I don't normally publish how-to posts because I prefer to just post the finished product. I believe everyone has their own unique way of applying makeup and in my opinion, there is no wrong way. There are however ways to really enhance what you're trying to achieve. Okay, lets start from the beginning and why I'm posting this. Not too long ago I became virtual friends with a sweet girl named Sherry. She lives in an area where access to a variety of products is hard to come by and as a budding makeup artist she is filled with wonder and questions. I absolutely love it. I know when i pick someones brain about makeup or hair it inspires me to no end. I can see the same excitement in Sherry through our emails. She recently wrote to me asking about contouring and visibility. I took photos of my own application and decided to go ahead and make a post of it.

 Now, not every face in front of you will be that of a magazine model. Some will have flatter faces, heavier lids or non existent lips. Whatever the case may be, try to visualize where light would hit on the face. This will enhance and pop that area.

I started off, like I always start off, by applying a thick line of white eye pencil under my brows. This will make my brow bone more prominent. The I use my ring finger to blend the white into my skin. After doing that I apply a little bit of Too Faced Shadow Insurance to the bottom part of my lid. I do this because I will get heavy creases in my eyes after a long day. I also like to apply my white pencil before the shadow insurance because sometimes the pencil is tougher to blend if the shadow insurance is on the skin first. Afterwards, I take an eyeshadow base that is pure white. If you don't have pure white, you can use any concealer that is a few shades lighter than your own skin tone. This does the same thing as the white pencil under the eyebrow, makes it pop. Opens the eye up. If you have tired looking eyes like me then this is the perfect thing to do to make you look awake.

Okay, now this next part pertains to Sherry's question on how to keep the makeup visible during a shoot.

During photo sessions try to apply more than normal because the camera flash will mute everything out. So if you are highlighting the face, the flash is going to pick that up strong. So to balance it out, anything that you want to darken up, really go after it and don't be scared. Also make sure you're blending well. I like to blend with a fluffy small brush. Break up lines with a blending brush and make sure you continuously wipe clean your brushes as you're working. I use tons of brushes, but for contouring these are my must haves.

Okay, so, back to the eyes. After applying the eyeshadow base and blending the lines, I take a liquid black eyeliner and make a line on my crease. I want the illusion of prominent lids because I have hooded lids so akin this line really tricks the eye. Notice the line disappears when I open my eyes?...

Okay now take a dark brown shadow and place over the black line and start blending with a soft brush. Sure, you can go buy one at Sephora or MAC or any other makeup counter. I just went to the local art store and bought a soft brush there. Works exactly the same. Price= $1.25, its my cinnamon colored brush and it is my FAVORITE!

After blending the dark shadow, apply liquid liner to lash line only.

Okay now, take a concealer that is a shade lighter than your skin tone and apply it on the outer corners of your eyes all the way up to your temples. Blend Blend Blend.. then apply the wing of your eyeliner and darken and connect the dark shadow. I bet you're wondering why I did the eyeliner in two parts... Well because, I use a lot of shadow and with that comes a lot of transfer (flakes that fall off) I don't want to apply concealer then have to wipe it off so i do it in segments. Again, everyone has their own way. Do what makes you happy. this is my way.

After blending, I take a light brown pencil and run it under my lower lash line, stopping halfway in the middle of my eye. Then I also blend that. Afterwards, I start applying mascara to both top and lower lashes. Don't worry if you accidentally get mascara on your skin under your eyes. You can easily remove it with a Q-Tip. Also, you haven't applied concealer that close to your lashes, just on the outer corners and temples, right?!

Okay, now after applying mascara you can go a had and use that same light shade concealer for under your eyes and then applying the correct foundation color on your face.

After applying foundation make sure you set it with powder. At this point, this should be your first time setting anything. If you want your cheeks to pop then take a nude flesh color that is light and apply it over the outer corners where you applied your light concealer. Then, start contouring your cheeks. If you don't know how to do this then just take your brush and place it on your cheek. Roll it on your skin up and down, stopping where you feel your  Zygomatic bone (cheekbone). The pressing will leave a natural line for you that you can follow. This area should be darker than your natural skin tone. I placed my brush roughly around where my tragus (middle of ear) is and made the line, stopping at the outer corners of my eye. If you have a heavier client than make sure you make the line closer to her lips.

Okay, Sherry, This is the blending part of your cheeks. Take your Stippling brush and blend in circular motions, starting from center of your cheek going back to the ear. Make sure the brush doesn't lift off of your skin. Wipe brush down, do it again to other side. Then take your favorite bronzer and apply it above the contour line and around your temple.

Alright, you're almost done! Make sure you fill in the brows, add a little warmth to the top part of your
eyelids and also apply your favorite warm blush to the apples of your cheeks and lightly down the bridge of your nose. Apply some lipstick and Bada Boom Bada Bing, ready to go do your thing.

I hope this helped, sweet girl. Get different color concealers and foundations. You can contour with foundations alone too. I like to use both foundations and shadows. Also, for a more dramatic look you can add false lashes and even line your bottom lash line with black as well. It may be heavy makeup but it holds up to the camera flash and really picks up light where your highlighted.

Just look at that transformation! Makeup Magic


  1. Anonymous6:15 AM

    I really like this post Sara. I know you say your not that kind of make up artist to post how to videos but maybe you should be. I know this method really works and I'd love to see a how to on how you paint on lashes. Great job girlie


  2. Madre mía me encantaría saber maquillarme asi!
    un beso

  3. I wish you would do more tutorials! I love seeing the finished product, but the make up newbs need step by step help =)

  4. I love it when beauty bloggers do tutorials!

  5. What do you use for the "nude flesh color"...a blush or a darker foundation...?

  6. you can use a darker foundation or a nude color with some warmth... your choice

  7. Ok you know I'll be practicing these steps at home. Might take me years to master but will be fun. This is my favorite so far!