Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Beauty Binge:cheeky magic!

If it was one thing I've learned from my short stint in TV news and doing countless photo shoots whilst hemming the top slot on radio, is the art of shading to give you that contoured look. Contouring comes off really well on TV and print. How do you think Jennifer Lopez got her defined look on red carpet events? Contouring, baby! The make up artists whom I've worked with have suggested to use 2 tones of blushers for a more defined look: one regular coloured blush on the apples, and the other a darker coloured blush, for contouring. In real life, you can use this method to slim down your face and/or cheeks, or give your face a three-dimensional look. I have a round face, and although I embrace my imperfections, I do contour to slim down the "chubbiness" of my face, 'get rid' of my double chin (comes almost naturally with a rounded face - bah!), thus giving me a more polished, defined look.

The good news is, you don't need to use fancy contouring techniques to do so, or have 3 different shades of foundation. All you need is a brush and a blusher 2-3 shades darker than your natural skin tone. Then, blend! Blend! Blend! Blushers can do wonders to your face. I love using blushers with golden undertones to contour. The best kind I've discovered is using a matte blusher, or something with a pearly sheen to it. Shimmery blushers to contour can be a bit too much and can take away the attention from what you're trying to achieve. Shimmers reflect light, and can instead make you look "chubbier". Too much shimmer can also make you look greasy. Especially in this hot, humid weather.

Here are my top picks for contouring. Once again, they're all drugstore items! But of course!

NYX Blush in Taupe.

NYX Blush in Taupe

The texture is a little powdery but very pigmented. It's quite matte and this blush is said to be a close dupe of MAC's Blush in Emote (an LE, but a fave among professionals to contour). I like this colour as it does a pretty decent job in making my face look slimmer. It doesn't look dirty on my skin like some darker blushers can, and very easy to blend into the hollows of my cheeks. I've always liked NYX products, but not so much their blushers. I don't find myself reaching out for this one a lot, but the colour is quite perfect for contouring.

Milani Sunset Duos.
Milani Sunset Duos
*picture from*

I have this in Sunset Beach. The bronzer side is matte and looks quite dark in the pan, but applies quite naturally on my skin. The colour can be too dark for lighter skin tones, although great for major contouring work, can look a little unnatural in real life. I prefer using this as an all-over bronzer to warm up my entire look. This duo is being discontinued by Milani, so you might have a hard time looking for this at drugstores. I found mine on ebay, cheaper than retail price.

3. CoverGirl Cheekers in Golden Pink.
CoverGirl Cheekers in GoldenPink
*picture from*

By far my favourite contour shade. It's a dark orangey-bronzey shade that I feel fits practically every skin tone. I love using this blush to contour. The colour payoff is great, no shimmers, and very easy to blend. This is by far the most natural looking contour blush on me. The colour warms up my face almost instantly, which I love!

The Body Shop Blush in Spice (discontinued).

The Body Shop Blush in Spice (old skool!)

I bought this a few years ago as a blusher after seeing it on a friend. She looked sun kissed and gorgeous using this colour, I had to go out and get one. I think this is called Spice, the name on the label has rubbed off, but it is slightly darker than CG's Golden Pink, and has more bronze in it. I loved it as a blush, an all over colour, and now I am re-discovering this as a contour blush. It does leave a streak though when I first put it on, so I'd have to blend for the steak to disappear. This blush is great with darker skin tones, as it may look 'dirty' on lighter ones.

*If these products are unavailable where you are (gentle reminder: online shopping, sprees), find a matte blush you like with gold, brown or bronze undertones. There are tonnes in the market. I've seen them, everywhere, all the time! It doesn't have to be expensive.*

Now anyone can have great cheekbones!!