Today’s guest blog is brought to you by UK based, gender-free makeup brand Jecca Blac. Jecca Blac began with safe space makeup lessons for makeup wearers at the very start of their journey with self expression – presenting clients an opportunity to experiment with makeup for the first time in a relaxed, private, judgement free setting. Many of the clients to attend these makeup lessons were from the trans and cross dressing community, and came to Jecca Blac’s Founder with requests for concealing beard shadow and developing a contour regime.
Because of this, one of Jecca Blac’s first ever products to launch was created with makeup wearers in mind who wanted to develop a simple and effective contouring regime. The Sculpt & Soften Palette includes a free 34 page guide and even went on to win GOLD in the ‘Contour’ category at the 2021 Beauty Bible Awards. It can be used to meet a multitude of contouring needs ranging from softening and feminising features, to reducing the appearance of a brow bone, and rounding off square jawlines. We consider ourselves experts in the field of meeting the needs of transfeminine makeup wearers, as well as those who wish to cross dress and want to incorporate contouring in their makeup looks!
Today we’re sharing our top tips for achieving a seamless contour while sharing a whole new way to incorporate blush!
Complete your base makeup
Previously we had the pleasure of sharing some of our top tips for building a base – ranging from using a Primer to the very start of building your look. Click here to read that article if you haven’t already – we hope you enjoy!
When contouring, it is important to apply all your other base products first – this includes any primers, foundation, colour correction and concealer. Priming is an essential step to ensuring a smooth, long lasting base – particularly for makeup wearers who prefer fuller coverage.
Our Blur & Matte Primer is ideal for long lasting, full coverage looks as it blurs the skin’s texture including fine lines, pores and beard shadow. To use a Primer, simply apply with your fingertips all over your face following your skincare – focusing the product on any areas that you feel require extra coverage. Following this step, you can conceal and complete any foundation or coverage you incorporate in your routine – our Correct & Conceal Palette was designed with makeup wearers in mind who seek beard shadow coverage, and can be used to colour correct and conceal beard shadow as well as provide an all over base instead of foundation.
Once you have achieved any beard shadow coverage and are happy with the coverage level you have achieved, it is time to contour.
[Get the Blur & Conceal Bundle]
Get your tools ready!
Contouring involves creating an illusion with where light and shadows fall on the face. Because of this, you’ll want to have:
- A brush for your highlight
- A brush for your contour
- A stippling brush or beauty sponge for blending
Ensure all 3 brushes are fresh and clean. For the brushes you’ll be using for the highlight and contour, it is best not to use a brush that is too large – opt instead for one with a head (the part with the bristles) around the size of your thumb. Using a smaller brush such as this, instead of a thick brush, will ensure more precise application and will avoid a contour that is too blurred (as this can result in the contour looking smudgy and the best contour is one that is not noticeable on the face).
Once you have chosen your brushes, it is time to choose your contouring pigments for your look. Choose your product wisely – we recommend using a cream product which is easy to blend and has a natural looking, skin-like finish such as our award-winning Sculpt & Soften Palette. Once you’ve got your kit ready and your product of choice to hand, it’s time to contour!
Find your light!
Our top tip for a natural looking contour is to always use natural daylight. In fact, this is the best way to see any makeup – synthetic overhead lighting can cast harsher shadows across the face and this can give an inaccurate idea on how your makeup will show in natural daylight. Our next tip for a natural looking contour is to use a cream based contour palette – these will leave a natural, skin like finish to your makeup. They’re also easier to blend than powders, making for a faster, simpler application. In a contour palette you’ll see two shades – one for highlighting, and one for contouring. In our Sculpt & Soften Palette, our highlight shade is the lighter of the two and is labelled ‘Soften’ while our contouring shade is darker, and is labelled ‘Sculpt.’
Now you’ve got your tools and product ready and your base makeup otherwise primed and complete, you’re ready to contour! When contouring, consider what you’d like your end goal to be. Are you looking to emphasise your cheekbones? Would you like to slim your nose, or soften the jaw area, or change the appearance of your brow bone? At Jecca Blac, we don’t believe there is any one method that suits every face, and your preference for contouring is entirely up to you – firstly ask yourself what would make you feel most confident? Find yourself a comfortable spot in front of some natural light and place your mirror in front of you. Consider where the natural shadows fall on your face, and what you would like to emphasize or soften.
[Get the Sculpt & Soften Palette]
Cheekbones can transform an individual’s face. If you’d like a slightly more chiselled cheekbone, first find where your natural cheekbone sits on your face by feeling along from the tragus of the ear, to the side of the lips. To begin your contour, first take your chosen brush for your contour shade (which in our Sculpt & Soften Palette is labelled ‘Sculpt’), and then map out the product along where you would like to cast a shadow and create the illusion of a deeper cheekbone. ‘Sculpt’ is perfect for this as it is designed to be darker than the makeup wearer’s skin tone – so, take a small amount of your contour product, and softly draw a line where you would like to add depth to the face. Make sure not to draw your contour line all the way from your ear to your lips – instead, start at your ear and stop when you reach just in front of your eye area. Once you’ve mapped out your contour shade on both sides and they are symmetrical, you can change brushes and reach for your highlighting product (shade ‘Soften’).
Take a small amount of product, and map out above and below the line you have created with your contour. Doing this will help bring your features forward and add light to these areas, creating dimension. Once symmetrical on both sides, you can take your beauty sponge or stippling brush (which is what we usually opt for) and pat away at the lines you have created, blurring their appearance until no harsh edges or heavy product is visible. Be sure not to massage this product all over your face using your brush – patting and stippling is best as it won’t smudge the product, and will soften the lines while keeping the product in place.
If you’d like to intensify your contour, layer up by repeating these steps until you are happy with your result.
If you want to contour your nose, a popular choice is to create a slimmer appearance with a lifted tip. You’ll need the highlighter part of your contour palette (shade ‘Soften’). Apply a thin line of the highlighting product down your nose, stopping just before where the tip would turn up. Add a dot of product onto the tip of your nose – you should see something that looks a bit like an exclamation mark! For added lift, add a little ‘Sculpt’ just below the tip. Once you have this, you can blend out the product using your stippling brush.
Contouring: Shorten the Forehead
While by no means to we believe that cis female beauty standards are what makeup wearers should aspire to – as all of us deserve to be celebrated in our own way, by our own standards – one of the most commonly requested contouring methods is how to shorten the forehead as a small forehead can be deemed soft and feminine.
Add your contour shade (‘Sculpt’) to the front of your brow bone – this will help push it further back. Add a little highlight (‘Soften’) just on top of where you have drawn the horizontal line along your brow bone. Blend well, using your stippling brush or sponge.
Complete your contour with some shimmer!
We believe the perfect way to finish a contour is with a dewy highlight, such as our Glow Drops in shade Rose Pearl. These can be applied as a dewy primer before makeup, but they also double up as a liquid highlight when completing your look. To add an extra touch of shimmery light to any areas you want to lift and highlight, tap some Glow Drops onto your cheekbones, the tip of your nose, and the cupid’s bow.
[Get the Glow Drops]
Add colour to complete your look!
Blush is a total game changer when it comes to brightening the skin and adding a youthful glow to your look. Once you have completed your contour, we recommend checking out some of our top tips for how to enhance different parts of your face using blushed pigments, such as our Red Touch Play Pot – a super versatile cream pigment which can be applied as a cream blush, lip tint, or eyeshadow to add a playful pop of colour when completing your look!
[Get the Red Touch Play Pot]
Our final piece of advice is to take all the time you need with your makeup – practice makes perfect, so enjoy the learning process and give yourself all the time you need to get to where you need to be.
Today we included a couple of exclusive tips from the booklet that comes free with our award-winning Sculpt & Soften Palette! In this booklet we have included many more tips and tricks on how to make the most of your contour – including how to soften the brow bone, jawline, chin and forehead. We hope you find this information useful, whatever stage you’re at in your makeup journey.
We hope you enjoyed our tips! Want free makeup assistance or advice on shade matching? CLICK HERE.
Jecca Blac always strives to celebrate makeup wearers with a mantra of being authentic, creative and inclusive.
SHOP WITH 15% OFF ALL FULL PRICE ITEMS ON JECCA BLAC’S STORE WHEN YOU ENTER CODE ‘CIRCLEOFQ15’ AT CHECKOUT!
Any questions? Email [email protected]