Sunday, 8 March 2015

The Lipstick Drawer | Guest Post

Hi Guys! 
Welcome to the first post of my Guest Post series, today I'm lucky to have Nikki from The Lipstick Drawer feature her work below, if you'd like to take part yourself and share your work as well as some love for other bloggers then either read the blogpost on my Guest Post Series or email me rebeccajshep! Over to Nikki...

"My blog is mainly beauty though I write
reviews on hair, fashion and books and include some of my drawings. I live
in london. I love cats, dance and art deco and graffiti."

Contouring is definitely having a moment, I mean who doesn't want cheek bones a la Kim Kardashian? Contouring uses light and shadow to create the optical illusion of angles. Shadows (and dark cool colours) make things recede so that they look further away or pushed back while light brings things forward and makes them more prominent. The goal of contouring is to create natural looking shadows that happen to slim the face and emphasis the hollows in our cheek. While foundation can make the face look flat, contouring makes the face look 3 dimensional again. Contouring and highlighting go hand in hand but this post will concentrate on contouring the face and cheeks.

Photo credit Ed Kavishe fashionwirepress

Many people confuse contouring with bronzing. Since contouring is about creating angles by creating a shadow, you need to choose colours that have a little grey in them to mimic the colour of a shadow such as taupes and cool browns. You can create angles with warm brown bronzers but this will give more of a tanned look and won't be as effective in creating shadows. You don't need to use specific contouring products, eye shadows work just as well- though I would recommend going for high end brands because they generally last longer on the skin. You can also use a darker foundation either one or two shades darker than your skin tone. Make sure the product is matte.

For light skin tones I suggest Mac Harmony blush, Nars Matte Multiple in Altai and Vientiane  Illamasqua Cream pigment in Hollow. For medium to olive skin tones Ben Nye Contour Powder & cream,  Urban Decay eye shadow Tease (which is in the Naked 2 palette), MAC Coquette eye shadow (Dupe for Kevyn Aucoin.) For all skintones Anastasia Beverly Hills Pro Contour Palette, Mac Sculpt Defining powder, Kevyn Aucoin sculpting powder .

There was a time that I used to stay up until the early hours researching make up brushes (yes I was that obsessed- you could call it brush porn if you like.) Generally speaking if you're using powder then brushes with natural hairs pick up more powder, for creams- synthetic brushes are your best bet. Although there are different types you don't have to buy them all, one or two should be sufficient. Here are my suggestions whatever your budget.

There are 4 main types:

1) Angled Brush
I think this is one of the easiest brushes for contouring and one I would recommend for contouring newbies. This is because it basically does the placement and blending for you. Holding the brush from your ear with the highest point of the brush furthest away from you brush towards the mouth. This doubles as a blush and contour brush. I have Zoeva's and they do come up small which is great for small faces or detailed work but if you don't have a small face then Mac 168 would be better. Examples High End Hakuhudo J511, MAC 168  Low End Zoeva 127 and 128 and  Sigma F40 brush.

2) Small Tapered Brush & Small Short Blush Brush 
Small tapered brushes give more precise definition and are fairly easy to use, as long as you put in the shadow in the right place. They can be used for highlighting and blush too. A short small blush brush can work as well and would save you buying another brush. Tapered brushes high end Nars Yachiyo Brush and low End Real Techniques contour brush, core collection, Elf Small tapered brush, Small blush brushes high end Mac 129 Brush low end Sigma F05 brush,

3) Japanese Ita Brushes
Probably the most sought after contouring brush is the Nars Ita brush. This has a long flat wide handle and a shortish narrow brush. The low end dupe is Everyday Minerals Itahake brush. You angle the brush on it's end and brush from in front of the ear, across your cheekbones but stop short of the mouth. This brush gives a nice sharp line but then needs to be buffed out a lot, and I mean a hell of a lot. I recommend Real techniques buffing brush to do this. At a pinch you could use the short brushes in Benefit's boxed powders. These Ita brushes are for those who are already good at contouring or have a lot of time to do their make up.

4) Long handled smaller Ita Brushes
These are similar to the ita brushes but the long handle gives more control. The Illamasqua brush has a firmer brush head to give you more control and is best for cream products. Again these are good for creating a sharp line, you place the brush so it sits under the cheekbone and brush along it. However you still need to buff the contour well and so I recommend this for those already good at contouring. High end Ilamasqua Blush up Brush Low end Real techniques Flat Contour brush.

Places to contour: 
Temples on forehead,
Directly underneath the cheekbones, 
Underneath the jaw. 
(Sides of the nose)

The easiest way to apply contour is to imagine drawing a number 3 along the side of your face- this will slim the face and create cheekbones. Using a small tapered brush/short blush brush/angled brush (holding the brush so the widest part is at the top) coat the brush evenly in product, for powder this may mean shaking off the excess.  First brush along the top of the hairline. Stop before you take the brush in at the cheeks. Using your fingers prod your face until you can feel your cheekbone. Then take your brush (use the Ita/long handled Ita here if you want) and place it at the point where your cheekbone meets the ear and brush underneath the cheekbone.  Do not apply product further than the centre of the eye. Prodding your face is better than sucking your cheeks in for the 'fish face' as this tends to place the contour to low and too close to the mouth. Next take the brush along the jawline and underneath the chin. Repeat on the other side. Blend using a buffing brush (real techniques is good) or a beauty blender. To complete the contour some people also like to contour their nose to make it look thinner. For this a small fluffy brush is best (Royal and Langnickel brush C445 or Mac 217) brushed along the each side of the nose. 

The three bloggers that Nikki would like to share the love with are:
- Make Up for Dolls by Siobhan  (I used to sit for hours poring over her brush collection) I'm surprised she doesn't have more followers she deserves to as it's a great blog. Makeup For Dolls
- Make Up Monster- I love that she also includes opinion pieces on current affairs i.e... domestic violence suffered by Men when that Solange & Jay Z video went viral) I trust her as she always gives her honest opinions on products and I love the fact that she always replies to each & every comment. Makeup Monster (despite following her for 2 years I can't find her name on the blog or social networks she just calls herself an Irish beauty blogger.)
- Make Up Savvy by Fee- A great bargain hunter! Her nail art is amazing too. makeup savvy

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