Long gone are the days where makeup was used to just frame and beautify your face - it’s now sculpting. Cheekbones, jawlines, the bridge of your nose - there is nothing that the right technique cannot shape, accentuate or flat-out fake if you want it to. Makeup has become a science.
But not all sculpting techniques yield the same results - depending on your desired outcome, there is a specific one for you.
“Contouring is sort of a diet for the face. It's using deeper shades to contour and slim areas of the face such as cheeks and nose,” says Mario Dedivanovic (aka @makeupbymario).
Zoe Taylor, Makeup Ambassador to Chanel continues by explaining that “contouring is a far heavier approach to changing the structure of a face, which avoids colour and instead opts for strong, deep brown & taupe hues.”
It is the technique you want to use if a full sculpt is what you are after, and is the most slimming, structure-inducing and Instagram appropriate technique.
Highlighting is a very different game. “It brightens areas of the face and can slightly lift them, such as cheek bones and brow bones. It works well together with contour to sculpt the features,” says Mario
But what about strobing? “Strobing is basically another word for highlighting," continues Mario. "It’s adding light-reflecting makeup to parts of your face the light would naturally hit to create a dewy finish. Apply this kind of makeup to the top of cheekbones, under the eyebrows, along the bridge of your nose and the cupid’s bow.”
Fundamentally highlighting should be used for a softer sculpt that simultaneously provides a dewy-looking glow.
A slightly more natural approach, “draping is a very beautiful and colourful way of giving your face structure," says Zoe.
"By layering different colours and often different formulas you can create exactly the facial architecture you desire in a healthy look,” she contiues. “For me it's a fresher approach to contouring.”
In theory, everyone can use these methods. “What's great about all these techniques is that they suit every face shape,” continues Zoe. “I often combine up to all three of these techniques. It all depends on the look I am creating and what needs emphasising. I always approach application very lightly building where it's needed, like an oil painting.”
Contouring sculpts and tends to be slightly heavier, perfect for a high-impact night out. Highlighting gives you an otherworldly glow and pronounces bone structure in the best way, ideal for a selfie or romantic evening. And draping? "[It] brings colour (as little or as much as you would like) into your face while enhancing what you already have. It's super achievable and great for everyday,” says Zoe.
All three methods can be created in so many different formulas, but chiefly creams and powders. For dry skin, opt for a cream or cream stick that can simultaneously moisten. For oily or combination skin, powders can give you the look you are after while absorbing oil and mattifying your face.
These are the very best contour kits for stand-out cheekbones