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Monday, June 30, 2014

The perfect contouring trio for pale gals

For me, contouring has always been a bit of a mystery. The world of blogging (along with Kim K of course) introduced me to the art of this skill, but it has taken me a good while to get the hang of it. I remember doing the makeup for a shoot at Impact magazine (at uni), and one of the models asking me how I was doing her contouring. I got a bit tongue tied and sort of made something up, because I wasn't all that sure what I was actually doing. In truth, I'm still kind of not, but I think I've definitely improved in this area! This post will talk about good contouring products, rather than techniques. If you want to learn how to contour, however, YouTube is full to the brim of tutorials, so head on over. 

The main problem I used to have when attempting to contour was the lack of suitable products that are available to buy. Just to give you some context about my skin; despite having dark eyes and naturally dark blonde hair, I still nearly ALWAYS have to get the palest foundation at a makeup counter. Lots of bronzers and contour powders are not exactly ideal for paler skins, as they are too brown, dark, or shimmery. It's also difficult to know which tools to use, or which style of highlighter to go for (cream, powder, shimmery, non-shimmery...the choices are endless!). The good news is if you have pale skin, I've done the hard work for you ;) After trying LOTS of products, I have finally found a winning combination for contouring. 

The first product I use in the process is Mac's Prep and Prime highlighter in 'light boost'. It is a perfect combination of glow and concealer, and really reminds me of the YSL touche eclat. I use this at the very tops of my cheekbones, and create a 'triangle' shape, similar to that of the infamous Kim K style, but smaller. I don't use a brush to blend it, as I find it works best with my fingers. Next, I use a contour powder in the hollows of my cheeks. For this I have been using Mac's Harmony blush. It is a muted plum/taupey shade, which means brown or dark undertones can be avoided. I actually heard about this from Tanya Burr in one of her tutorials, so can't really take the credit for its discovery. I use this with a Mac 168 brush, which is described as a 'large angled contour brush'. I'm pretty sure if you shopped around you could find cheaper versions of this, but ideally look for an angled brush which is small enough to be used easily in the hollows of your cheeks. The last step is blush. I find that matte blushes sort of ruin the contoured look which has been created already, therefore the best type to use for this is a blush/highlighter hybrid. The one I am in love with is Estee Lauder's Illuminating Powder Gelee blush. Annoyingly, this was a limited edition product last summer (I'm sorry!) but a brilliant dupe for it is Benefit's Rockateur. As long as it's a glowy, highlighter-y blush, it should work well. I use this with my real techniques blush brush. After this, I dust a bit of NARS laguna bronzer over my face and some matte powder on my T-zone, and my face is done! 

Sorry for the rambling but I hope this post may come in useful to my fellow pale folk, let me know in the comments which products you love to use for contouring. 


  1. I don't usually contour my face when applying make-up but I've seen so many people do it and it usually looks amazing. I'm kinda scared that if I try it it will end up looking as if I am wearing too much make-up, if you know what i mean, but the key is definitely in the products. I think if the products are good, it will look good too :) You've picked great ones as I love MAC and theirs are always amazing!


  2. Love this post! Your blog is so perf, OMG! Would you mind checking out my blog and maybe following via GFC and bloglovin? You would help so much!
    Azia from sarcastic hipster
    Blog ♡ http://sarcastichipster.blogspot.com/
    Bloglovin ♡ http://www.bloglovin.com/en/blog/12346821

  3. I got a Ted Baker bronzer in a gift set at Christmas which is so beautiful for contouring (i'm feeling your pain in the pale-ness arena), when it runs out I might just have to move over to that MAC one! Thanks :)

    Kathleen @ Made In The 1990's.

  4. I really need to try that MAC Prep and Prime highlighter, I suffer with chronic fatigue so I'm always looking like a lil panda and those dark circles can be such a pain to cover! As a fellow pale gal, I feel your struggle - but this post was perfection, thanks for putting it together and helping us fair women one cheekbone at a time!

    Meg xo
    Meg Says | Health & Beauty

  5. MAC Harmony is perfect for contouring and I use it every day :)


  6. I'm currently obsessed with that mac highlighter! I am actually about to write my review on my blog. will have to try that mac blush for contouring too though! thanks for sharing this very inciteful post! xx. gigi. www.gigikkitchen.com

  7. I need to fin new MAC product, and the one you're using is very interesting! Thanks for sharing lovely! x

  8. I REALLY need to practise this, I'm so terrible! Need me some of these products I think (any excuse ayeee) xxx


  9. I love this picture, it looks gorgeous. All the products look amazing. I have Mac's highlighter in light boost and I love it! I have been wanting to get Mac's harmony blush too! It looks beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

  10. sounds so good, i've been looking for the perfect contour shade!

    from helen at thelovecatsinc.com

    ps. you can win a cute Dahlia trench in my little giveaway! click here

  11. All of these products look amazing! Love the post!


  12. Dear, randomly found your blog and I’d like to say that you have amazing design, beautiful photos and interesting posts! I’m also impressed by your style! Everything is magnificent!

    would you like to follow each other?
    will be happy to see you in my blog)


  13. Ohhh I have the same contouring issues... and I'm not exactly a pro at the tanning side either ;) hahaa!

    Thanks for the tips... I've got even more reasons to head to the MAC counter after payday! Congrats on your graduation, you looked stunning!

    Effie xx



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