Your Say: Do you contour and highlight regularly or daily?

by Paris B on · 62 comments

in Bronzer,Discussions,Highlighter,Makeup

I don’t know about you, but I’ve noticed a marked increase in makeup looks on websites and blogs that showcase a chiselled, almost cover page look. I also realise that cheekbones seem to be quite in right now (hello Benedict Cumberbatch! icon biggrin Your Say: Do you contour and highlight regularly or daily? ) I think they look great, in an editorial fashion, and I absolutely applaud their mad skills because I know mine are rudimentary at best.

highlight contour Your Say: Do you contour and highlight regularly or daily?

However, I did start thinking about whether you, the everyday woman (or man), do this whole highlight and contour thing on a regular or even daily basis? Do you aim for that chiselled sharply sculpted look for your everyday look? Do you keep an arsenal of bronzers, contouring powders and highlighters for this purpose?

Do share, because I for sure don’t! icon biggrin Your Say: Do you contour and highlight regularly or daily?

The only true contouring powder I own would be Chanel Notorious, which made waves last year. I was using it for a spell and then it just got to be too much trouble icon razz Your Say: Do you contour and highlight regularly or daily? In fact, I couldn’t even find it for this photo, until I dug through the whole drawer LOL!

Ditto bronzers. The one and only true bronzer I own is the Guerlain Terra Inca one from a few years ago. It shattered one day when I dropped it (while practically brand new then!) and I sometimes still use it very lightly, it remains for the most part tucked away in the recesses of my blush drawer.

I know bronzers have other uses other than contouring, but I don’t really go for the bronzed all over look, and they are always touted as a face shaping product anyway. I have found another product that does a pretty good job as bronzer and a very subtle face shaper, and the best part is that it’s practically fool proof. I’ll share that soon but it’s also by Guerlain icon smile Your Say: Do you contour and highlight regularly or daily?

That pretty much sums up my contouring powders. I barely use any and it is primarily because I have no idea how to use them without looking weird in person. You see, I realised that while contouring makes me look sculpted in photos, in person, it can look quite odd, and overly made up. I don’t know how Kim Kardashian does it, but then I’ve only ever seen her in photos so there you go! icon razz Your Say: Do you contour and highlight regularly or daily?

As for highlighting, I have the odd highlighting powder which I sometimes use over blush. I dare not use too much because in our weather, you risk looking oily and there’s a fine line to tread between looking oily and needing a blot, and looking like the light is hitting the high planes of your face.

Do you contour and highlight with your makeup regularly or daily?

All in all, you could say that I don’t do the whole contour and highlight thing regularly or at all. I know it looks amazing on those who have mastered it, but I can’t do it. I can just about barely put on a good base and blush, much less mess about with reshaping my face icon razz Your Say: Do you contour and highlight regularly or daily?

Paris B

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[ 62 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

Peggy May 27, 2014 at 8:35 am

I only do contouring when i have the time. Im not a morning person so for office, i just skip it. But for special occasion, i do light contouring. Yes, too much contouring can look bad in person. All I do is a bit of highlight on my cheek, nose and browbone then some bronzer on my cheeks.

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Paris B
Twitter:
May 31, 2014 at 9:27 am

I like a touch of highlight too. It does make a difference, I’ve found but I never mastered the art of contouring without looking like I have dirt smudged strategically all over my face LOL The effects when other people do it for me, is quite impressive though!

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Robert c. May 27, 2014 at 9:03 am

I mostly don’t do contouring cause firstly, my somewhat chubby cheeks “hides” my cheekbones. Every time I try to contour it’s like playing hide-and-seek all over; which brings me to my second point: strangely enough, my cheekbones on the right cheek is more prominent to than the other (my right) – which is awfully weird or I’m just overly imagining things cause I can contour well with one and not the other.

But yes, I do bronzer on a daily basis but that just with a big fluffy brush to make it barely noticeable. But highlighting for me makes the whole difference in appearances. I can understand what you mean by looking overly oily as the weather back home is just…too much… which somehow always deters me from wearing any makeup (when I was back in Malaysia) unless I’m in an air-conditioned room 24/7 as it’ll just melt off my face and make me look like a mess (and sweating coloured sweat, mind you).

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Robert c. May 27, 2014 at 9:05 am

I meant the cheekbones on my right is more prominent than my left*. Typos.

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Paris B
Twitter:
May 31, 2014 at 9:29 am

LOL I hear ya Robert about playing hide and seek with cheekbones! I have the same problem and I always feel like it’s a bit fake having a shadow where there isn’t one in real life. Looks amazing in photos, less amazing in real life :P I’ve recently played around with a very light powder as a bronzer and I have to admit that I like the effect of adding a touch of colour to skin without making it look too dark or bronzed. Still experimenting though! Highlight here has to be done with a very careful hand or it’ll look like I just took a walk in the sweltering sun and didn’t wipe off sweat LOL!

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Honey May 27, 2014 at 9:56 am

Guilty! I do it daily – very wearable contour to ‘sink’ in my cheeks. That’s because I have a fairly round face :). So you can guess I got a bunch of bronzers. But the latest trick I have which I found to be working well for me is to use a stick foundation in 2 or 3 shades darker as a contour. Once blended in it looks very natural because it is a foundation after all. Then I go over with a powder bronzer. Ha ha OCD! Much as I do contour I don’t use cream products or lighter concealers to highlight everywhere else – only a slash of highlight powder at the top of the cheeks. So I guess it’s still ok.

But I can’t do a Kim K because I won’t be able to ‘tahan’ wearing so much product on the face. And ain’t nobody got time for that!

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Paris B
Twitter:
May 31, 2014 at 9:30 am

I applaud your effort Honey! :D I have recently been told to try the foundation trick too. I can imagine, as you have said, that it is a lot more natural since it isn’t strictly colour but is meant to blend into skin. Gosh, you must be a pro at it now, I should take lessons LOL :D

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LeGeeque May 27, 2014 at 9:58 am

Nope. Not at all. I use bronzer as a blush replacement these days. As long as it’s not a shimmery bronzer, I think it works quite well.

Besides, contouring requires skills and accuracy. I have neither especially pre-caffeine mornings :D

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Paris B
Twitter:
May 31, 2014 at 9:32 am

I tried replacing blush with bronzer but realised I look better (read: More alive) with a light pink blush so that’s what I’ve been using. I have on some days, applied a light powder as a bronzer all over and I must say I like the warming effect. I think I finally get what you mean :D

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Claire May 27, 2014 at 10:01 am

most of the time I do, highlighter at least, is a must for me, either liquid or powder. I don’t feel like I need to contour my face everytime though. and that kardashian contour-highlight thing is not for me either, lol.
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Paris B
Twitter:
May 31, 2014 at 9:33 am

I would love to see Kim K in person and see how that contour-highlight thing she has going on looks in real life. I wonder if it is as thick and as stark as I imagine it to be. After all, the camera does soften and diffuse colour, as we all know :) I’m still new to using a highlighter, but I like using a touch on the top of my cheekbones. It really does add a lift!

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Fathin May 27, 2014 at 10:06 am

Honestly, I think it’s silly to do contouring for everyday makeup, it’s like you’re saying you hate your face, probably as bad as plastic surgery to change how you look. I can accept contouring for costume-play or very slight contouring for special events but do it for myself, I’ll pass. Makeup suppose to enhance your beauty, not change your face!

I have bronzer which I use as blush alternative (for warm glow look and I have tendency to accidentally load too much so bronzer is safer than blush LOL) – my favourite is Bobbi Brown Illuminating Bronzing Powder in Antigua.

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Paris B
Twitter:
May 31, 2014 at 9:37 am

That too is quite true Fathin, thanks for sharing your thoughts :D I think contouring can help us look nicer in photos or to a degree, maybe a little more defined in real life, but otherwise, like you, I prefer using makeup to just help me look like me but better read: more alive than dead haha! :D I have been thinking of trying one of the Bobbi Brown bronzers but I can’t quite get the hang of using a brown blush. Maybe one of her pink ones, they look so pretty!

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Victoria May 27, 2014 at 10:23 am

I do not have the skill to do contouring or highlighting. LOL. Since I have the interest in makeup these days, would love to learn this skill but I think I will just stick to mastering eye liner and eye shadow application first :-)

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Paris B
Twitter:
May 31, 2014 at 9:37 am

Baby steps! Before you know it, you’ll be contouring like a pro hehe… but if not, not to worry. I can’t contour to save my life either :P

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Rae // theNotice
Twitter:
May 27, 2014 at 11:03 am

Confession: I’ve been wearing contour for longer than I’ve been wearing blush. I have a lot of natural redness in my cheeks, so blush is an easy one to skip — but contouring really helps give shape to my pale face! I always feel a bit like a strobe light without it >.<
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Paris B
Twitter:
May 31, 2014 at 9:43 am

Ah Rae, you’re amazing! Contouring is a much bigger skill than wearing blush, I feel so you’ve levelled up! :D

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Tine @ Beautyholics Anonymous
Twitter:
May 27, 2014 at 11:32 am

I tried but failed. I don’t know if it’s just my lack of skills in contouring but I can’t see the difference! As long as the bronzer is not very dark, then I can’t really see it. I reckon it’s because I’m so afraid it will look like two brown stripes of poo running down my cheeks that I use such a light hand which is maybe why I can’t see it? I really should practise more. Most of the time, I’m happy enough with blush. One less step to do, I guess. :)

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Paris B
Twitter:
May 31, 2014 at 9:44 am

HAHA You sound like me then :P I’m deathly afraid of looking like I have dirt smudged like camouflage stripes all over my face so I go very light and then I wonder why I bother because I don’t see any effects. Yet when I apply a little more, I’m self conscious. I’ll stick with blush LOL

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Ami S. May 27, 2014 at 11:54 am

On a daily basis I opt for bronzer diffused across the 3/E of my face. I only contour when I’m going for a more sculpted look (e.g. going out at night, flash photography anticipated, etc.), otherwise I skip it. I find that contouring can sometimes age the face (my face).

That being said, my favorite contouring products for my NC15 skin tone are: NYX Blush in Taupe, Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Powder, and Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow in Stone. The last one is a bit exorbitant to use as a face product but it is so silky, creamy, easy-to-blend, and natural-looking I can’t help it.

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Paris B
Twitter:
May 31, 2014 at 9:47 am

You know Ami, I have been trying that 3 formula for ages without really seeing anything. I really have to practice more LOL! Oh and you’re actually right about strong contouring being ageing because it’s also true of faces that are very sharply defined. It will look older than a face that had softer edges, so that’s one reason not to overdo the facial sculpting :) Thanks for sharing your favourite contouring products. The Bobbi Brown cream shadow surprised me but that’s such a great tip for those who’d like to try but don’t want to splurge on a new product :)

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Hani Lutfi May 27, 2014 at 12:19 pm

I’m already so tan, I don’t think I need a product to make me look tanner. I guess bronzer is good for really pale people, they say it’s to put the life back into their faces by adding color to their faces. Bronzer isn’t a huge trend in Asia anyway. Asian skincare and make-up is big on looking natural and having the perfect skin, in my opinion. Pale is normal and according to the Asian mentality, not just Malaysians, pale is better.
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Hani Lutfi May 27, 2014 at 12:23 pm

In the case of highlight though, I don’t do it every day but I really like how it looks like on the skin. Benefit’s High Beam is a great highlight because it looks natural and gives off such radiance. Not great for a day to day basis but for special occasions, why not?

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Paris B
Twitter:
May 31, 2014 at 9:51 am

Ooh I have heard of High Beam but the whole product in a bottle thing puts me off. I usually do a touch of highlight just on the top of my cheekbones and down the bridge of my nose. Its nice to see that lift, especially on my flat asian nose LOL! :D

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Paris B
Twitter:
May 31, 2014 at 9:50 am

Actually Hani, I’ve read of tanned people who use bronzer as a natural blush and it looks amazing on them because it adds some definition without really looking like “Hey, look at me, I’m wearing blush!” But you’re right about bronzing and tanning not being big here in Asia. Everyone just wants to be fair and white, often to the detriment of their skin.

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Efrain
Twitter:
May 27, 2014 at 12:59 pm

I really tried to learn how to contour and use it everyday, however now that I quite know how-to I don’t like it, I don’t know if it’s the product (the only contour powder I have it’s the Sleek palette you gave me) or the fact that I feel that it doesn’t look natural.

However now I’m trying using bronzer, well not really a bronzer but the contour powder in Sleek’s palette it’s pretty reddish-brown so in my skin it looks like I have a tan and today I wore it the way Bobbi Brown says as an all-over glow; it’s strange to look tanner but truth be told I didn’t look bad, so I’ll try to use bronzer all-over and get the pop of color with blush.
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Paris B
Twitter:
May 31, 2014 at 9:53 am

I think you’re right Efrain, over contouring or very stark contours can look very unnatural in person. As some people here have suggested, have you considered trying a darker foundation instead? I’ve been told that you can pick a foundation shade say 2-3 shades deeper than your skin and use it as a shading/contour product and it’ll look more natural because it’s foundation and not strictly colour :) Still, I’m glad you’ve got some use out of that Sleek palette :)

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Joy May 27, 2014 at 2:55 pm

lol i just decided to keep a new brush based on the ease it gives to every day contouring! while i don’t contour every day, i’d say maybe ? of the time if i’m wearing foundation or bb cream? but we’re just talking about a couple swipes of a neutral matte bronzer powder, nothing complicated.
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Paris B
Twitter:
May 31, 2014 at 9:57 am

Haha ok now you have to spill – which new brush is this? :D I’m at the stage of just discovering how a very light bronzing powder can warm up the complexion so I’m still taking baby steps to contouring! :D

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Joy June 1, 2014 at 2:57 am

it’s the tweezerman finishing contour brush. it’s in my blog post above if you’re intersted
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Paris B
Twitter:
June 1, 2014 at 10:40 am

Thanks lovely, will take a look!

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Sunny
Twitter:
May 27, 2014 at 4:01 pm

I do a bit of bronzer if the look is warm-toned, but I am often guilty of skipping a highlighter! I can see that it adds something, but sometimes I just don’t have the extra 10 seconds!
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Paris B
Twitter:
May 31, 2014 at 9:58 am

LOL Me too Sunny! I like the effects of a highlighter but it’s a step I often skip, a lot of the time, because i forget anyway :P

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Evan Chang
Twitter:
May 27, 2014 at 6:02 pm

Yup I do it everyday!

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Paris B
Twitter:
May 31, 2014 at 9:59 am

Hats off to you Evan! :D

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tass May 27, 2014 at 6:07 pm

In u tube they look effortless easy..but i always ended like a soldier camouflage, ready to charge.. But seriously agree with Honey for using 2 shades of foundation. Brilliant tricks!

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Paris B
Twitter:
May 31, 2014 at 10:00 am

LOL You spoke my mind Tass! Even if it doesn’t look that way, I always feel like I’m a soldier in camouflage too! All the strange stripes on my face LOL :D I have to give the foundation thing a go. My only worry is that usually, foundation that’s a bit darker for me tends to be too warm so I’d have these strange warm patches on my face which would be just as weird no? :P

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Grace May 27, 2014 at 6:36 pm

I love using a bit of highlight and blush in one product like benefit bella bamba. It brighten my face instantly. I love using bronzer in the warmer month x

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Paris B
Twitter:
May 31, 2014 at 10:00 am

Ooh Bella Bamba! I love it! :D Such a pretty glowy colour right? :D

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lisa May 27, 2014 at 7:09 pm

I used to contour in my early years. In fact, one of my first makeups besides the lipstickS are contouring gel, cream, powder in my early 20s. Back then, not much people i know actually go for the bronze look/contouring look. So when i was asking for such products, the sales persons will always quiz me with a weird look. Kind of stopped doing so in the past 2-3 yrs. Can’t be much bothered for now. Less is better. As for highlighting, i do it now and then subtly with subtle products. Again, less is more, I’ve discovered. ;-)

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Paris B
Twitter:
May 31, 2014 at 10:02 am

Wow Lisa, I’m impressed that you attempted such tricky makeup so early on! You were a pioneer! :D But I know what you mean. Bronzing powders were unheard of here in Asia back then right? Everyone just wants to be 2 shades lighter in foundation :P But you are absolutely right about less being more. These days I’ve been using less product too on a daily basis or lighter textured products and I love it! But then, my skin these days is also a billion times better than it ever was when I was in my 20s so maybe that plays a part too :D

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lisa May 31, 2014 at 5:24 pm

I had a weird issue when young about being too fair. School bullies used to joke at my expense about my skin shade. Children can be so cruel and menacing. Hence, some weekends were spent trying to get a tan in the later years. However, I did not like the effect of it on my face, uneven dark skin and causes dryness etc…. So, I concluded I should protect my face with massive sunblock etc while my body was drenched in sun tanning lotions to get a tan. Looked contradicting? Yah. Hence, the best solution was to even out the skin tone with proper bronzing makeup products to even out the overall look. Those days….i shudder when i look back at what i did. I’ve embraced my ‘paleness’ ever since though…and this is worth celebrating. haha…

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Paris B
Twitter:
June 1, 2014 at 10:34 am

Ah youth and its follies! :D On the bright side, people are probably now jealous like crazy of your fair skin :D

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Lana Ray May 27, 2014 at 7:21 pm

Nah I don’t contour or highlight evryday. I have a combination skin so I prefer matte makeup. Although I do use a base which gives a glowy look to my skin, but thats about it.
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Paris B
Twitter:
May 31, 2014 at 10:03 am

I love a glowy base too – which is your favourite product for that Lana? :)

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Lizette May 27, 2014 at 9:41 pm

LOL! I only use a bit of blush to “sink” in my chubby cheeks with blush when I’m taking selfies – you know, the camera adds additional cheeks and chins. :P

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Paris B
Twitter:
May 31, 2014 at 10:03 am

Haha too true, damn the camera and it’s instant weight gain feature :P

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Isabel May 27, 2014 at 10:42 pm

Nope, I don’t. I embrace my fat cheeks and lack of cheek bones with glee and only apply blush to give them a hint of rosiness for otherwise they’d be too pale :D

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Paris B
Twitter:
May 31, 2014 at 10:05 am

LOL You’re so funny Isabel :D You know, as someone else pointed out in the comments, an overly defined/sculpted look can look ageing and there is a lot of truth in that. People with softer edges on their face tend to look younger than someone with very hollowed out cheekbones so like you I’m embracing my chipmunk cheeks too! :D

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Kay May 28, 2014 at 3:31 am

I’ve tried it but I never know if I did it right — put too little on, too much on, wondering if it looks weird, or if I achieved anything at all for all that work! Not sure if the lighting is bad in my bathroom so I go outside to check and then, you know, all makeup looks unnatural under intense scrutiny and in bright light.

I think it was Wayne Goss or was it Kevyn Aucoin who said fair people should contour and darker people should highlight. I am medium toned so don’t know which way to go, LOL! Highlighting is easier, though, brightens up cheekbones and adds a bit of youthful glow which is nice, so I tend to do that.

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Paris B
Twitter:
May 31, 2014 at 10:07 am

LOL! I totally feel your confusion because I always feel the same way! It’s bad enough wrestling with lighting to get base and makeup right, without having to be sure you don’t end up with a lopsided face from excessive contouring LOL! I like a touch of highlight too, but I’m leaving contouring to the pros for now. I have discovered some merit in using a very light bronzing powder for a touch of colour, but that’s about the extent of my abilities!

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Shuu May 28, 2014 at 3:39 am

I do light contouring everytime I put on makeup. I skip the highlighting most of the tine though haha. Once I master it, it only takes seconds and I have never looked back ever since
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Paris B
Twitter:
May 31, 2014 at 10:08 am

That’s awesome Shuu! I take my hat off to you and I guess what they say is true – practice makes perfect! :D

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gio May 28, 2014 at 4:29 am

Highlighting yes, I do it daily. Contouring only on special occasions. There was a time, when I first learned this techniques, when I did it for every look, but then I grew lazy. My face doesn’t really need to look slimmer anyway.
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Paris B
Twitter:
May 31, 2014 at 10:09 am

Highlight does add a nice special glow to the face doesn’t it? I can’t do it too much because of our weather but it’s nice to see the effects when it’s fresh, before the oils kick in by day end LOL

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Anis May 28, 2014 at 12:31 pm

I heard the call of the beautiful siren (read: Benedict Cumberbatch) calling me to this post! He’s got marvellous cheekbones, le sigh.

I am quite tanned, but I LOVE contouring, bronzing and highlighting my face. I’ve got chubby cheeks and contouring makes it look a bit more defined. I like the whole fresh face with rosy cheeks look (y’know, like those K-pop girls) but I think it looks bleh on me, so instead I fully embrace the sun-kissed look, even though 80% of the time I see the sun and shake my fists at it.

I use all three when I apply makeup (I don’t wear makeup everyday and I don’t work in an office so no early mornings) but lightly, so no Kim K levels of contouring going on really, that’s only suitable for events or the Antarctica I think haha. Sometimes I’m asked if I’m wearing makeup so it can’t be too much right?

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Paris B
Twitter:
May 31, 2014 at 10:38 am

Hahaha yes indeed! Benedict Cumberbatch is a walking poster boy for cheekbones :D It’s great to know that you’ve found a makeup look that works for you. I know what you mean about wanting to try a certain look but it doesn’t work for everyone. I’d love the whole bronzed, contoured look but it doesn’t suit me. I don’t quite like the whole K-pop look either for some reason. It looks a little too contrived and I like my slightly smokey eyes and bright lips which isn’t terribly popular in Asian makeup looks :D Still, I say do whatever makes us happy eh?

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