How to Contour Your Face with Makeup and the Triangle of Light

by on Monday, March 14th, 2011

You paint your face to make it appear a certain way. You don’t use actual paint, but you use shadows and all sorts of things. Tricks, even. And although I was taught to always apply blush on my cheeks and then a swipe down my nose, that’s very wrong. To shape your face and contour your face with makeup, you don’t swipe color on your nose at all.

how to contour your face with bronzer

How to contour your face with bronzer and highlighter

The basics for knowing how to contour your face is about light/dark. It’s like in art class when they’d talk about the foreground and background, and how you’d make items look diminished by being smaller/darker. Well, apply that to your face!

Senna Cosmetics has outlined 6 steps to use in creating a “triangle of light” which is an “inverted triangle inverted triangle in the center of the face where light is focused on eyes, nose, lips and cheekbones.” They mention their products, but you can also use similar ones you already own.

Can I tell you guys I’ve tried this and SERIOUSLY noticed a difference? YUP. I used all my own products that I already owned.

The Triangle of light is used often in photography. It’s also called Rembrandt lighting. The painter, Rembrandt, used this technique. Learn about it on Wiki.

Written by Pro Celebrity Makeup Artist Eugenia Weston:

Step 1: Sculpt face with ‘Mirage’ (A  NUDE/BROWN BRONZER)

how to contour your face with makeupPurse your lips and suck in, using fingers to locate the hollow under your cheekbones. Using an angled face brush, apply your ‘Mirage’ powder in the hollow of your cheeks, angling color from the outer face near the ear down toward the mouth, stopping about 1” away from lips. Reapply until you see a shaded area that makes your face look more defined. Using a smaller brush, apply ‘Mirage’ powder to sides of nose, bottom of chin and around the upper hairline.

Step 2: Highlight Cheekbones with ‘Lace’ (AN ICY WHITE)

Brush your ‘Lace’ powder over the cheekbones and out to edge of eyes to brighten and define cheekbones. Apply a thin strip down the center of the nose and dab on the center of the chin.

how to contour your face with makeup

Diagram: How to contour your face with makeup

Step 3: Lighten with ‘Buttercream’ (A WHITE OR CREAM)

Apply this soft creamy color over your entire eyelid to create a smooth, even base for your shading color.

Step 4: Shade & Contour with ‘Nudist’ (A LIGHT or DARK BROWN)

Using a soft, fluffy eye shadow brush, apply this neutral brown eye shadow, focusing on the crease area.

Step 5: Highlight with ‘Crystal White’ (USE THE BEST HIGHLIGHTER YOU HAVE!)

Use a firm tapered brush to apply this ultra bright highlighting powder under brow arches, at the center of the lid, if desired, and at the bridge of the nose near the tear ducts of your eyes.

Step 6: Line eyes with ‘Espresso’ (A DARK EYELINER)

Emphasize eyes by using a fine and firm liner brush to apply a thin line of ‘Espresso’ along the upper and lower lash lines.

See this page: Senna Cosmetics

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