Highlight and Contour 101

July 16, 2008 by  
Filed under makeup lessons

Applying these 2 concepts on the right places will prevent your face from looking flat on photos. The idea of accentuating and concealing will be largely dependent on how well you can highlight and contour.

These are two essential principles in makeup artistry:

Contour- gives the illusion of depth. A darker shade gives your features more depth and definition by mimicking shadows. This is usually applied to areas you want to recede.

Examples of areas commonly contoured:
sides of the nose
cheeks
eye creases
any prominent feature you want to downplay (jawlines, chin, etc)

Highlight- the opposite of contour. A lighter shade is usually needed to achieve a highlighting effect. Highlighted areas protrude and helps draw attention to the specific area or feature.

Examples of areas commonly highlighted :
cheekbones
browbone
bridge of the nose



To illustrate:

78th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals


Areas of Jennifer Lopez’ face that are contoured:

Cheeks- to define the hollows of the cheeks and for a more sculpted look
Nose- even if you have a well-chiseled nose like JLo, contouring the side of your nose is will prevent strong lights from making your nose look wider.
Eye creases- the smokey eyeshadow gives strong contrast to the neutral shades on the rest of the face.

Areas of Jennifer Lopez’ face that are highlighted:

Browbones- this defines the arch of the eyebrow and opens up the eyes
Under the eyes- for a fresher and brighter look
Cheekbones- to make it appear higher and add glow to the area
Bridge of the nose- to add contrast to the contour on the sides.

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