So you got a Tarte highlight and contour kit and have NO idea what to do with it or how to use it. Thanks FabFitFun team! 😒
I am here to help you make sense of all the madness!
If you have make up brushes, it will be helpful, but I’m a strong believer that fingers are okay to use as long as they are clean.
I like to use brushes from Elf Cosmetics because they’re super inexpensive, readily available at your local Target/Walmart, and are of amazing quality for the price. I wrote about my favorite ones in a post a few months ago.
You will need a brush for highlighter/contouring:
This brush can be used for everything really. It’s a great brush for building up product.
A brush for contouring:
A brush like this will help you get a more dramatic look by picking up more product.
And a blending brush:
A brush like this will make sure everything looks seamless.
Great! But I still don’t know what a highlighting or contour is.
Excellent question! So the first four colours (lit, strobe, fire, stunner) are your highlight powders. Highlighters are meant to reflect light off the high points of your face, where the light would naturally hit it first. It’s a thing because people these days are really going for the “healthy glowing” look. When your skin is hydrated and bouncy, light bounces off your cheek bones, your brow bones, and bridge of your nose. Highlighters help create the illusion that your skin is plump, bouncy, and reflecting all the light that touches it like the star you are.
You can use just one highlighter at a time, or you can mix them as well. Some of these are warmer (lit and fire) and others have larger pieces of glitter in them (strobe), it’s like a choose your own adventure. No right or wrong way to do this.
In the second slide, you should be able to see how reflective these highlighters are!
The two shades at the bottom (shade and sculpt) are your contour shades. Contouring means that you are creating shadow on your face to make your high points “pop”. It’s all about the illusion of light and shadow to bring out your best features. Shade is a cream contour and sculpt is a powder. Depending on your preference, you can use either and they do the same thing. Those with skin on the drier side may prefer the cream contour.
My personal preference is to use my fingers for cream contours (I also prefer them in a stick format (Chapstick style) and a brush for powder contours.
Overall, highlighting/contouring is a technique to bring some more dimension to your face. If you Google it, it can be a pretty intimidating topic, but you can use some basics in your every day routine to refresh your routine.
Bonus tip: You can also use any of these shades in this palette as eyeshadows.
This is how I have been using this palette lately:
You want to finish all your complexion make up/skincare first. So finish your foundation, concealer, set your makeup with powder, if that’s a thing you do. Pause before you put on any blush.
Step 2 countouring
In my little Instagram series, I show how I use the contour shades in a more dramatic way (what I’d do for being on camera or on stage). For a more subtle look, use a less dense brush with long bristles, and slowly build up your shadow areas. (See the video at the end of the post for more details)
Most of these slides are me blending, blending, blending! The areas I tend to contour are my cheeks and my nose. You can also add shadow right along your jaw and hairline. What that does is make the edges of your face recede so the features in the middle of your face stand out.
This is usually where I add blush. Contrary to popular belief, it’s best to apply blush when you’re NOT smiling. You want it on the apple of your cheek, yes, but once you stop smiling the blush is going to end up too far down your face. You want it to help lift your features.
Step 4 highlighting
In this slideshow I show you where the most common places to highlight are. Your cheekbones, the bridge of your nose, brow bones, the tip of your nose, cupid’s bow. Sometimes, I even add a touch of highlighter on the centre of my eyelids. You can also add highlighter right down the centre of your face, like the centre of your forehead and a little on your chin as well.
I hope this helps!
For a much more detailed tutorial, watch this video from one of my favourite make up artists.