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November 06, 2010

Basic Makeup Part Two: Sculpting the Cheeks (Blush, Contour & Highlight)

Hi hi, this is Part Two of the basic makeup series.  In this part, I will be sharing how I would put on cheek colors.  This includes the contour, blush and highlight -- do take note, I don't do this on a regular basis.  70% of the time I just do blusher.

My theory when it comes to blush and contour is that nothing should be too obvious.  If anyone can notice, then you miss the whole point of contouring/ coloring your cheeks.  Even if you are using a particularly distinctive shade of blush, it would be a subtle hint of color.  It shouldn't be like that's the first thing people notice about you when they see you.  If that's the case, then you probably look clownish?  That's just my opinion.  Sometimes it is perfectly fine for your cheeks to be the outstanding feature, because the rest of your face is pretty neutral.

If you want to see how I achieve flawless skin, click HERE to check that out.

Again, I want to stress that I ain't no expert, and it wasn't til recently that I think maybe I got the hang of doing my cheeks.  Here are a couple of experts that I trust and reply on:

My fave contouring/ blush tutorials:

Pixiwoo - the basic version & the extreme catwalk version

Sarah Victor - in-depth cheeks contouring tutorial, love her explanation and how to use brushes effectively, and also contouring for different skin tones.

* I confess, I don't like to watch skinny girls show you how to contour, cos that never works!  But if you are already blessed with very defined cheekbones, lucky you!! --- skip all the 'contour' bits and go to the cheek colors instead.*

Step ONE: start with the contour, which is the darkest color.  Think of this as crease color (eye shadow wise, I mean).  Contour is supposed to mimic the natural shadows of your face.  I am using Illmasqua Rumor -- a matte ashy cool toned brown. Simply because this is my fave contour color of the  moment. I am using a MAC 109 brush.  It is a dense round brush, which allows for precise application, and buffing in of the color.

So you will end up with something like this --  note -- always use a matte shade to contour. Don't confuse bronzer with contour shade.  Bronzers are for dusting on parts of your face where the sun naturally hits (where you tend to burn after sun exposure).

Step TWO: Cheek Color, or the lid color in eyeshadow terms.  This is where you get creative.  I don't usually have a preference for matching my cheek colors to my eyeshadows, or watever, but I do go through phases where I am on matte kick, or natural, or I go pow pow bright red, or fuschia.  With my current stash of way too many blushes...hmmm, the possibilities are endless.  I am using MAC 116 brush, and MAC Peachy Keen.

People always say apply cheek colors on the apples of your cheeks... or smile, that's how you find the apples of your cheeks.. and that's what I did.. until a few days ago, I watched Wayne Goss' video, and he mentioned how the smiling method is WRONG because, what happens when you stopped smiling?  Your 'cheek apples' / face muscles droop, and the patch of cheek color 'goes downwards' giving the illusion you have SAGGY cheeks!  Horrors!!!!

So we shouldn't smile when applying cheek colors.  Just dust the cheek color higher up where your cheeks would  be when  you smile.  Does that make sense?  This will create a more uplifting/ youthful effect.


Step THREE: Highlight!  This is completely optional.  Some people don't like shimmer/ glitter on their faces, but if you are going out at night, and want to be a little more dramatic, give your cheeks a pop with the highlighter.  Use this sparingly.  I am using NARS Albatross with the same MAC 116 brush.  I concentrate this on top of the area where I applied the cheek color. I also use Albatross at the temples of my forehead.  It is pretty pigmented, and I use just the tiniest amount.

And the end results -- the highlight part is not very obvious here... depending on whether it catches the light... but oh well, you get the drift by now, I think.  And  the pictures just above shows more clearly how Albatross looks like.  I just used a tiny tiny bit!  :)

There are so many ways you can do contouring, highlighting, and here I have only used powder products. In the market, there are cream products, liquid, gel, loose powder, etc etc, but I guess most of us would be used to working with powder products, so I featured them, instead of my cream products.  If you use cream products, do make sure you do all these steps BEFORE setting your foundation with powder.

That's all, I hope this has been helpful... and I think subsequent parts to this makeup basics will be up on Sun or later this week.

Thanks for reading.

posted by

hi :D
Could u do a post on how to apply bronzer?
Many thanks!

posted by

Great lady! Keep posting such tutorials, I'm learning a great deal!

posted by

now i gotta get the Rumour color for sure! thanks a lot ! :P do u know if their site ships internationally?


@ yael -- yup they do, and I think even cheaper if shipping within the EU :)

posted by

Great basics MU series. I really like the effect of contouring you did. I am looking forward to seeing more esp eye MU. You will be doing them yeah?

posted by

thanx ! i always used the deepr shade after i use the blush now i'll try in revers ! :D

posted by

Now I wanna buy the MAC 109 brush coz of this!

posted by

*gasps* i have been doing the-smile-and-apply-blush all these while, need to go home and watch his tutorial tonight!

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My name is Sophia!


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Reviews: Foundations

Click to check out my foundation reviews

2011 Foundations & Powder Overview

2009 Foundations Overview

2009 Liquid Foundations Overview

Estee Lauder Double Wear

Shu Uemura Mousse Foundation

Shu Uemura Nobura Cream Foundation

Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua

Clarins Hydra Luminious Powder Foundation

Chanel CC Cream

Clarins Extra Firming Foundation

Cle de Peau BEAUTE Silky Cream & Concealer

Clé de Peau BEAUTÉ Brightening Base & Powder Foundation

Clarins Skin Illusion Foundation

DiorSnow Base Routine

Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation

Giorgio Armani Face Fabric

Illamasqua Skinbase

Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer

MUFE Mat Velvet+

MUFE HD Foundation & Powder

Lancome Teint Miracle Liquid Foundation

Lancome Maqui Miracle Compact Foundation

Lancome Mat Miracle 24H Foundation

Lancome UV Shield BB Creme

Lancome Regenerie Eclat Multi Lift CC Cream

Laura Mercier Overview

Maybelline Pure Mineral Liquid Foundation

Maquillage Long Lasting Cream Stick foundation

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Maquillage Multi Base BB & True Powdery UV foundation

NARS Sheer Glow

NARS Sheer Glow [Revisited]

Rachel K BB Cream

Shiseido Sheer & Perfect Foundation 

Shiseido Natural Finish Cream Concealer 

Shiseido Radiant Lifting Foundation

Shu Uemura Smooth Fit Liquid Foundation

Shu Uemura Mousse Foundation

Shu Uemura Instant Radiant Base

SUQQU Frame Fix Lasting Pact Foundation

Tom Ford Traceless Liquid Foundation

Clinique Age Defense BB Cream

Dior Capture Totale UV Base 

Bobbi Brown BB Cream

Freshel BB Cream

Laneige Snow BB Cushion

Ettusais Mineral BB Cream

Ettusais Quick Fix Powder

ZA True White Liquid Foundation



About Me

My name is Sophia, and I am in my early 30s. I am from Singapore and I am the sole writer of this blog.

About this Blog

I started this blog in 2006, I like to use a wide range of brands though I seem to have a growing preference for higher-end brands in recent years. I also like to share interesting things I have come across about makeup and beauty.

Currently The Makeup Blogette receives 39,000 unique views monthly or 2,238,932 views and counting.

My Makeup Style

I like classic looks (neutral tones on eyes, anything goes for lips & cheeks), though occasionally I try out dramatic/ statement looks.  I believe that a flawless base is the key to achieving great makeup looks.  I also believe that if you don't have great skin to start with, fake it with a good foundation routine, and even greater skincare.  I am currently loving Clarins & Lancome skincare products, and Vichy NormaDerm for tackling with breakouts.

What Cameras do I use?

Most of the pictures you see in post 2010 entries are taken with my Canon G-11.  Previously I was using Canon Ixus 80.  I do post some pictures which are taken with my iphone4 which I will state in that particular entry.  I have stopped watermarking my pictures as of 2011, because I think watermarks are ugly in general, and does not prevent people from stealing my pictures if they wish to.  I just take it as a compliment that my pictures are even worth stealing in the first place. I might look into getting a Canon EOS next year, not just for blogging purposes, but I also like photography in general.

My Favourite Makeup Brand(s)

It is hard to name just one, but I like NARS, Chanel, Illamasqua and the ocasional Guerlain, Dior & Urban Decay item.  I own quite a stash of MAC items, but recently I have stopped catching up with their collections, and I much prefer to splurge on a few really outstanding items.

Where to find me

Twitter (link button above!)  Email (stated above!)  Instagram (makeup_blogette)

I have no official Facebook fan page, and currently have no intention to start one at all.  The Makeup Blogette remains my personal hobby and property, so as such, I don't believe in having a Facebook fanpage for it.

Final Disclaimer

I bought/ paid for all of the products mentioned in this blog. I am not affliated to any company. If certain products are sent to me for review purposes, I will say so and express my honest opinions about them. In any case, I will only review and showcase the products which I have personally tried and tested, and enjoy using. I do not get paid to review anything.

No ads, no paid links etc please.  I am in charge of all content and pictures here.

I am not a makeup artist, nor do I have any professional training in makeup.




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