a whole, separate problem; just grab a shimmery (or pearly) nude colored eyeshadow. Work just as well.
I don’t have any recommendations for bronzer colors, but the rule here is to get a matte bronzer that is at least 3 shades darker than your natural skin tone.
My personal favorites have always been MAC (they used to have a few great contouring blush colors*, but have been discontinued, so bronzer is the next best thing). If you’re too lazy to buy two seperate bronzer, check out Benefit 10 (buy here), which is a 2-in-1 bronzer and highlighter powder.
* Edit: Emi commented that actually MAC does still have a contour blush called Sculpt – thanks for the info, Emi!
Contoured angle brush
Don’t let them scare you! They look kinda weird, no?
You can go all out and spend a ton of money on brushes by MAC or Bobbi Brown (though they are expensive, they usually last a good 15 years) if you’re in serious cheekbone business. If you’re not into buying another brush, just grab any old blush brush and stick your finger through one side of it so it has a “scoop” shape.
Now that you’ve got all your tools, here’s what to do!
- Grab your brush and bronzer. Swirl your brush around in your bronzer powder, say 5 times, and then “tap” the brush on the back of your hand to let any excess powder go off.
- Look in the mirror, as as hard as you can, suck your cheeks in, Zoolander style. See those two lines that are forming? That’s where your bronzer is going. Starting from the apples of the cheek (the fleshy bit), hold your brush there and gently sweep up in a crescent shape up towards the top of your ear.
- Step back and check your work. Is that line that you saw when you sucked your cheek now filled with bronzer? Success! If it’s too light, go over a few more times. And if you’ve overdone it, you gotta check out this tip to get rid of it – two obvious brown lines are not hot!
- Repeat on your other cheek.
- Next, grab your highlighter. If it’s a liquid highlighter, squeeze a few drops on your finger tips. If it’s a powder, grab another blush brush.
- Look straight onto the mirror and dab a few drops (or brush on) your highligter above your bronzer “line”. The point of the highlighter is to “bring out” the cheekbone; while the bronzer was to create some depth. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s the space that’s right under your eye area, right before your cheeks. Start from the center or your eye and blend until the end of it.
Here’s an amateur-drawing diagram to show you (and obviously, the brown means the bronzer and white means the highlighter):
And just in case you want an “after” shot… check out this sexy model with her smoldering eyes sporting this technique perfectly: bronzed line of the cheekbone, hightligher from the center to the outer corner of the under eye area. Tres chic! And make sure they don’t look like two obvious lines – so don’t forget to blend, blend, blend!
And, other non-puffy cheeks tips for photos.
- Limit your salt intake. Or, if it’s for a special event like my friend’s above, just don’t consume a lot of salt before your event. (I once ate a whole bag of Kettle Chip’s Salt and Vinegar chips – they are so good! – before a friend’s party. BAD idea. I looked like a puffer fish in all my photos!
- Keep hydrated. (And by “hydrated” I don’t mean with alcohol. Alcohol is also a major factor in puffy, big cheeks. This is what else it does to your looks.) Stick to water!
- Exercise; cardio is the best in these cases.
That’s all from me, folks. I hope you enjoyed this post. What are your favorite highlighters and bronzers? Do you ever contour your cheeks for major cheekbones or are you more of a soft-pink-blush kinda girl?