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Beauty for dark skin: contouring

Contouring has had a pretty bad rep of late. Its the Kardashians fault C when Kim K posted a snap of her elaborate contouring routine on Instagram, it led millions to admire and copy her chiseled visage. And for good reason C it takes a serious amount of skill and dedication to reshape every part of your face, each time you apply your makeup. Time that could, arguably, be better spent.

There are also the negative racial implications that come with contouring C wider noses, for example, are often slimmed to conform with Caucasian standards of beauty, especially on celebrities. And while its easy to join the backlash against contouring (it looks retro, its anti-feminist, its deceptive, its offensive etc), a little sculpting has been the secret weapon of makeup artists for decades C no matter what race you are, or skin tone you have C to manipulate the way light hits the face.

But contouring darker skins takes an entirely different approach to contouring paler complexions. Its taken me years to hone this, and to step back with the realisation that less is more (I once used a black eye shadow with dire/comedic results). Of course you can go the whole super-sculpted route, and there are plenty of YouTube videos to show you how to do that, but there are a few tricks to add a little gentle definition without reshaping your entire face and losing several hours of your life. Think of it as contouring-lite

Think light, not dark

On paler skin, you add shadows via bronzer or a tawny blush to the face. With darker skin, you need to do the opposite (revelation!) to create definition. The easiest way? Apply your usual foundation or base first, and then use a concealer shade, one to two tones lighter than the darkest part of your facial skin tone, to the areas of your face where the light hits it. Thats your cheekbones, bridge of the nose (were not reshaping C thats where the light hits everyones face), centre of the forehead, chin and cupids bow. Blend it like a pro C it should be barely visible C and set with blotting powder (I rate Cover FX Blotting Powder in Deep, 24, which is available from the US. Its translucent so sets your hard work without caking more buy canada goose parka ottawa powder on top). Finish with a daub of highlighter with golden C or rose gold C particles that are finely milled, and never glittery. The finest Ive found is Rouge Bunny Rouge Seas Of Illumination on Sea Of Showers, 38 by mail order. Its so unbelievably finely milled and lasts for years. Illamasqua Gleam Cream in Aurora, 22 is available in the UK and also does a brilliant job.

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