Free Sephora Beauty Class #2: Contouring and Highlighting

I’m going to save you the pain of seeing my before and after photos as last time they were awful and until I (a.) get a better camera and (b.) better my selfie skills I’ll spare you my sleepy morning face. Unfortunately its the only time I have light in my apartment and I feel completely silly taking photos of myself in my hood. *Sigh*  Maybe one day soon I’ll be recruiting a handsome 6’6″ Argentinian to help me take photos of myself without me being completely uncomfortable.

Its funny though…now that I think about it. I modeled for quite a while. My skills as a model have been on the decline as I get older. Maybe I’m just more critical of my approaching wrinkles, dark circles and my lingering double chin. If you can avoid it. Don’t ever get old. 

Any-who! I went to another Sephora Beauty class this past weekend! I actually signed up for this class first as I’m always checkin’ out the contouring tutorials online (I usually get about 1 minute into a video, get board or see how many products those girls are using and say HA! and switch it off) and I figured it would be a cool thing to learn a little more specific to me than to the chicks on the videos online. Like I talked about in the post about the Last class I took, I tend not to wear a lot of makeup. I do if I go out, but nowadays thats a true rarity.

That’s part of my problem with contouring. There are just too many products and I end up feeling like I have an inch of makeup on my face. Which, first of all, is not great for your skin and second of all, I don’t particularly like to look like I have a pound of makeup on. But knowing how to contour my face when I DO wear makeup is a  useful tool. It also helps to hide that pesky double chin…sometimes, only if I’m not making a weird face in the camera…which is like 90% of the time.  I learned some helpful tips from the class but still left with what felt like a ton of makeup on my face. Go figure. I did however, go the more subtle route. The instructor gave us two methods (cream and powder) to work our contouring. Cream tends to give you a heavier look and powder can be more challenging to apply but more natural looking. Or you can see it this way: Cream = Kim Kardashian Contouring, or Powder = J. Lo Contouring.  After the instructor’s description I said hmmm well I’m a pale ghost, because I was barely outside ALLLLLL summer so I think the J.Lo Contouring will look much better. I was right. I do not want or need to look like Kim K.

So here are the little tid bits I learned!

Tip #1

Start with foundation or a base.  I did not know to wear foundation when I went to the class. One of the girls who worked there applied some Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer for me. I normally wear a really light BB cream if I even wear that. The Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer covered well but was still a little heavy for my liking.  Whatever your normal base is whether it be a foundation or tinted moisturizer/BB cream start with that before applying any cream/powder or concealer.

Tip #2

If you’re going for a cream (aka Kim K look) you can just use a extra dark concealer! No need to buy some special contouring product. Liquid concealers are good because they blend really well. Don’t go for something too too dark if you’re fair like me, stick to something dark but on the light end (if that makes sense?) For example, if you look at the Nars concealers they have two fairly dark shades (Cafe and Cacao, Cacao being the darker of the two) I’m so fair I would opt for the Cafe or even a shade lighter than that, rather than the Cacao shade. There is a thing as too dark, if you’re not sure go with the lighter shade and build up; its always easier to add on than take away! 

Tip #3

If you’re like me, you may want to opt for a powder. I did this for two reasons; (1.) I didn’t want to look like Kim K and (2.) I have powders at home so I don’t have to buy extra stuff. All you need for a powder is a nice fluffy brush and a MATTE bronzer. I got myself all excited thinking woo! I’ve got stuff at home! Only to get home and realize…I have a shimmery bronzer. So why a Matte bronzer? If you’re using a shimmery bronzer its going to bring light to the areas that you want to create a shadow. So it kind of defeats the purpose.  Also when using a powder a little bit at a time. Since powder can be a little more challenging to blend around using a little at a time will eliminate heavy spots or streaks.

Tip #4

When choosing a Highlighter skip the shimmery ones as well. Stick with a basic concealer, especially under the eyes. Even though it seems like it would be logical to add a shimmer to reflect light from the bags under the eye it can instead increase the effect of the bags by drawing shimmering attention to them. Stick to a plain concealer and add a shimmer at the very end.

Tip #5

Dark circles and bags are my #1 problem. They used to not be quite so bad, but as of late they’re a million times worse, even when I’m wearing makeup you notice them. Try a corrector. If your circles are blue try a peach/Yellow colored corrector. Are they red? Try a green one. Apply this BEFORE you put concealer on to counteract the colors under the eye. This is one thing I’m promptly going to get. Its also really beneficial to get a under eye cream/moisturizer, the one thing I rarely use. I’m trying to change up my routine and these are the two things I’ll be adding in.

Also when applying your concealer don’t go just under the eye, be sure to create a large triangle. Going from the inner corner of your eye along your nose reaching to your mouth. Then take it an apply from inner corner to outer corner. Meet the two ends (outer corner and nose/mouth) and fill in. This brings light to the whole area, which hides the bags a little better.

Tip #6

Set your concealer with a translucent powder. I currently use a little pot of loose powder from E.L.F but Nars and a variety of other brands have them as well. They’re white, but will be completely sheer when applied. You want to apply by patting to the areas that need to be set (under your eyes, forehead, chin). Setting your highlighter/concealer will prevent it from moving around and creasing.

Tip #7

Blend Blend Blend. You can use your fingers to blend but I’ve found that it really is easier with a brush. I haven’t tried a Beauty Blender quite yet, but once I get my under eyes under control, I’ll be giving one a shot! Blending gives you a more natural look and eliminates the harshness of the contrasts.

Tip #8

Use blush. I love blush. In reality I wear 4 items of makeup each day (sometimes 5 or 6 if I’m feeling fancy) But its always concealer, setting powder, blush and mascara. Blush brings life to your face and creates a healthy glow. If you’re not sure what shade of blush to go with, a warm coral color is great for most skin tones. Same as with applying a powdered bronzer, use less on your brush and build up. I always shoot for the apples of your cheeks (just smile when applying!) and then sweep a little back along my cheek bone. I don’t go crazy when going back along my cheek bones because no one wants to look like they’re straight out of the 80’s!

Tip #9

If you want some shimmer, use a little shimmery highlighter right along your cheek bones, just enough to give you that dewy look! But don’t go crazy! Less is more!

Tip #10

To me, contouring is great for special occasions, for every day wear its a little much (unless thats your thing). You can always take some aspects of it and apply daily that will definitely enhance your features (I do the under eye triangle daily). Practice really makes perfect. Know the shape of your face, look up tutorials or take the class at Sephora. Even though a lot of the information I already knew, I still learned a lot! And if I couldn’t say it more…always start with the least amount of product. Its much easier to add than to subtract! 


Here’s a little video from Sephora about Contouring (if you can’t get into a class at your local store!)

What are your tips for contouring and highlighting?



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