September 7, 2012

Ask Amanda

A few weeks back we introduced you to our talented makeup artist, Amanda. To be eligible for an entry in our last giveaway, participants had to ask Amanda one beauty question, whether it be something about a quick fix for a common beauty blunder or what it takes to make a career in the beauty industry. From the thousands of entries, the most commonly asked questions involved the right method for applying highlighter, contour and/or blush. Keep reading to find out Amanda’s top tips, tricks and expert advice on the subject!

Disclaimer from Amanda: “As I answer these questions I am offering opinions and advice in a general way. I firmly believe that there is no right or wrong for most aspects of makeup application. I encourage people to step outside of their box and try new things all the time, but you should be comfortable and be you.  Sometimes people don’t try new things because someone once told them it was wrong and they spend years feeling as if that bit of advice is the absolute truth, which closes the mind to unique techniques that can be very useful to the illusion and magic of makeup! There is no limit on how much fun you can have with makeup.”
1. Contouring is done along the bone structure of the face.  A good place to start is around the temple of the eye where your cheekbone begins. I work the powder up onto the forehead and down under the cheekbone so the final shape resembles that of a large “C.” Doing this in a subtle way will showcase your bone structure and give a slimming dimension to the face. Sometimes people will go even further and lightly contour their jaw line as well, but take note: this should be done with a small amount of product and a lot of blending.
Contouring for everyday (not for camera) should be subtle. Many people use a bronzer to contour with which can work very well, however, bronzers can come off as orange or not very natural looking. For that reason I would suggest using a matte face powder that is a few shades darker than your own skin. There are a few brushes that work best for contouring the face such as the F25 for a subtle application of product, the F05 for a stronger application of product, or the F40 for an in-between application.

2. Highlighting is subtle, yet can make a beautiful difference in how you look! Highlighter is typically applied onto the cheekbones, brow bone, down the center of the nose, above the eyebrows, onto the cupids bow, and in the inner corner of the eye. Highlighters come in a variety of forms: powder, cream or liquid. Ideal brush choices for applying would be the F35 (my personal favorite), the F15, or for smaller areas, the E35. Once you have contoured under your cheekbone, you can lightly blend a highlighting product onto the higher part of the cheekbone so light can naturally illuminate that area. (Check out our tutorial post on highlighting here!)

3. Blush application is meant to go directly in between the cheekbone highlight and the contour, however, the application area of blush can depend on the look you desire.  A modern and youthful way to apply blush would be on the apple of the cheeks, about two fingers out from the edge of your nose. Use a large soft brush such as the F20 for a diffused application. For more control and stronger color, use the F10 or F40.  If you like a more intense look, you can apply blush further back on the cheekbone. This is a technique I use often, but be careful -- you don’t want to end up looking you are walking straight out of the 80’s—unless that is your look, of course.
Blush color, in my opinion, is a personal preference. This summer I have been mad about peach and wear it every day, however, six months ago it was all about pink for me, and I foresee fall as being my time to get reacquainted with warm and neutral tones. Don’t be afraid to experiment!  Blush is such a fun and easy way to brighten up your face and pull a minimal look together. Something can look crazy bright in a container, but it’s all in how you apply it. Start with a small amount of product on a fluffy brush and blend it out. Note: this is where a good brush is very important!! When I use bold colors I like to use the F50 because it gives a soft, airbrushed effect, and you can always build up to the desired level of pigment.

*Now that Amanda has answered several of your questions on contouring, highlighting, and blush application -- what else would you like to ask her?!

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