Mission: Sculpt and Define
(Swatches Will Be at the End)
The world of makeup changed forever with the discovery of contouring and highlighting. Whether it be an instant face lift or liposuction, contouring is a girl's best friend. Unfortunately, for women of color who find it difficult enough to find their original foundation shade, contouring requires that you find a product one or two shades deeper than your skin tone which for many women on the deeper end of the spectrum, myself included, is near impossible.
But after years of searching and experimenting, I've come to own a few products that suit many of the forgotten shades of beautiful chocolate skin. I've also included both cream and powder products to suit whichever formula you prefer.
If you would like a video tutorial of how to use any of these products please comment below or on my Instagram and share this post if you found it helpful. :)
(L-R Urban Glow, Real Techniques, Sonia Kashuk,Coastal Scents, E.L.F. Cosmetics, Luxi Beauty, BH Cosmetics)
The type of brush that you use is just as important as the product itself. I enjoy smaller,slimmer, and more angular style brushes for contouring. Angular brushes allow you to apply the product more precisely which is highly beneficial when working with cream products to ensure that they don't smear into other makeup producs. For powders, I enjoy more tapered round brushes and duo-fiber (brushes (brushes with two types of brush hair). A round brush allows me to apply powder quickly to the perimeter of my face (sides of my forehead, hollows of my cheeks, and on my jawline) the duo fiber brushes disperse the product evenly which helps for a smooth and well blended application.
This palette by Anastasia Beverly Hills has quickly become a cult favorite of makeup enthusiasts everywhere.The colors are rich and pigmented and make cream contouring a breeze for beginners. This is perfect for my skin tone (I am a NW45 in MAC shades and I am between 355-360 in the Maybelline Fit Me).I highly reccomend this palette if you are just learning how to contour and highlight. All of the shades that you'll need are pretty much in one place. However,this palette, as gorgeous as it is, does not suit many women with skin tones deeper than mine.
(L-R Ruby Kisses 3D Face Creator Kit Level 16, NikaK HD Concealer- Coffee , LA Girl Pro Conceal-Espresso)
These 3 have been my go to cream contour colors for a while, especially when I was in college on a strict budget. I have used these shades on many women of deeper skin tones and love the way that they blend into the foundation.None of these products is above $6 so definitely give them a try.
Powder Contour/ Bronzing
As you can all tell my products are extremely well loved and well used. Each of these three palettes have been used on myself and clients alike. They have traveled with me and though there were some casualties in the process, these powder contour and bronzing palettes are life.
This palette by City Colors was the first powder contour product I ever owned. However, this is a bronzing palette more than it is a contour palette. It will definitely give your face some definition however, it is more helpful in giving the perimeter of your face warmth than it is to give you cheek bones that look like God carved them from stone.
This palette by CD Glamour Cosmetics based in New Orleans is my absolute favorite if your skin has red undertone like mine does. This color is rich and photographs beautifully.
If you are looking for a more cool toned grey brown then this palette is for you. I like to layer this underneath one of the warmer bronzer shades for definition and shading.
Here are a few of my other favorite contour/bronzing products that come in single compacts.
(L-R Absolut Cosmetics Dark 3, MAC Film Noir, Cover Girl Ebony Bronze, Reign Cosmetics Deep,Iman Cosmetics Sable)
If your skin tone is deeper than NW50 for MAC shades please give Film Noir Blush a try.
But It's A Lipstick Though
So almost anyone who asks me what contour shades I recommend for deeper skin tones is shocked when I answer them with a lipstick shade .
One of the beautiful things about makeup is that, for the most part, a cream is a cream and a powder is a powder. You can always switch up how you want to use a product if you see it fulfilling another purpose.
I started using lipsticks for cream contouring when I realized that though, at the time, there were virtually no contour colors for myself or clients deeper than my skin tone,thanks to fashion trends (and Eurocentric mainstream society) paying homage to the 90's, deep brown lipsticks were popular again. Although now almost every brand has a at least one deep matte brown lipstick color, a few years ago, it seemed that every brown lipstick was super glossy and smeared off of my lips too easily. So I experimented with various shades as contour colors and I loved the range of colors to choose from, how easily the colors blended,and how inexpensive this method was.
Featured here are a few of my favorites that I've tried.
(From L-R Revlon Chocolicious, Nika K Sable, Black Radiance 5124)
Try it at least once and when you do, please tell me which lipstick you try and how you like that method.
Thank You All for Your Support. Now please enjoy some swatches.
From L-R Anastasia Beverly Hills,Ruby Kisses, LA Girl Pro Conceal
City Color Bronzer, Reign Cosmetics, IMAN Cosmetics, CD Glamour Cosmetics, Absolut Cosmetics, MAC Cosmetics, Ciy Colour Contour Kit, Cover Girl
Black Radiance, Nika K, Revlon