A lot of makeup buffs know the basics of highlighting and contouring while some makeup newbies may still be new to these steps. These sculpting techniques are accent keys to being MORE photogenic on camera, but does everyone on the face of the earth really need a shaded, contoured nose line…in the daytime for that matter? Let’s admit that sometimes nose lines (shading on either side of the nose bridge) can literally look like and be a bit of a “drag” and the last thing any woman would want is to look like she tried too hard or end up being overdone and garish.
I have some personal principles that I also use as a makeup professional from time to time and I don’t hold a banner over my head saying this is a rule you should never bend, take it or leave it…it’s either it works for you or it doesn’t, but I’m telling you it will. Taking makeup into context is an essential key to doing it really well because if you want people to believe what they see you really don’t want to wear FULL ON celebrity makeup and look like a painted and powdered wax figurine sitting in your office cubicle. In my professional experience while doing weddings, TV Commercials, print ads, models, and one or two celebrities, the following principle has helped me make use of my sculpting techniques in a more natural looking manner.
Highlight by day, and contour by night.
During the daytime, natural light is quite unforgiving. You will see nearly everything wrong with your makeup if there is something wrong which is why it is very tricky to get away with contouring/shading during the daytime unless you’re an absolute expert. To begin I start with a clean face, then since I have clear skin I applied a light coverage base of Laura Mercier oil-free tinted moisturizer for daytime.
What I find looks more natural for daytime than darkened shading along both sides of the nose bridge is a single highlight down the center of the nose and I don’t mean a shimmery, pearly highlighter. I mean using a normal concealer or foundation that’s one or two shades lighter than your working facial shade and taking that generously down the center of your nose then blending it just short of the tip or even also above the tops of your cheekbones if you want it. Blend the edges softly. I used MAC Studio Sculpt Concealer to cover imperfections and then to do that highlighting method I used Shiseido Perfect Refining Foundation in O20.
Using a lighter base shade on key points of the face is an instant sculpting trick that won’t end up looking dirty at the end of the day. It looks more believable. Also rather than using bronzer to sculpt, if you still can’t live without cheek contour during the day time, try using your tan summer foundation shade (or one shade darker than your working shade) in the hollows of your cheeks. Put a thin line of that from where your ear meets the higher part of your jaw up to just beneath the highest part of your cheekbone and blend and buff out.
For final touches don’t forget 3 key things that even Jeremy Renner (former makeup artist turned Hollywood star) mentioned on Ellen “Brows, lashes, lips…frame to face…”, he’s actually quite right. Applying makeup to those areas constitutes the bare minimum for noticeable enhancement. After finishing my base I set it with my current favorite Korres Multivitamin Pressed Powder. A sculpting blush is a neutral blush (neither too pink nor peach, more earthy) that can add sun-kissed color and at the same time help contour just a bit is great for daytime, I used NARS Zen Blush, something similar would also be MAC Blush in Harmony.
On my brows here I have to admit I actually ran out of my K-Palette 2-Way Brow Pen and decided to brush them through with a mascara that works for me like a brow gel just to thicken them a bit, I didn’t want them to look “drawn”. Some brown mascaras work just as good as brow gels like the Maybelline Full ‘N Soft mascaras from the States which have a less wet formula great for brows. My advice is to only use a mascara as a brow gel if it’s the right color (black brown, or brown) and not too wet. On my lashes I used Maybelline Volum’ Express Falsies Mascara in “Black Drama”. Eyeliner is optional and can tend to scream “made up” so it’s up to you if liquid or pencil is absolutely necessary during the day. For some people with smaller eyes or who are in higher corporate positions they cannot live without eyeliner, for others, volume-giving mascara is enough. I finished off the look with a natural looking Missha Glam Fit lipgloss in CR01. These are all the products I used, for the brows I’m placing what I would have used had I not ran out of it.
It’s important to remember that what you choose to put top of a perfectly matched base with proper concealing and moderate sculpting can be a personal thing, it’s different for everyone but these steps are my suggestions for a more photogenic, natural look for daytime. I hope this has helped you, primp properly, go out there and have a fantastic day!
Written by Sample Room Partner Blogger Julia of Bless My Bag. Read more of her product reviews and her musings as a professional makeup artist at her blog!