Shading and highlighting can add dimension to your face apart from just correcting your flaws.
Makeup is a game of adding shadows to and lighting areas of the face to accentuate your features or hide your flaws. This is done to create balance and an illusion of proportion and shape. Areas that are usually shaded are the hollows of the cheek, along the hairline and jaw line, the crease of the eye (to define the socket's shape), the sides and the tip of the nose, the area under the chin and the temples, the sides of the neck for length, the collar bone and the cleavage.
The areas that are highlighted are the centre of the forehead and the bridge of the nose, above the hollows of the cheekbones extending under the eyes, on the brow bone and the center of the eyelid, and around the corners of the mouth and the centre of the lips.
Intense contouring works well in photography, film and on stage but for every day life one has to use these tricks carefully. All you really need are a few colors to create some stunning results.
Shading your face
When shading, always use shades of brown that blend well with your skin tone. Avoid using muddy browns as they end up looking like dirt, bronze-browns and peachy-browns complement most skin tones although too much red present in it could give your face a reddish tone.
Highlighting your face
The best highlighting colors are off-white, pale yellow, beige, gold, silver or a skin tone that's lighter than your own. Shimmer and pearlised powders reflect more light and are fabulous highlighters too.
After shading and highlighting you can add blusher depending on the shape of your face.
Shapes of the faces
There are seven basic face shapes. These being:
Sometimes determining the shape of your face could be confusing, as you may have a combination of two of the basic shapes or one that is more prominent than the other.
Always remember makeup can be used to play your features up, correct your flaws and have fun while doing that.
The oval face: This shape is considered the best shape, as it is easy to shade and photograph. The basic rules of shading here: Follow the hollows of the cheekbones, and darken the area near the hairline fading the color as you come towards the centre. Avoid coming too close to the cheeks. Then with your contouring brush sweep what's left of the powder along the hairline and jaw line to create dimension.
A large nose could be made to look smaller by shading the area on either side of the nose to reduce the width. A long nose can be gently shaded on its tip (Avoid using a muddy brown to do that!). A thin nose can be highlighted on the bridge for definition.
Then use highlighter on the planes of the cheeks above the hollow and under the eyes for a smooth look. If you can see signs of a double chin, shade the area under it to reduce it. Finish the look with a dash of peach blush on the apples of the cheeks.
The round face: The width of this shape needs shading, so shade the sides to reduce it. The features of a round face are most likely to be rounded too. So, avoid blusher on the apples of the cheeks, as it will give the face a chubbier look. Elongate the shape of the eyes, nose and lips. Wear your hair below the chin and straight down at the sides to minimize the jaw line, chin and hairline.
The long face:Shade the chin and hairline to minimize its length. Use blusher on the apples of the cheeks to give it a rounder, fuller look. Hair with volume on the sides will also give the face a rounder look.
The square face: This facial shape usually has flat cheekbones, so contour the higher area on the cheekbone to create a hollow, defining their shape as you do that. The jaw line should be shaded to round off the look and soften it. Blusher can be used on the apples of the cheeks to give them softer look too.
The heart-shaped face: This facial structure tends to have wider cheekbones and a thinner chin. So shade the cheekbones to minimize the width and highlight the jaw line to balance the face. Heart-shaped faces also have a wide forehead, so shade the area on either side close to hairline. If your chin is too long, shade the area under the tip of the chin.
The pear-shaped face: Shading should be done to make the lower sides of the face look leaner. Highlight the cheekbones to accentuate them. The forehead can also be highlighted. Make sure you style your hair to add volume on top of the head.
The rectangular face: The four corners of the face should be shaded to achieve roundness especially around the jaw line. Add blusher on the apples to add softness. Get your hair styled in soft waves to soften the face.
Apart from the actual shape of the face, one must take into consideration the shape and proportion of the features like the eyebrows, eyes, nose and lips. A square face with thin lips may look more hard and angular. So you'll need to alter the shape of the lips to balance it. Small eyes in a pear-shaped face may need to be emphasized; a long nose on a long face may look even longer if not shaded correctly. Thin eyebrows on a square face may also look out of proportion or very long and arched eyebrows on a heart-shaped face may need toning down.
Shading and highlighting can add dimension to your face apart from just correcting your flaws. A face that has no contouring may appear flat and lifeless. The secret of shading and highlighting involves blending natural color-tinted shadows. Lighting also plays an important role. For example, a well-contoured face could look marvelous in candlelight.
However, during the day one would require minimum contouring. Indoor halogens can also make heavy contouring look good. In white light, however, it's best to use softer colors.