The Super Subtle Contour

I don't know about you, but I used to be pretty terrified of contouring. I didn't know how I could ever make myself look like I had chiseled cheekbones without just looking like I had smeared some dirt on my face. Recently I've been trying to get out of my comfort zone and experiment more with contouring. Everything I've been using yields a natural result - no complicated Kim K routine here - perfect for super pale people like me.

If you want something really really subtle, I'd recommend The Body Shop Honey Bronzer. The lightest shade is only a couple shades darker than my skin, so it's really perfect for creating a shadow or just adding some warmth to the face. The color is lovely, not so warm that it's orange and not so cool that it's gray - the perfect in-between. I reach for this one for daytime contouring when I want it to be almost undetectable.

When I want a tad more drama, I'll always reach for the Nyx Powder Blush in Taupe. This is much more cool-toned than the Body Shop bronzer, so it makes a more pronounced and realistic-looking shadow underneath the cheekbones. This is still super natural, but gives a little bit more definition. I like using this when I'm getting a little more dressed up or for nighttime.

You can't have a contour without a highlight (I mean, you can - do whatever you want!), and I have a subtle and a not-so-subtle pick. On the subtle days I'll always reach for the Benefit Watt's Up highlighter. It can be built up to be quite dramatic, but a sheer wash of the creamy formula over the top of the cheekbones adds such a lovely, lit-from-within glow.

And as a more dramatic option, I have theBalm's Mary-Lou Manizer (such a great name). This can be built up to a pretty intense highlight, but the buttery soft formula is super easy to blend and never looks unnatural. With a light hand this gives the most gorgeous glow to the skin.

To apply my contour, I always rely on the Real Techniques Contour Brush (from the Core Collection Set) or the Zoeva Face Shape Brush. The Real Techniques gives a bit of a softer effect because it's not as densely packed as the Zoeva brush, but both are the perfect size and shape for fitting into the hollows of the cheekbones. For the Mary-Lou Manizer (I always use fingers for the Watt's Up) I love either using the Real Techniques Setting Brush or the Real Techniques Bold Metals Tapered Blush Brush. The flatter shapes of these brushes are perfect for tapping a little product onto the tops of the cheekbones, and the tapered tips are good for blending it in. 

What are your favorite products for highlighting and contouring?