A few years ago, contouring kits should have carried the warning: "Don't try this at home. No, really. Don't."
But if you're not now convinced about the benefits of modern highlighting products, Google "facial contouring" and no end
of tutorials (including Kim Kardashian's famous Instagram photos) will reveal all you could want to know.
Contouring employs shading products (highlighters, blushers and bronzers) to completely reshape the face.
Essentially what you're doing is using makeup to enhance and define good bone structure and re-sculpt features such as a wide nose or eyes that are too far apart.
It takes a lot of practice, since contouring only works if it's believable - obvious streaks across the cheeks are more Coco the Clown than Jenny from the Block.
But there are lots of "light-touch" products to help.
Napoleon Perdis The Ultimate Contour Palette, $47, contains a contouring shade to add depth and definition, and a rosy blush and highlighter to diffuse light.
Clinique Up-Lighting Liquid Illuminator, $60, is great at spot-lighting cheek and collarbones or providing an all-over glow; and Elizabeth Arden's Rose Aurora Pure Finish Bronzing Powder, $69, can help you achieve the subtle shadows that help define bone structure.
Tools, too, like MAC's #168 Large Angled Contour Brush, $85, make sculpting a little easier.
If you want to give it a go, beauty blogger Cara Brook's site, maskcara.com, is a good place to start.
- Sunday Magazine
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