Thanks to overdone ad campaigns in the opulent ‘80s, most women would rather try a Flowbee than experiment with contouring makeup. But backstage at runway shows, the technique is absolutely essential for highlighting the angularity in even the most genetically blessed models. We asked backstage makeup artist Charlotte Willer, who created looks this season for BCBG Max Azria, DKNY and L.A.M.B., how the rest of us can pull it off.
Q: What’s the bare minimum products and tools a women needs?
A: There’s only three: Powder, a blush brush and a smaller brush for more precise contouring around the nose.
Q: How should you select the right color powder?
A: Always choose a shade darker than your regular products. My favorite is Maybelline’s FIT ME Powder. The shades are so natural-looking—you can create depth and dimension without looking dipped in makeup. And it won’t give you the orange or gray tints some products leave behind. You can safely go three to four shades darker than your true skintone and then apply little by little until you create that contrast.
Q: Where should the powder be applied?
A: Sweep darker shades under the cheekbones and jawline, and around the sides of the nose. You can also use lighter shades—i.e. your regular pressed powder—at the temples and inner corners of the eyes.
Q: What’s the key to making it look natural—and not like muddy streaks?
A: Choosing the right shade powder is the most important thing. Snap photos in between to make sure you don’t look too makeup-y. Nothing is as revealing as a photo.