Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Feeling Blush

Very easy highlight and contouring techniques.

Continuing our theme of really simple make up tricks it is time to talk cheeks.  How about a quick daily dose of colour, maybe accentuate your cheek bones a little bit and even add a touch of slimming trickery in there too, all achievable in about two minutes flat with a little know how.

This is Btsiete, I know, I know gorgeous huh?! She is wearing a tiny bit of concealer just in the areas needed in order to have an even skin tone to work on.  The steps I am going to show you are to be done after foundation and concealer if you use it.  Once again less is definitely more when applying highlighter, blush and for some, contour, if you fancy experimenting with a little shading.

Lets start with highlighting. There are so many products available that its difficult to know where to start.  The above product is a good place.  It is MAC mineralize skinfinish in soft and gentle and is a must for me both personally and professionally.  If people compliment my skin its actually this product they are complimenting i'm sure!  It is suitable for most skin tones as long it is used VERY sparingly.  For most facial sculpting work I stick to one type of brush, the MAC 168.  Perhaps you have this one, something similar or you could always just use your fingers.

A highlighter is always used in places on your face where light would naturally hit if you were lit from above. So, a VERY delicate sweep across the highest point of your cheekbone heading up in the direction of your temple (but don't go quite that far).

Another delicate sweep on your forehead in two places, below your hairline at the point above the arch of your eyebrow, Just where Btsiete is holding her brush in the picture above.  This doesn't work for everyone so have fun experimenting to see whats best for you.  Some people like to sweep the product lightly down the length of their nose in order to give the illusion of slimming, have a go, does that work for you?

I like to place the smallest amount on the chin as well, this can however make a girl look a little sweaty dependent on skin type so be careful (it tends to work best on paler, drier skin to give the illusion of a little more "dewyness").  Once again though, experiment with your products and see what works best for your face shape and skin type.

On to the blush.  When it comes to applying blusher on yourself try and steer clear of a harsh 80's style stripe, it is always so much nicer for day to day make-up to barely look like make up at all.  Cream blush is more forgiving if you feel you have been a bit heavy handed and is a good formula to use with your fingers.  Btsiete is using a cream blush here with a MAC 188 brush.  Apply the blush on the apples of your cheeks and blend, blend, blend outwards (you are now working beneath your highlighter but it should never look like two separate stripes).  I plan to do a future post discussing which blush colours work best for various skin tones, as it is very easy to get this really wrong.

Btsiete is blending her blusher in lightly with the tips of her fingers, remember, you don't have to use a brush for any of these steps if you don't want to.

Contouring is up next.  This is a technique that professionally I use all the time but isn't necessarily something people do at home.  The above product is a MAC pro mini concealer palette.   This product worked great on Btsiete, however I could have used a cream or powder blush in a tone such as, Mac - Format.  Another good colour for contouring is MAC - Margin.  Most products on the market are multi use, you probably have the perfect thing in a palette somewhere that you never thought would come in handy!.  The trick is to find a product, even a concealer or bronzer in a colour that is perfectly complimentary to you skin tone but a touch darker.  This is because we are going to carefully create some shadows.

Using a brush (best with powder based products) or your fingers (best with cream based products) suck in your cheeks and blend your product carefully in the dip that is created.  Blending is key because this can look pretty silly if it is noticeable.  When unnoticed it is a genius little trick used on film sets and fashion shoots the world over.  Once blended it should sit perfectly beneath your blusher and totally contrast your highlighter.  Remember sweeping the highlighter down the length of your nose, well a whisper of your contouring product either side that can work slimming wonders.  Have fun with your products and keep experimenting until you find what works for you.  Add a slick of mascara, a touch of gloss or balm and your good to go!

 (images via the brilliant Kye Corfield, and many thanks to absolutely gorgeous Btsiete)

Less is more when it comes to everyday make-up, Btsiete simply looks really fresh.  A perfect fuss free summer make-up.


  1. You are so pretty! Cool blog :)

    Yours Truly,

  2. you are so pretty! thanks for the tutorial!!