Brightening Up the Complexion


Actually, this is more of a highlighting tutorial and why am I doing another one?  Well, nowadays with HD and the sharpness of cameras, highlighting appears to be a very important technique moreover than contouring.  That is not to say contouring is completely out, just not as zealously used because it can look muddy in HD.  If contouring is done, it is done softly on the nose and cheekbones.  And, if the face needs some shape changing, post-production retouching appears to be the way it is done.  Sometimes, I do wish the shows on television and movies on film would just let everyone be and let the artist's acting skills just make the character work.  Then again, some acting does need help and I will leave my critique to that since I am not a tv/film critic!

Let's get on with the tutorial.  If you saw in my post of highlighters.  I mentioned two that I bought, the Le Blanc De Chanel Sheer Illuminating Base ($45USD) and MAC Strobe Cream ($15USD).  Either one is great to use, there is no right or wrong, just a matter of preference.  There are two ways to use this to highlight the face.  You can use it on its own first and highlight the areas then blend it into the foundation or blend it into the foundation and apply.  I prefer the first method because it provides more of a highlighted effect.  Done right, this highlighting should look natural in any light.

The brushes I use are just my preference.  I use a TIGI Bed Head Highlighting brush because it has a nice point to get in the corners and wide enough to blend.  I believe this one is discontinued but I think you can still find it on bay.  The other brush is Ve Neill's Foundation brush which is also discontinued, although she does have a new set of brushes out.  Sorry, for choosing discontinued ones but these are the ones I like.


Here I have used Grace in the tutorials.  Again, she doesn't need much help but if she ever wanted to light up her life a bit then this is the way to go!

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1-The 3/4th view of the face.  2-This shows the area from the forehead and the nose I want to bring forward. It is an area that naturally recedes and to make it look more dimensional, highlighting will bring it to the forward.  3-The area around the eye, this should be done after the neutralizing and concealing.  The highlighting area is around the tear duct to the end of the cheekbone at the outer end of the eye.  This area tends to look tired the most as the day wears on.  Anything that can brighten that area and make you look wide awake is always good.  The only thing that matters here is blending which should be done enough to just make it glow.  4-Highlighting this area brings out the cheekbones and also contours the nose in a "reverse contour" method.  The highlighter isn't applied all the way to the side of the bridge but just below where it curves into the face.  Then, the rest follows the soft pillowy parts of the cheeks and side of the mouth, emphasizing the roundness of the cheeks.  5-Areas to be highlighted.

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6-In the front view, I show what direction I would glide my makeup brush when applying and blending the highlighter.  7-Application of the highlighter.  8-9-Blending. 10-All blended. 

Foundation is applied to the other areas.  What is important when applying the foundation is to just blend it enough to mix it into the highlighted areas without applying over those areas.

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11-The green arrows generally show the pattern of the brush strokes when blending the foundation.  This isn't written in stone and there are variations.  12-Dot the foundation in the various points then spread and blend.  13-15-Blending.  16-The finished look.


You can see it gives a glow or diffuses the face while emphasizing certain parts of it, shaping it to look more 3D without looking made up. 17-18-And, if you notice on the cheeks, the area to blush becomes more apparent shown by the two red circled parts.


19-Before without highlighting and foundation.  20-After with highlighting, foundation, and blush.

There you have it, a way to light up your life!  Remember, makeup doesn't apply itself and it does take some practice.  Hope you enjoyed the tutorial. :-)



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I am Olivia, writer of two beauty blogs with a cult following The Unknown Beauty Blog and Into the Palette. I am on the B-List Beauty Blogger with a strong addiction to television!

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