How to Highlight and Contour Like a Pro

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Contour like a pro

Makeup does so much more than just cover up imperfections. Take your makeup to the next level by learning how to bring out your best features, reshape your face and add dimension. I know it may sound impossible, but makeup artists have been using highlighting and contouring techniques for years to make celebrities look stunning. I say if they can do it, so can you. Actually, it isn't that difficult once you get the hang of it.

How It Works

The basic approach is you usually highlight on the inner sections of your face such as under your eyes, the center of the nose and forehead, middle of the chin and just under your eyebrows. These are typically darker areas that make your face seem puffy or sunken in. By highlighting, your face seems brighter, healthier and fuller.

Contouring has the opposite affect. If you want a more defined cheekbone, you'd contour to create a slimming affect. Contouring typically occurs on the outer sections of your face, such as the outer edges of cheeks, sides of your nose, sides of your forehead and the beginning edges of your chin.

Mixing highlighting and contouring helps to bring out your most prominent features while erasing flaws. For instance, you can draw attention to your eyes while removing dark under eye circles. If you think your nose is too slim, highlighting the center and part of each side helps to widen while contouring the outer edge slightly gives your now wider nose more definition.

Tools Of The Trade

You can either use an illuminator for highlighting or a foundation thats a few shades lighter than your foundation. Personally, I prefer the lighter foundation. Use a sponge to carefully blend whichever highlighter you choose. For contouring, use a bronzer or a powder two shades darker than your usual color. Apply using a medium sized brush.

Get The Look

First, let me tell you that highlighting and contouring like a pro means experimenting. Everyone's face is different, so play with the techniques a bit to get the right look for your face. Trust me, it's worth the effort.

Start by lightly applying your usual foundation. This provides basic coverage and gives your face a base. Next, use a sponge to apply the lighter foundation on the center of your forehead. Taper to a thin line as you move down the center of your nose. Continue the line in the dip right above your lips. Apply a finger width's amount from the outer edge of your eye, underneath your eye, widening to cover the outer edge of your nose. Always ensure it's even on both sides. Apply a small circle on your chin and under the outer arches of your eyebrows.

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Cargo Eyelighter

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One of the oldest makeup artist tricks is to brighten up the inner corners of the eye with a shimmery white (or soft pastel) eyeshadow.  I have heard it called the "angel effect" or even "baby eyes".  Whatever the term, it truly does deliver a radiant, and eye opening effect.   This application was made popular byKevyn Aucoin, who used this illuminating trick on all his celebrity clients.

Now, thanks to Cargo Cosmetics here is a product made specifically for capturing this look. Cargo Eyelighter is a shadow applicator that is double ended.

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Flu Busting Beauty Secrets

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For the past two weeks, I have resembled a red headed version of Elmer Fudd.  A summer time flu took hold, and knocked me off my keister.  DayQuill, and an overabundance of Orange Juice has left me extremely light headed and completely void of any blogging skills whatsoever! 

And, as much as I would have loved to have hidden away in my apartment watching reruns, these past two weeks have been busy ones!  

So, yet again, I look to my beauty closet to save me and help me fake a well rested (and not half dead) appearance.  Actually, I have used this formulation of skin boosting serums, soft lit makeup, and vitamin loaded juices for days when I am exhausted.....flu or not!  This simple beauty plan is great for days *or weeks* when you are exhausted, travel weary, or overworked.  It fakes a good nights sleep perfectly.  

Flu Busting Beauty!

Yves Saint Laurent foundation
The illuminating magic light of Touche Éclat is in a foundation! I couldn't ask for anything more when I am feeling pale, ghastly, and all around sickly.  If you are a fan of Touche Eclat (who isn't really?), than you will adore this foundation. Light, hydrating and luminous.  It brings back the glow!

This concentrate of essential oils and botanical packs a punch. It diminishes the tri-fecta of tired; puffiness, dark circles, and wrinkles. 

In desperation, I grabbed this during the Nordstrom Anniversary sale, and I am so very glad I did.  This little set saved me when I was too tired to think of what makeup to apply.  The colors are uber complimentary, soft, illuminating, and super flattering.  I looked polished without trying! 
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Get The Look: Jaime King

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Celebrity makeup artist Georgie Eisdell worked with Jaime King for the Vogue/Tory Burch Watch Collection Event. This is a surprisingly easy look and perfect for the holidays! 


“Jaime’s face is so great for makeup. She looks amazing with literally anything so it’s always fun with her. I decided to keep the eyes light and go for a bright pop of color on the lips."



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Makeup Tips for Winter’s Bold New Face

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 To look beautiful in the winter, you have to use a makeup strategy that’s different from the one you use in July. Sticking with summer’s bronzer just looks fake. Winter’s light is whiter and less yellow than summer light, so it’s apparent your color boost came from product rather than the sun. What’s more refreshing and modern is giving winter its own signature face.

This year, the frosty shades and tinsel-like shine of winters past are gone. Elegant matte texture has taken their place, and lips and cheeks are swept with bright pops of candy color. Yes, it’s a bold statement that can look Cirque du Soleil rather than chic if you get it wrong. Here’s how to get it right!

1. Add richer moisturizers to your skin care regimen. Those whipping winds outside and dry heating indoors can leave your skin parched and chapped. Matte foundation can catch on these dry patches, so you need to make sure your skin is plumped up and well-hydrated. Applying a thick moisturizer in the morning can add sheen to a matte face; instead, hydrate before bedtime with a luxurious extra-emollient night cream.

2. Go matte with minimal product. Yes, you need a new foundation for winter. Stick with the dewy base you used in summer and you’ll have to layer on lots of powder to dull the sheen. Instead, choose a matte textured foundation in your exact shade and apply sparingly. Set it with a light dusting of translucent powder applied with a large, loosely bristled powder brush.

3. Flatter your eyes with subtle makeup. Winter’s bold, bright look is focused on lips or cheeks. While you don’t want to overlook your eyes, you will want to enhance them with neutral makeup. First, give them a bit of a boost by applying a thin black line with a cream or liquid liner very close to the lash line. Define the crease of your lid with a neutral shade of brown or gray shadow. Apply with a crease brush in a half-moon shape. Curl your lashes, and then apply two coats of black mascara.

4. Choose between your cheeks or lips for the bold pop of color. If you have full lips with pout to spare, go for an assertive mouth. If your cheekbones are high, do an amazing blush flush. Pick only one area or you’ll look overdone. For your color choices, think flowers and fruit rather than jewels -- juicy red, rosy pink, ripe peach. Fair-skinned ladies look best in cooler pastel shades, while darker beauties should choose warm, blue-based shades.

5. If you’ve chosen your lips for that extra oomph, apply a matte lipstick straight from the tube. You’ll want to skip the liner so the look is soft. A nice bonus: Matte lipstick lasts longer than satin textures, so you won’t need to touch up for hours. Balance a bold mouth with a soft, natural blush along the cheekbone.


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How to Keep Your Non-Waterproof Eyeliner From Coming Off

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Today's question is, "How do I keep my non-waterproof eyeliner from fading and how do I make it last?" Well, the answer is very simple; it's called layering. You just simply put your eye shadow over your liner to give it that kind of binding and to make it stay.
Eyeliners tend to fade or tend smear, for lack of better words, when they don't have anything to hold them in place. For example, if you're using your normal eye shadow, you can see it has a really nice creamy consistency. It's a coal base. So, to keep that staying on, I want to take my eye shadow and just simply apply it right on top with an eyeliner brush. This is going to make sure that your eye shadow stays all day and it also really helps to give a beautiful, kind of softer look to eye shadow. You can blend it, you can smudge it out, you can do whatever. If I wanted to make this a little smokier, I can, and now that shadow is going to last until I take it off.
It's so simple to do and it really also gives you a lot of other options of how to use your eyeliner.
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Makeup Wars: It Cosmetics CC+ Radiance Palette

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As a makeup artist I love a product that makes it easier for my clients to get beautiful FAST.  This palette does just that.  Not only am I a huge fan of It Cosmetics, but I am also a huge fan of multi-tasking palettes that make my clients life easier. The It Cosmetics CC+ Radiance Palette   has everything you need to get a beautiful glow in mere minutes. 

It Cosmetics CC+ Radiance Palette  is a color correcting, brightening, bronzing, and blushing powerhouse. The palette contains:

  • a brightening powder
  • a bronzer
  • a peach toned brightening blush
  • all powders contain color correcting pigments to help even out your skintone
  • all powders are packed with anti-aging, skin loving ingredients
  • talc free
  • infused with Avocado Oil, Hydrolyzed Silk, and Collagen

It Cosmetics CC+ Radiance Palette is perfect for your makeup bag, your office, or to simplify your routine.  My favorite ways to use it are:

  • use the brightening powder as an eyeshadow for a natural, nude glow
  • use the bronzer as a soft and subtle contour eyeshadow or powder eyeliner
  • use the blush as a lip powder! simply add lip balm on top.
  • use the radiance powder on top of cheekbones,  and under the brow bone
  • use the bronzer as blush for a bronze glow! 
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