Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Contouring and Highlighting with Max Factor's CC Sticks

My friend Chloe told me about these new Max Factor CC sticks and I was on a mission all last week to find them. The sticks come in 5 different shades and I have the purple shade, which is designed to correct dullness, the yellow shade, to correct under eye circles and the highlight shade, which is designed to highlight (duh) ;)

The sticks cost £9.99 each and are currently on 3 for 2 in Boots so if you can find them, now would be a good time to stock up!

The crayon format of these sticks makes them perfect for highlighting, as you can be precise with your application. My favourite by a country mile is the yellow toned stick, for correcting under eye circles. It visibly brightened up my under eye area and made a brilliant highlighter for the rest of my face. 

The worst of the three was without a doubt, the highlight stick. I have actually taken a picture of it swatched on my hand so you can see what a fail it is. This doesn't show up on my skin at all and it just leaves behind this horrible glitter shimmer. I didn't realise until looking on the Boots website that there are actually 2 different highlight shades, a pink toned and a champagne toned. I'm assuming this one is the champagne toned one, but either way this is so bad I will not be using it again.

I would say if you wanted to try these definitely go for the under eye corrector. The others, I'm not so sure about.

I mentioned that these sticks were perfect for highlighting and I know a lot of people find highlighting and contouring pretty daunting, so I thought I would show you how I do it. 

You can make your highlight and contour as dramatic as you like by applying more or less product. As my cheekbones are non existent I verge on the lighter side, to avoid looking too much like Boy George.

First Step Highlight: I always start by highlighting my under eye area, as this makes the biggest difference. I used the yellow toned CC stick and applied it under my eyes, right down to the bottom of my nose. When applying this under your eyes you want to take it wider and draw along the top of your cheekbone but as you move further down your cheek you will gradually bring that line in, closer to your nose. 

I then highlight the centre of my forehead and draw a line down the centre of my nose. The forehead highlight might seem a little strange but it really does brighten the face. 

Once you have applied your highlight, all you need to do is blend. I just use my foundation brush to blend it all into my skin. The key is all in the blending so make sure you blend well!

If you don't have the Max Factor CC Stick, an alternative is MAC's Prep & Prime Highlighter in Light Boost. Like the Max Factor stick, this is yellow toned but has a much more creamy consistency. 
I would say Light Boost gives more a natural highlight, whereas the CC Stick is a bit more dramatic.

Second Step Contour: Now I will admit, contouring takes a bit more effort than highlighting but there are certain products you can use to make the job a lot easier. I am currently loving the NARS Ita brush as it really does the job for you. I also like to use a smaller fluffy brush like the MAC 224 for contouring my nose or around my eyes, as this gives you more precision for smaller areas.

For your contour colour, the most important thing to remember is that whatever you use, it needs to be matte. Shimmer reflects light and should be reserved for your highlight only.

I am currently using the sculpting powder from MAC's Maleficent collection in the shade but don't worry if you missed out, as MAC have a whole range of permanent sculpting powders available on their website. Ideally you want your contour shade to be quite ashy rather than warm toned, as you are trying to create natural shadows on the face.

You can even use an eyeshadow to contour with, as long as its a matte shade that's a few shades darker than your natural skin tone. I have a Bobbi Brown eyeshadow in Taupe which works fantastically well as a contour colour. 

When applying your contour you can either suck in your cheeks and follow the natural hollow, or I like to start from the top of my ear and do a short line and blend out. Just make sure you don't take your highlight to far down your cheeks and don't panic if you get carried away, just blend over the area with your foundation brush and that should take away any harsh lines.

The last step I do is powder and my favourite powder to use for this is the Ben Nye Banana Powder. Like my highlighter, this is yellow toned so gives you an added boost of brightness.

And that's it, highlight and contour done!

I don't do this on a daily basis because lets be honest, who has time for that, but when I do I like to keep the rest of my makeup fairly simple. All I added was some mascara and lipstick, oh and I also used some of my contour shade through my socket as a natural shadow to define my eyes. 

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