Ever heard of face contouring? This great sculpting make-up technique brings out your best features by playing with light and shadow, using the same tricks as professional painters and photographers. Our top make-up artist Pascale Guégan gives us the lowdown on this flattering optical illusion. Sculpt and brighten your face in less than five minutes with these simple pointers.
It’s all about contrast
Pascale Guégan, can you explain the basic principle behind using make-up to sculpt and enhance facial features? “The key is to use two contrasting shades – one light and one dark. The lighter colour should be as close as possible to your natural skin tone – or one shade darker if you’ve been out in the sun! This colour brightens certain areas of your face, such as your forehead and eyes, so that they reflect the light and give you a radiant complexion. The darker shade (it should be one or two tones darker) is used to structure and emphasise, to reduce plump cheeks and disguise a double chin, giving you a stunning, sculpted look.”
There is a huge range of foundation products to choose from. What would you recommend for face contouring? “For a discreet, natural, contoured look, I would opt for a high-pigment foundation. Choose a corrective compact foundation that comes with a sponge for applying and touching up. One benefit of this option is that it gives you a great matte complexion so you don’t need to apply powder on top. Avoid shimmery, pearly or sparkly products as they will spoil the natural look you’re trying to create.”
Once we’ve chosen our two compact foundation colours, what’s the next step? “I would suggest that you start by applying the lighter shade all over your face as a base, and then highlight all those facial areas that naturally “stick out”, to brighten your complexion. Focus on the middle of your forehead, the bridge of your nose, the area under your eyes, the groove just above your upper lip (philtrum), the corners of your lips and the middle of your chin.”
A flawless look
Our professional make-up artist has a handy trick that can make all the difference: “Wet your applicator sponge and squeeze it out thoroughly between your fingers before using it to apply your foundation. Spread your chosen product liberally, using the sponge to soften any visible marks.”
When it comes to applying the darker shade, Pascale Guégan gives us a detailed guide on the best techniques for different face shapes:
Narrow your forehead: if you have a wide forehead, apply the darker tint horizontally, starting at the hair root line. Spread well, applying in an oval shape at each temple.
Reshape your nose: to shorten your nose, add a dab of darker foundation underneath it. To make it look slimmer, apply a line of foundation down the length of your nose on each side of the bridge.
Refine your cheekbones: start from the ear and work towards the nose, keeping well underneath your cheekbones to create gorgeous definition.
Hide your double chin: again using the sponge, apply your foundation to the lower contour of your face, under your lower jawbone and around your neck, working down to your neckline.
If you still have a minute to spare, why not check out how to hide those annoying dark circles: click here!