Kim Kardashian has got that look: that flawless, sculpted look – and we’re not just talking her butt. How do her cheekbones look like two isosceles triangles? And how does her face radiate like a celestial sunrise? The answer, of course, is contouring. And we have our own international hair and makeup artist Leah Bennett – whose work has graced the runways of London, New York, and Australia’s Fashion Week – to break down the celebrity technique into simple steps for any skin tone. Find out what beauty products – including what she calls “Kardashian & JLo in-a-bottle” – are best for the job. Here are the secrets, in Leah’s own words.
1. Get good tools. Leah recommends:
- The Mac 168 large angled brush ($38: "This can be used for blush and bronzer, and also helps to blend away any harsh lines.” The Mac 191 square foundation brush ($33): “You’ll use this to apply your flawless base and camoflouge the dark and light tones of contouring." The Mac 195 concealer brush ($23): “This sharp concealer brush gets into the crannies, and creates definition in smaller areas of the face, such as the bridge of the nose.”
2. Clean your face, and apply a primer.
“The primer minimizes large pores and holds the makeup in place. I like to use Make Up For Ever HD Microperfecting Primer 7 Pink ($34) as it brightens the skin, on top of all the other fantastic benefits of a normal primer. You can never overdo healthy-looking skin.”
3. Add a concealer.
- "Depending on your skin coloring, you are going to want a dark concealer and a white concealer. I find a cream texture works best as the pigment is more dramatic and longer-lasting. Even with an oily skin tone, creams are suitable since you will always finish a look with a loose-setting powder anyway, which will keep your face looking fresh.”
- The Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer ($38): “You get two colors: one light and one warm tone.”
- The Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick ($40): “I use this to achieve the darkest color, as the creamy consistency creates instant drama on the face.”
4. Apply the method.
- “Suck in your cheekbones and, from the top of the ear to the middle of the eye, draw a line with the darkest color of your concealer.
- Take that same color, and apply it from the top of where your eyebrow starts along the ridge of your nose to your nostril. This creates the look of a smaller, thinner nose. If want to disguise a larger nose, take the color on the tip of the nose and spread it out.
- Then, using your lightest concealer, swipe out under the eye, all the way to your temple. Take that same light color, swipe the bridge of the nose, and take the color all the way between the eyebrows. Highlight underneath the eyebrows and the cupid bow of the upper lip. The finished result should be contrasting, like a lion.”
5. Now for the fun part:
- “Use a foundation brush and base to blend everything in."
- Leah recommends: The Make Up For Ever HD Foundation ($40): “It’s suitable for all skin types since it comes with a range of colors. It’s used for TV and photography work, and celebs love it. Using light brush strokes, blend using the foundation, until there are no visible lines showing. Let the base dry and reapply a second coat. I like a medium coverage.”
6. Bronze away. Leah recommends:
- The Nars Bronzing Powder in Laguna ($38): “I love this bronzer. It’s a golden tan without any orange tint, and it doesn’t oxidize and turn orange on the face.”
- Using the Mac 168 large angled brush, swipe the temples, cheekbones, and the underneath-the-chin area. I like to call this technique the ‘E,’ since it’s the pattern created on the outer part of the face.
- Then add a soft blush color. I adore the Tarte Cheek Stain ($28). Make circle motions with the brush on the apples of the cheek.”
7. The finishing touches:
- “By now, you can see how defined your face is, but to make this look really pop, my secret weapon is the Benefit High Beam Highlighter ($28). This is your Kim Kardashian-JLo-in-a-bottle. It contrasts against the darker bronzer, and reflects and radiates light, creating a flawless ‘celebrity’ canvas. This product comes with its own brush, so apply it around the eye and temple – on your cheekbones, and below and above your eyebrows – creating a C shape around the eye.
- Finally, lightly dust your face with the Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder ($32). This will leave no color or extra layer of makeup, but simply remove shine and hold makeup in place.
- These advanced tips can be used for every look, whether it is coupled with a smoky eye or a red lip. Contouring sets you apart from the everyday girl, and transforms you into an instant celebrity. Voila.”
Love what Leah Bennett has to say? So do we. Check out her official website here.