Monthly Archives: September 2016

Highlight and Contouring Palette

To the true beauty beginner, contouring can seem downright scary. The idea behind the popular technique, however, is actually pretty simple. Contouring is really just the process of using light- and dark-toned makeup to enhance your natural features. And while it may take some practice to get Kardashian-level killer cheekbones, it’s easy to add some subtle definition to your makeup look—if you have the right tools. To help you get started, we rounded up some of our favorite contour kits, beloved by first-timers and pro artists alike. (For extra help, check out our basic contouring guide.)

If you’re not familiar with RCMA, the one thing you need to know about the brand is that the products—designed for pros—are unlike anything you’ve used before. They’re super pigmented, so a little (seriously, a little!) goes a long way. This cream-based, five-color foundation palette includes a wide range of shades, so anyone can custom-blend the perfect contour and highlight shades for their skin tone. (Read our guide to the RCMA foundation system for more information.)

The Anastasia Contour Kit became an instant cult favorite the day it was released—and for good reason. This palette includes six pressed powders that, when combined, can be used to create a variety of looks ranging from simple to dramatic. Even better, it comes in three colorways (Light to Medium, Medium to Tan, and Tan to Deep) with warm, cool, and neutral highlight and contour shades, so it’s a fair bet for all skin tones. Whether you’ve been contouring for years or just a few days, this palette is both comprehensive and fun to use.

This bronzer-highlighter duo isn’t just gorgeous to look at—it’s one of our all-time favorite contouring kits. Why? The intensely pigmented, smooth-as-silk formulas work on any skin tone. The bronzer isn’t too red or orange, and the highlighter gives off a soft, subtle glow. The product may look shimmery in the pan, but once it goes on the skin, it leaves behind the most beautiful pearlescent finish. For the ultimate application, try it with the Charlotte Tilbury Powder Sculpt Brush.

Ways to Play with Color Mascara

So you’ve been wanting to try color mascara, eh? Maybe you just bought some, or maybe you’re eyeing that cute green, cobalt, or burgundy shade online. But…how do you wear color mascara without having it be such a Look? Is there a way to wear color mascara for a subtle pop of color without having everyone for 300 feet know you are WEARING BLUE MASCARA?

Why, yes. Yes there is. You can combine a color mascara with your regular black or brown mascara, making your lashes look different and interesting without getting too bright. Color mascara in class or an office? Definitely! Color mascara for a meet-the-parents dinner? Why the heck not?

Just the tips

Grab your normal, everyday black mascara (we used Inglot Cosmetics Perfect Length Define Mascara, $13), and sweep it on your top and bottom lashes. Next, try a crazy color! We went with Inglot Cosmetics Colour Play Mascara in 02 Green, which is a highly pigmented, almost electric green, and applied it just to the tips of the top and bottom lashes. Presto! A subtle-yet-still-visible color on the tips of your still-proper eyelashes. You can’t even see it unless you get pretty close, but when you do, it’s like your entire soul suddenly gets how awesome this is.

 

Halfsies

For a more obvious look that is still not in “Rainbow Brite” territory, try swiping your top lashes with black mascara and putting color mascara on just your bottom lashes. This can be fun to try with gently varying shades, say, black on top and navy on bottom, or add a cobalt on the bottom for a little more oomph. This works especially well with blue shades, because they’ll make the whites of your eyes look brighter, the same way blue-based red lipsticks will make your skin tone look cooler. “You look different! But…why?” – Everyone at work.

 

Let’s Blend

Your black mascara is about to get a facelift. Sweep on a coat of black mascara, and then do a second coat of a vibrant color mascara of your choice (what about purple? or burgundy?) Look at that! Is it black mascara? No. Is it color mascara? No….or is it? Adding a coat of color mascara to black makes the black appear multifaceted and a bit more interesting, without making you commit to Krazy Kolor Lashes all the way.

Choosing which eye shadow to buy

But to feel amazing, you need to feel confident. And when it comes to makeup, nothing gives you more confidence than a good understanding of color theory and how it applies to your natural eye color, hair color, and skin tone.

So, let’s give you some color theory basics so you can purchase with power. Below are some factors to consider when buying an eye shadow — whether you want an everyday look or instant drama.

Skin Tone

Today, skin tones tend to be categorized into two columns, warm and cool. It doesn’t help that some makeup brands will categorize pink tones as warm and yellow tones as cool while others will do just the opposite, because the color wheel is divided down the center and yellow can be considered cool or warm.

But if you are aware of your undertone, you can navigate through all this product with decisiveness. To find out your undertone, check your veins. Our veins are naturally blue, so a yellow skin tone will have veins that appear more green. A pink skin tone’s veins will appear more violet.

If you have a warm skin tone, any warm eye shadow color will look more natural; if you are cool toned, any cool color will look more natural. Selecting shades further to the opposite sides of the color wheel will give you more drama.

Warm skin tones should try colors like bronze, vanilla, ivory, taupe, light and dark brown, pink, and coral. If you have a cool skin tone, play with pale blue, lilac, teal, gray and turquoise.

Eye Color

Using your own eye color to choose your shadow palette is a perfect way to put the focus exactly where you want it. Using an eye shadow shade that is complimentary to your eye color (one that is opposite on the color wheel) is an easy way to draw attention and make the eye pop or look more prominent. Choosing a shadow that lies close to your eye color (we call this analogous) will give a soft and easy effect that looks beautiful. Here is a simple breakdown.

Blue eyes – We know that orange is opposite blue, so anything in that color family or on either side of orange will create a lovely, dramatic effect. Try shades and tints of orange, red and yellow to get a ‘wow.’ Think copper, gold, peach, coral, pinks, and warm browns. For a more subtle look, something that is next to blue on the color wheel like violets, purples, or greens can create an unexpectedly natural look. Lilac, lavender, deep purple, plum, khaki, and olive are all excellent choices.