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How to Contour with Makeup

Learn how to contour from professional makeup artist Michelle Dittrich in this Howcast makeup tutorial.


"My name is Michelle Dittrich, and I'm a make-up artist. I've done make-up on a lot of celebrities, Pam Anderson, Kanye West, Lenny Kravitz, Cynthia Nixon. There is a big misconception that ""I could never do that look"" on the runway, and you absolutely can, everybody can. You'll play to your best attributes, and I can show you how to do that.

So now we're going to talk about contouring, which I think many people make mistakes with. What we want to do with contouring is create a sculpted look, which is great for photos, but can look unnatural in daylight. So if you're going to use contour during the day, do it lightly and do it with a brown, bronzy color. To do it with blush would also be a mistake - you don't want to be pink where you would not naturally get flushed. Delphine has an illuminising crème on, powder, foundation, bronzer, a little bit of lip color and especially, brushed brows. What we're going to do now, is the light contouring for day and then more dramatic contouring for a photo. But be careful, because it can look unnatural. So if you're going to do it for photos, you might need a retoucher nearby. Okay, so I've picked just a little bit darker brown, bronzy color for Delphine, darker than the golden bronze I already used on her, because we want to get more of a sculpted look. But not dramatic, yet. I'm going to use a fairly flat brush. You could also use a brush that has an angle to it, but since I want to keep it soft, I'm going to use a flat brush. We're going to use the brush on its side, like a big finger. If you were using your finger, it would be like that. So we're not going to use it on its tip, we're going to pat it. When you're contouring - we want to start kind of in line with the top of the ear. And keep in mind also the jaw line. We're going to start at the hairline and work our way in, right under the cheekbone. And then use downward strokes to blend. Keep in mind, the reason why this can easily look unnatural - particularly during the day - is because it doesn't really match the neck. So if you're going to contour your cheek, you might want to contour your jaw line too. And blend. What I really don't recommend, is too much contouring for every day wear, unless you can do it very lightly and make sure you have the time to blend it. Another place that you can contour, since we've already put illuminizing powder as well as a little bit of bronzer, is to blend across her clavicula. We're going to also go underneath the clavicula and you can also take it down, to give more of a part down into the chest area. Pretty. Looks pretty. It looks natural. But be careful with the contouring."

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