Contouring like Kevyn

Since Kimmy K tweeted that now famous image of her pre blended contour make-up, I’m finding lots of my clients are requesting a heavily contoured look. Yet, what I think is being forgotten, is that us make-up artists have been shading, highlighting and altering face shapes with the magic of make-up long before Kim signed up to Twitter. 

Let’s go back 11 years, to when I was approaching my 16th birthday, and truly obsessed with make-up. This is when my dad first introduced me to the man who inpsired me (and thousands of others) to jump feet first into my dream career. Kevyn Aucoin.

If you have never witnessed the true magic of Kevyns work in Making Faces, Face Forward or Art of Make-up, then I suggest you head staright to your local book store, and be prepared to gasp in admiration. 
(Which is exactly how my students reacted on their first peek!)

Kevyn, was an American make-up artistphotographer and author, whose work graced Vogue covers and the faces of countless celebrities before his untimely death in 2002. In 2001, Kevyn launched Kevyn Aucoin Beauty, which is still a favoured brand by professionals and consumers alike.
 But, what Kevyn was really famed for was his amazing contouring techniques, which helped transorm Gwyneth Paltrow into James Dean, and male modesl into female supermodels, such as Linda Evangelista. 
His work was truly beautiful, inspiring and his passion for make-up seeps through the pages of each book.

I can honestly say,  these books changed my life. 

So, how do we contour like Kevyn?! Well, you can clearly see from the image above, where we should be applying our products. Using lighter tones, either matte or with a soft shimmer, helps the areas to appear lifted and more promiment, whilst using darker, matte tones, creates a shadowed, receeded appearance. 
There is lots of products on the market- but some are much better than others in my opnion. (And being a spend-a-holic, I’ve tried them ALL)

Illamasqua Hollow

You can use either liquid, cream or powder products- or a mixture of both for a stronger look if you wish. When training, a great way to experiment with contour is by using foundation- choosing 2 shades lighter for highlighting and 2 shades darker for shading. 

Tom Ford Shade&Illuminate

My favourite cream products for contoruing are Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Hollow for fairer skin tones and Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate for medium to dark skin tones. I like to apply these using my Crown Dual Fibre Brush, or for a stronger application, Illamasqua Blush Up Brush. For highlighting, I use  17 Skin Wow or MAC Strobe to create an irresdesence glow.

Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder

I also like to apply powder products for a stronger finsih, either over cream alone.
Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder is a favouirte of mine, as the red, grey and brown tones create a natural shadow effect, which is string but easily blendable.  MAC Blot Powder is also a great kit item, which you can use to keep shine at bay, and add soft contours. I have four shades in my kit- Light, Medium, Dark and Deep Dark. I like to apply powder contour with an angled brush, such as  Crown 104. 
For highlighting, I use a mixture of things, all from MAC, such as the now discontiued Beauty Powder, vanilla eyeshadow (matte) and vanilla pigment (high shimmer), using the Highlighter Brush from Illamasqua.

 Why not try a strong smokey eye or bold berry lip with your contoured look this weekend?! I know I will be!

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