Be your own makeup artist – Pro products for everyday wear
I adore makeup, but certain products have always made me a little nervous. I feel like there’s so much flexibility with color products like eye shadow and lip gloss; but blush, bronzer and contouring products seemed to require a level of expertise that I didn’t quite have.
My early attempts at contouring and highlighting were not successful. I ended up looking sparkly and dirty at the same time. I tried watching tutorials on how to shade and lighten my features but I still didn’t seem to be getting the look I wanted – until I tried MAC’s Face & Body Collection for Fall 2012, which features products in neutral skin-tone shades. I was so pleased with these products (and the results), I’m sharing my knowledge with you!
Before we get to my tips, it’s important to note that when it comes to face products, and especially when it comes to contouring products, it’s really important to get shades and finishes that are spot on. It’s better that you try these shades in person to see how they look on YOUR skin before buying. (Or at least, make sure you can return them if you buy online and they’re not quite right). You may need to mix shades to get the right shade and tone for your skin, think of yourself as a MAC makeup artist!
Instead of a bronzer or highlighting powder (which frequently have shimmer), you can get a pro look using the MAC Pro Sculpting Creams ($20). These cream to powder products come in six shades that allow you to emphasize your prettiest features, and downplay others (ugh, like my huge forehead).
Once you have the correct Pro Sculpting Cream shades in hand – I’m working with Naturally Defined (warm beige) and Richly Honed (warm deep brown) – you’re ready to begin. First apply any treatment products, primer and foundation. Now you’re ready to contour!
A quick note, when working with these creams, use either your fingers or a dense brush like MAC’s 163 Flat Contour Brush to pat on color. Don’t press too hard or you’ll end up moving your foundation around.
Make a fishy face (suck in your cheeks to create a hollow). Grab your contour color – this should be two shades darker than your skin tone. Apply product, a little at a time and blending well, to the following areas:
• under cheekbone from hairline almost to edge of lips
• along hairline
• under chin (not on jawline)
• on either side of nose
• eyelid crease
• either side of the chin
Next, grab your highlight color – this should be two shades lighter than your skin tone. Apply product to the following areas:
• thin strip on nose
• middle of forehead
• above cupid’s bow of lips
• below eyes
• eyelids, inner corner of eyes, browbone
Take a look and see if you need to modify any of your contouring – you can layer on more Pro Sculpting Cream as needed. While the Pro Sculpting Cream formula will dry down to a powder finish, using a setting powder on top will help your look last even longer.
Lastly, add a bit of oomph to your look using MAC’s Pressed Pigments ($21). While these are described as “intensely creamy highlighter offering extreme pearlescence and versatility of finish,” these seemed to end up just adding a lot of sparkle. I tested Light Touch (high pearl powder in W10) and Warming Heart (high pearl powder in NW20). Whether used wet or dry, these Pressed Pigments seemed to have the same shimmery finish with bits of glitter. The best place for them is probably on your eyes.
Additionally, you should know that this product is more delicate than your standard pressed product in a pan. MAC does provide a warning about this on their website, and I found out how true it was when I accidentally dropped Light Touch. Fortunately, the compact was closed when I dropped it, so I didn’t lose any product.
If you’re going to be in photos, or other situations with harsh lighting, contouring is going to be your BFF. A fully contoured face is probably more than most people need to do on a regular basis, but I can definitely see myself doing a simplified version for everyday.
All in all, the Face and Body Collection really helped me perfect the contoured look. If you’ve been looking to find products that will add dimension and depth to your face, check out these limited edition products before they’re gone.
Readers – do you have contouring skills? Share your tips in the comments!
MAC FACE AND BODY FOR FALL 2012
Light Touch High – pearl powder in W10
Warming Heart High – pearl powder in NW20
Day Gleam High – pearl powder in NC30
Spot Lit High – pearl powder in NW35
Beaming High – pearl powder in NC50
Deeply Dashing High – pearl powder in NW55
$21 US / $25.00 CDN
Pro Sculpting Cream
Accentuate – Peachy beige
Naturally Defined – Warm beige
Pure Sculpture – Neutral pink beige
Copper Beech – Warm golden brown
Coffee Walnut – Deep, dirty cool brown
Richly Honed – Warm deep brown
$20 US / $24 CDN
Face & Body Foundation
C1, C2, C3, C4, C5, C6, C7
N1, N2, N3, N5, N7, N9
$27 US / $32 CDN
215 Medium shader
$25. US / $30 CDN
163 Flat contour
$35 US / $42 CDN
Marilyn is a makeup maniac and slow but stubborn runner. She loves color coding her day planner, reading celebrity gossip and drinking good wine. Marilyn blogs about makeup and fitness over at her blog, Lipgloss and Spandex.
Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for our consideration. For more info, or any questions, please see our disclosure policy.
skin tone: NC25
Skin type: oily, acne-prone
Favorite beauty product: eyeshadow
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