Browsing Tag

makeup for women of color


How To Contour Your Cheek Bones

4th April 2015

How To Contour Your Cheek Bones

Contouring is an amazing tool to implement into your beauty routine, it can enhance your eyes and slim your face and really finish off any look. This skill is easy to learn and takes practice but once you have it you have it for life! Here are some tricks to the trade to jump start you to contouring perfection.


Using The Right Makeup Brush

Makeup brushes in some cases aren’t really needed to achieve a look but when it comes to contouring the brush is everything. An angled makeup brush is ideal for sculpting your face. In choosing a brush take into account how it feels in your hand and how easy it is to make long and precise strokes. My favorite brush is the one on the far left!

Contour Brush

Contouring Brush

Finding Your Cheek Bones

Some women are lucky and have very profound cheek bones (good for them) but many do not and finding them can be tricky. Thankfully one thing that can help is the ridiculous selfie trend “the duck face”. This facial expression actually causes the muscles in your face to tense up and reveal the plump tissue that is your cheeks. The area you’re wanting to contour is just underneath the plump part of your cheeks where the skin on the face lays flat again.


Yellow= Plump Parts
Burgundy= Contour Line


Contouring Powder

Finding a good contouring powder is very important, you could have all of the best makeup brushes money can buy but without a nice powder for contouring it won’t come out correctly. Picking a shade that’s right for you is key. I suggest that ethnic women use a mosaic palette that has several pigment shades including a dark brown tone. Most black women aren’t just brown but have several shades that make up their rich skin tone. If you’re having issues finding the right powder stay away from very deep tones a lighter contour is better than an overly bulky and bold one.

Contourin Powder

Milani Sunset Spice (actual powder I use)

How Much Is Too Much?

Sometimes when contouring it can be easy to make the line too thick and ruin that sleek and slim line that you really want. When applying the powder to your brush tap the brush lightly to shake off any extra powder. When dabbing brushes into powder one can apply too much pressure to the middle of the brush and cause a large gathering  of makeup at the center of the brush. Be sure to apply the same pressure in all areas or you could end up with a patchy line.



The direction at which you’re contouring should be towards your ears. When you’re making that first stroke I find going in a straight upward motion is best, especially for beginners. Sweeping the brush back and forth should be used only to deepen the tone of the line and to blend it in not for applying the first stroke.


Towards Your Ears

Don’t Make A ‘U’ Shape

Some may be tempted to contour and make the line hook around their cheek bone because our cheek bones are circularly shaped in a sense. However doing this will cause your contour to appear misshaped and in some instances make your lines appear different on either side.


U Shaped Contour (Incorrect)


Blending in your contour is the easiest part, however keep in mind how much pressure you’re using, being too forceful can cause you to erase areas and cause gaps in your contour. Using a medium sized fluffy blush brush for blending is ideal. Remember to use light up and down short strokes and long and light strokes.

How To Contour

The Shape Of Your Face

Standing in a mirror and looking at the shape of your face is surprisingly helpful. Our faces aren’t shapeless blobs there are so many natural contours and lines going on that we miss them. Find your cheek bones and then imagine your contour on your face, more than likely wherever you’ve mentally placed it is where it should be.

How To Contour

Helpful Brush Hack

If you’re using a fuller brush squeeze the base of the brush to make the hairs more horizontally aligned, this makes it easier to achieve a narrow line.

Contouring Brushes

Clean Up Those Lines For A Polished Look

When you’re done contouring use a lighter powder or what you’d normally use for your highlight and your regular powder base for cleaning up lines. Use the lighter powder or highlight to clean up the line on top of the plump part of your cheeks by placing your powder on a sponge and making a swooping motion towards your ears. The amount of powder you use for this should be half the size of the line of your contour. Then use your everyday wear powder to clean up the line below your cheek bones, another straight swoosh with a sponge should do the trick.

How To Contour

Yellow Line= Light Base (Highlight)
Burgundy= Contour
Orange= Your Normal Everyday Powder

These helpful hints can keep you going in the right direction as dar as achieving the perfect contour. Contouring is a skill and like all learned talents you must continue to practice them to become extremely skilled. Remember to keep trying and soon you’ll be a contouring master!


My Contour


Can’t Find A Powder That Matches Your Skin? These 2 Hacks Can Help

1st April 2015

Can’t Find A Powder That Matches Your Skin? These 2 Hacks Can Help

As a woman of colour I’ve found that when it comes to finding a good quality powder that actually matches my skin it’s pretty rough out there. Depending on the neighbourhood you live in certain shades in makeup lines won’t be available simply because it’s not in demand due to the lack of ethnic people in that area. For example I’ve tried Estee Lauder’s Invisible powder and found that I only had four shades to choose from and the closest one to the tone of my skin was still two shades lighter. I then moved on to Clinique and found a very light weight powder and out of the oh so glamorous three shades I had to choose from the one that somewhat matched was two shades too dark! So after months of either looking too dark or too light I tapped into my makeup artist within and found a solution! Here are a two hacks to help your too dark or too light powder dilema.


Too Dark Solution: Highlight Method

The main issue with powder that is too dark is that when it is fully applied it makes the areas surrounding the eyes look much darker and can accentuate lines and wrinkles. Using a light coloured powder for highlighting can get rid of this problem and make your face look a lot lighter and blended. Start by choosing the brightest tone in your skin and pick a powder that matches that tone. I have a lot of yellowish orange tones So I chose Revlon Colorstay in Medium Deep. in order for this hack to work you must choose the correct coloured powder. When shopping apply a dab of the powder on your hand and smooth it in you should notice lighter shades in your skin become more apparent to your eyes. If the shade just looks very pale and stands out keep trying out powders.

What you need:

A light coloured powder, Makeup sponge, Medium Powder Brush and a powder for contouring


Step 1

Apply your powder

Step 2

Apply your lighter coloured powder under the eyes using a makeup sponge in the shape of an upside down half moon. In order for this to be effective the area of your highlight should be about this wide.


Step 3 

Apply the powder on your makeup sponge and use the lighter powder on the entire bridge of the nose in a medium thin line as well as the middle of your forehead. When applying on your forehead make a tree with branches like shape such as this.

Drawing (1)

Step 4

Using your makeup sponge gently dab the lighter powder into the light coloured powder a few times and dab angularly onto the cheekbones. In order for this to work you only need to apply just enough powder to the sponge so that if it were applied on paper it would sparsely be seen .

Drawing (2)

Step 5 (optional)

Using your contouring powder and a medium sized powder brush contour your cheek bones and blend well to create a nice gradient contrast between the lighter powder and your contour. I use Milani Mosaics in Sunset Spice it’s gorgeous on all skin tones!

Drawing (3)

Voila! your darker powder should now appear a lot less deep and look more blended in with your own skin tone.


Too Light Solution: Dusting Method

The main issue with base that is much too pale for your skin tone is it doesn’t cover blemishes and accentuates the whites of your eyes. Making you look ashy due to your darker toned skin seeping through unblended. What you’re going to do is help your natural skin seep through a little less undetected from the aid of a darker powder. I have some very deep browns in my skin so I use L.A. Colors Mineral Powder in CMP315 Ebony. In or for this hack to work when picking your darker powder it must be a shade that is in your skin tone, when shopping for this powder dab it on your hand and rub it in darker tones should become more apparent and give you that it almost matches but it’s a touch too dark feeling.

What you Need:

A medium Powder Brush, Dark powder foundation


Step 1: 

Apply your powder


Step 2:

Apply the darker powder onto the medium powder brush and apply it to the edges of your face in dusting like upward and downward strokes. When doing this to your jawline start at the chin and go towards your ears still making dusting like strokes up and down.

Drawing (4)

Step 3:

Making a creep face (yes a creep face) to find the shapes of your cheek bones and begin making a dusting like motion up and down until you’ve outlined the shape of your cheeks.

Drawing (5)

Step 4:

Take your medium powder brush and dab it into your dark powder lightly enough so that if it were to be spread across a sheet of paper it would look like faint spray paint. Starting with your forehead using very quick dusting like motions apply the dark powder up and down starting from left to right keeping above your eyebrows (very important to keep above the brows). Next do the same to your jawline keeping the same dusting method up and down. Do the same to your cheek bones but make very light dust strokes just above the contour line and well below your eyes mimicking that there is a half moon barrier underneath them.

Drawing (6)

After applying these steps your base will just look like a highlight and the darer powder will make your skin appear less pale and more blended.


Theses 2 hacks have saved me a lot of headaches and have kept me from going over the edge of frustration with not being able to find a powder that perfectly matches my skin tone. With continued practice and finding either your dark skin toned matching dusting powder, or your lighter skin toned highlighting powder you to can have beautiful and more blended coverage whilst searching for that perfect powder. Here are my turn out’s using both of these methods.

(Left To Right) Base Too Light Base Too Dark

Base Too Light            Base Too Dark