One of the biggest defining makeup trends of 2016 was, to put it in Instagram terms, dat contour. While there's already somewhat of a push to move toward more natural looks in 2017, we don't think the trend of model-worthy cheekbones are going away anytime soon.
If you want the cheekbones of a Victoria Secret model but weren't born with flawless natural cheekbones, don't sweat it. Instead, follow our guide on how you can get the same results with the magic of makeup.
Step 1: Start With the Right Skin Care
One of the biggest contouring blunders we see are people neglecting good skin care. It might seem like it shouldn't matter; after all, after applying multiple layers of makeup, you can't even see the skin underneath... right?
Not quite. Having a great base is crucial in contouring for a multitude of reasons. First and foremost, when you have a great base to start with, you can use less product. Secondly, piling a ton of makeup onto blotchy or uneven skin always looks more obvious and cakey than when you are already starting with a great base.
Great skin care means that you're using the same solid products consistently morning and night. Before makeup application, use a great moisturizer followed by a good primer. If you really want a pore-free and perfect canvas, try applying your primer with a brush.
Step 2: Apply Your Foundation
Some contouring tutorials don't urge you to start with foundation, instead guiding you to use concealers to create the entire face. However, this is our guide on how to create great cheekbones, not our guide on how to be totally and completely contoured.
If you want to embrace 2017's more natural look, start with a light application of foundation to even out your skin tone. Once you've evened out your skin tone and set up a good base, you can move on to the next step.
Step 3: Use A Dark Powder To Contour Your Cheekbones
A lot of contouring and cheekbone tutorials use creams to contour the face. However, we're trying to subtly create the illusion of model-worthy cheekbones here. For that reason, we're going to use a powder. Powder is more subtle than cream and creates a finish that is more natural and less harsh.
For subtle but effective contouring, we love this contouring kit by Anastasia. It works on a myriad of skin tones and is quite easy to blend. To contour your cheekbones with a powder, pick up a shade that is two colors darker than your skin tone, on an angled blush brush. Steadily create a line from your temples that follows underneath your cheeks. To soften the look, blend it out with a large fluffy brush or a dry sponge.
Step 4: Intensify the Look With Concealer
This is the time when we want to go in with concealer to intensify our contour. A wand concealer is great for this because it allows you to work precisely.
The two areas where you want to apply concealer are under the eyes and on the lower part of the jaw, which will enhance the contour line you created. Under the eyes, work in a triangle shape. Along the lower part of the jaw, create a curved line. Apply product sparingly and blend out thoroughly with a sponge. The concealer you use should be one or two shades lighter than your natural skin tone. Less is more with this step.
Step 5: Apply Blush
Don't skip blush because you're afraid it will detract from the contouring effects of the color you used to define your cheekbones. Instead, use a peachy color that will softly put some color back into the cheeks.
Step 6: Powder and Highlight
You don't want to apply all of this product without locking it in with a finishing powder. For under the eyes, we love the RCMA No Color Powder. For the rest of the face, we prefer to use a finishing powder with a bit of color in it.
If you really want to make your model cheekbones pop, then a highlighter is crucial. For darker skin tones, look for a highlighter with a gold hue, which will accentuate your dark skin. For pale skin tones, try a highlighter with a white or even slightly silver finish.
When applying a powder highlighter, use a fan brush to gently dust the product along the cheekbones and avoid spreading the color to the under-eye area. If you're using a cream highlighter, you have two options. You can use a blending sponge to apply the color or you can just gently dot on the product with your fingertips. (Don't be skittish about applying things with your fingers. Famed makeup artists Bobbi Brown and Michelle Phan are both huge fans of applying and blending products with the fingers.)
Remember, highlighter should be subtle. You want to look like you're naturally lit up by candlelight, not a disco ball. If you apply too much, blot away excess with a tissue.
Not every contouring look has to be over-the-top or Kardashian-esque. If you follow this guide, you can get model-worthy cheekbones without looking too heavily contoured. The nice thing about this subtle look is that it can be used alongside dramatic eyes or bold lips without looking too severe.
Do you have any tips that you swear by when it comes to creating model-worthy cheekbones? We want to hear about them in the comments below. As always, join Frends Beauty today. Not only will you save 10% on your first order, but you'll receive updates in your inbox on all of our newest products and blog posts.