15. The ‘Number 3’ Trick for Contouring and Highlighting
Most of us feel we don’t have enough time when applying our make-up in the morning to experiment with highlighters or bronzers. The fastest way to contour when you don’t have much time is to apply bronzer down the side of your face in the shape of the number 3. The reason this technique works is that it mimics the facial areas that are naturally exposed to the sun. You just swipe a half-moon shape from your forehead to cheekbone and then from your cheek to your jawline.
You will first need to apply a foundation before contouring. If you’re going to use a liquid for contouring and highlighting, it’s better to use a liquid foundation and if you are going to use a powder, your base should rather be powder too. Combining different product textures is a mistake. Generally speaking, powders blend easily, creams offer high coverage and liquids have more staying power.
Once you’ve applied foundation, load your bronzer onto your makeup brush and trace a number 3 down the side of your face. The middle of the number 3 should curve in halfway between your temple and your nose. The bottom of the number 3 goes out again comes in down to just below the corner of the mouth. Repeat this on the other side of the face. Now you can apply your highlighter in the top half of your number 3 shape.
If all this sounds rather complicated for a quick fix, remember that at the end of the day, it’s just a guideline. As long as you remember that you’re trying to emphasize your best features by highlighting and conceal other features with shadowing, you will be fine. The less flat your make-up appears, the more natural its effect.