CONTOURING: STOP THE MADNESS
It was some time in the 1980's, in my tween years, the "art" of creating the contoured cheekbone. It was a terrible time for cheekbones, and a terrible time to be ME (see Amy Schumer video, ...which by the way she effin' nailed!).
We did not have YouTube makeup tutorials to rely on, nor could our moms teach us...they were often as clueless and tres-rougue'd as we were!
VIDEO SOURCE: YOUTUBE.COM
Years passed, and the harsh contours left us for a while. That is, until the Kardashians came along. They are masters of morphing, and could change the outline of the face with some contouring. Except...they have professionals to do this for them. (You can decide how well.)
Now that you had that brief giggle, now I'm back to my point about makeup professionals...
I happen to work with one of the best contouring experts around, Miranda Richards. She is literally sought out by everyone in our area... Clients and their friends for her amazingly subtle yet effective skin contouring work.
So, taking a step away from the Kardashian trend, I thought it would be a good idea, from a photographer's perspective... to show you some examples how, if you take a customized you can look absolutely amazing. I wish I could show you some examples of "WRONG!" but we don't have that here. ;)
Brunettes can go with a stronger look when contouring than most blondes can. But still, this population can really go overboard on a faster track.
This gorgeous New Jersey boudoir photography client below rarely wears makeup and likes a natural look... So the idea was to shape her cheekbones and highlight her beautifully slim nose and her brow bone.
THE KEY TIP: Highlighting the right places really draws attention to the eyes, and does not force those cheeks to be the center of attention, making her look plastic and trendy. Instead, it's all about the eyes!
Way to go Miranda...
BRUNETTE - DRAMATIC
For Brunettes who like a stronger more dramatic look, you can take it a bit further, but with a focus on the right places. This is my client, Bella. She has a stunning heart shaped face and youthful, flawless skin she takes excellent care of. She is also a makeup artist. Because Bella's olive skin is so smooth and even, she is able to go for a matte look like that many skin types simply cannot handle. I have seen this same exact treatment on older or blemished skin and it simply does not translate the same. Bella is a makeup artist too, so she did a lot of her own makeup treatment here... Notice how her cheek is darker than above, but she puts her dramatic focus on the eyes. The highlight on the top of her cheek makes me lift upward toward the eyes for amazing shots. For boudoir photographers, It is always in the eyes!
THE KEY TIPS:
1. Know your skin type. The Kardashian matte-and-cheekbone won't work if you have blemished, uneven skin because you'll have to layer on your makeup so heavy, you'll just end up looking chalky and bumpy.
2. Know your face shape. A round face requires more cheek contouring than an oval or heart shaped face does. If your cheeks are apple or overly prominent, you don't want to draw more attention to them.
3. Focus on the eyes for your drama! Bella did a stronger brow and lip, while leaving her matte finish and contour subtle.
When it comes to contouring, a blonde's fair skin can get really garish quickly. With blondes, I've noticed that highlighting works really really well. Miranda often mimics the icy highlights of their hair with some beautiful dewy highlights. She places highlights in all the right places to accentuate the eyes. Miranda typically goes neutral and subtle on the lips with most blondes (unless they ask her to go stylized dramatic), and plays up eyebrows and eyelids with an appropriate shade.
I absolutely loved this client's golden tones and milky skin. She didn't need much makeup to accentuate her features. But like many of us, she was afraid of photos that might show a double chin or other concern.
KEY TIP: With a fuller face, Miranda did some subtle contouring on the cheeks and jawline to ensure that true definition would flatter this gorgeous curvy boudoir client. In person, this can be tricky awfully because the contouring lines can be more obvious and look like warpaint. So, you have to go only a few tiny shades more bronze than your natural skin's foundation tone.
I was absolutely in love with her dewy tones, and she looked AMAZING in every shot.