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Posts tagged sculpt and shape

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Secret Treasures From the Kit… Part Three

Doing a little bit of research about these old faves, I heard a hideous, vicious rumour that they had been discontinued, but after calling up in despair have been informed they are still alive and well, if only in MAC’s Pro Stores. I’m talking Sculpt and Shape powders, my absolute go-to faves when it comes to contouring. As far as I remember, these started life as a limited edition product a few years ago now, when MAC produced duo compacts, with a “Sculpt” shade in one side for contouring, and an adjacent “Shape” shade for highlighting. They were insanely popular, and I believe have only made a few welcome reappearances in limited edition collections since. However in the MAC Mecca of the Pro Store, you have the heavenly option of choosing your own six shades and making them up into a personalised blush pallette. There is no UK Pro Store website, so don’t quote me on this, but at present I believe there are ten shades, at £14.50 each, and I can safely say my personalised pallette of six is one of the most useful and versatile things in my kit. The swatches below taken from the lovely people at Temptalia.com show the current available shades, a selection of browns, bones and beiges perfect for shaping almost every skin tone.

Forgive my stating the obvious, but contouring of course, is the creation or accentuation of the natural contours of the face, and I’m not talking Siouxie Sioux style here, although I love that style just as much, this is more about creating natural shape and form to the face. The main bit of sculpting that girls and fabulous guys may want to create for themselves is of course the accentuated, high cheekbone. I can’t begin to think how many times I’ve been asked to explain how to contour a killer cheekbone. It’s one of those things that’s so simple, yet so effective, and once you grasp it you’ll feel like a frickin makeup GENIUS. It’s as simple as this; take a soft angled blush brush (the MAC 168 is perfect for this one), load up the brush with your sculpting shade (I tend to work the product into the bristles on the back of my hand for a second, to disperse any excess), then simply hook the brush into the socket of your cheekbone. You can feel the socket with your fingers, even on a moon-faced, seemingly cheekbone-less visage like mine, buried just there next to your ear.

Once the brush is placed, simply swipe it down towards the corner of the mouth with a flick of the wrist, simples. Feel free to repeat twice, even three times if you want a stronger contour. And if you feel you’ve created too harsh a line, don’t fret, just use your brush to soften, blending the colour upwards. And now look at you, RuPaul will be throwing serious shade when she sees your contouring skills. I appreciate it’s very easy for me to say “simples”, following that shorter than short explanation, so should you prefer a slightly more visual description, take a look at my old faves Pixiwoo as Sam takes you through a range of contouring in her tutorial below.

Sam uses MAC’s Taupe blush to work with, a great shade if you have fair skin but which also seems to be Pro only at the moment (I believe you can call the store and have them post product out to you, although that may depend on who answers the phone to you that day and what side of the bed they got out of that morning). Another trick if you’re looking for sculpting or highlighting shades and don’t have a Pro gaff nearby, in a store like MAC where there are such a range of skin shades to choose from; pick a product such as Studio Fix powder (it has that great slightly creamy powder texture that the Sculpt and Shape powders have, gorgeous for blending with), in a shade two shades darker than your skin tone for contouring, and two lighter for highlighting. Bosh. Sam also covers other types of contouring in her video, from nose, to eye socket, temples and more. For the sake of brevity here I won’t go into each (maybe in another post), but a great rule of thumb is to shape the cheekbones, temples and jawline. Picture an imaginary number three either side of the face as a guide, the difference it’ll make when well blended is unbelievable. And I cannot express the importance of blending here people. We’re not going for the Kim Kardashian half way through a change vibe (loves ya Kim).

If you’re wondering what in six shades of hell Kim is doing to her face there, her makeup artist is of the Kevyn Aucoin/Scott Barnes school of contouring, where concealers and foundations are used to sculpt the face. I have used the technique in the past for certain clients who prefer a look with higher coverage to the skin, and undeniably it works really effectively, however my personal preference is to keep things more subtle in matters of the skin, and my bezzie mate the sculpting pallette allows me the best of both worlds. Do go and read up on Kevyn and Scott’s work though, if you’re not already a fan, they are the absolute undisputed Gods of contouring and highlighting. Scott creates hyper perfect bronzed Goddesses out of the J-Lo’s and Kelly Rowlands of the World, and Kevyn was renowned for the transformations he could create without a prosthetic in sight. Gwyneth Paltrow as James Dean anyone?

And I haven’t even got onto the highlighting part yet! As we already know, contouring causes areas to recede, by creating shadow, and highlights bring them forward giving that real sense of depth. Sweep your highlight along the top of the cheekbone, just above your contour. Swish a little along the upper side of your jawbone, or on the forehead and down the bridge of the nose. Women have been contouring and shaping their eyes in this way for years, you’re simply taking these skills and applying them to other areas of the face, so don’t be scurrred. If you like a gorgeous, dewy highlight to the cheek, this is your time to shine! Seeing as you’re in MAC already why not add a little Cream Colour Base in “Shell”, £14.50, or for something a little more glitzy, that gorgeous sheer, gold hued, all purpose highlighter Pigment in Vanilla, £16.50.

And there you’ll be, all sculpted and refined like some sort of Michaelangelo masterpiece. Why not take a look at the gallery below for a bit of inspiration on how to rock a razor sharp cheekbone? Granted, some chicks like Marlene and Kate are just born with those babies, but brush up on your contouring skills and no one will ever know the difference. I won’t tell if you don’t.


Filed under makeup makeup artist Lucy Gibson warpaint sculpt shape sculpt and shape mac cosmetics mac makeup mac contour contouring blusher powder foundation concealer pro store pixiwoo samantha chapman temptalia temptalia.com cheekbones studio fix kim kardashian kevyn aucoin scott barnes j-lo jennifer lopez kelly rowland kate moss