Oct 102011

This Fall, I’ve begun to notice a heavily contoured cheek used on the runway and in magazines.  For example, look at this look from last week’s Paris runway show of Louis Vuitton Spring Summer 2012:

I noticed another heavily contoured look in this feature from the October ’11 Vogue in this androgynous take on the trend:

I was tempted to try this look, because I love nude blushes, light bronzers and highlighters and have several in my stash.  However, I did not want to apply the product so heavily and dramatically because the heavy application that you see in these examples seem best suited for a runway or fashion studio.  Some ways that I played with the look include using a deeper foundation shade on the lower cheek, and a subtle highlighter on the upper cheek.  This is the most subtle version of the contoured cheek that I can create.

Another is to use a deep blush and highlighter combination, such as the Chanel Soho blush/ highlighter that was released last Fall (limited edition)

If you prefer a cream version of the colors in the Chanel Soho palette, Nars Multiples in Maui and Luxor is a good substitute (swatches below).  I bought the Nars multiples as mini’s in this Sweet Disposition set.
A third way is a highlighter/combination, including this Hourglass Illume Creme-to-Powder Bronzer Duo in Bronze Light ($40), which is sold at Sephora.  On the top of the compact, there is a champagne gold sheer highlighter.  On the bottom, the compact holds a warm-toned cream bronzer that runs to a medium-toned depth.  The top mirror keeps the compact sleek when stored, but can be swiveled up so that the large mirror can be used.
This Hourglass duo can be worn with the two tones applied separately to create a defined, contoured cheek.
Alternatively, I can wear the bronzer more traditionally with the highlighter all over the cheek and on the brow bone. The Hourglass Bronzer duo holds one of the deepest bronzers that I can get away with, and I have to apply it sheerly to get it to work.  If you have a medium warm skin tone, you can be more liberal with the use of this bronzer. Those with cooler skin tones may find this duo is too warm.
I also own Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base ($48) (swatched below).  The Hourglass bronzer is a traditional creamy texture that dries down to a powder on the skin and can be beautifully sheered out.  Chanel’s cream bronzer feels drier in the tub, and feels as though it contains some silicon.  Chanel’s is lighter in tone than the Hourglass.  The Chanel tub is a rather enormous 1.0 ounce;  the Hourglass duo holds .39 ounces of product in total (both bronzer and highlighter).
Here is a comparison of Nars Multiples in Luxor and Maui, the two shades from the Hourglass Illume Bronze Light compact, and a combination that I created the Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base and Edward Bess All Over Seduction in Sunlight ($38) (reviewed here).
 Have you played with a contoured cheek?  What are your thoughts?

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  5 Responses to “Trend Watch: The Contoured Cheek”

  1. I contour my cheek hollows and jaw line daily using the bronzer, blush, and highlighter in the Le Metier de Beaute Flawless Face Palette. After applying foundation I use a blush brush to apply the bronzer in the cheek hollow and along jowly jaw bits to create the illusion of a straighter jaw line; then blush in the center of the cheeks; following with the highlighter on the top of the cheek. I finish with T. le Clerc loose powder to blurring any evident lines. If contouring is done with a subtle hand, it tricks the eye into seeing a slimmer, subtly chiseled face. As you so thoroughly point out, finding the right colors is key.

    • Hi Ava,

      You made an excellent point about using a finishing powder to blur the lines. Nothing is worse than seeing obvious contour lines on a woman’s face. In her video on highlighter/contour, Lisa Eldridge refers to the unblended look as Snickers bars on the cheeks. LOL.

  2. For gals who need a bronzer with a touch of pink in it, Chantecaille’s St Barths is beautiful. I lightly swirl my brush on it, tap off excess, and sweep on the classic “3” shape. Because i’m usong it as contour, i go just under the cheekbones rather than on top of of them as I would when going for a bronze effect. St. Barths is a great contour for those of us with fair complexions and pink undertones.

    Lisa Eldridge has a video on applying powder highlighter in which she also shows contouring.

  3. i absolutely LOVE contoured cheeks (what can i say, the 80s are my decade! lol) and so dig the heavy contoured look here

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