Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Do you CCH?

CCH would sound some kind of Chinese Chicken Hakka (Hong Kong) if I don’t tell you what it is! Well let me ask you again…..do you CONTOUR. COLOR and HIGHLIGHT? Sounds good and not some mystery game isn’t it?
Well these terms are so famous in the beauty industry that now a days they have become a phenomenon more than a technique. Every makeup artist, every blogger and just everyone has something to say about this and so do I. I’m more of a self taught makeup artist (I’d started makeup long before I joined a school to take a certificate) and take my time to research and improvise my makeup techniques all the time. I learnt my techniques by reading many books and lot of internet research and now I’m efficient enough to tell my story.

Its been sometime that I have fallen for shimmery contouring powder which we loosely term as bronzers. I don’t think all contouring powders are bronzer and neither are all bronzing powders meant for contouring. While bronzer enhances your tan and the glow that Sun would give, a contouring powder darkens and makes recede areas of the face that are already shadowed. This is totally my thinking and not taken from anywhere. Its more of a mind set. Another concept I believed in was that any shimmery product enhances the area of the face. So somehow I used to feel shimmery bronzers and contouring powders very dicey until I bought some to experiment. Similarly for me a blush was something to be worn alone and I used to always discriminate but today after realizing and talking to many famous makeup artists in the industry this mind set of mine has changed.

I always do some additions to the conventional stuff to make something of my own. I at least try it and sometimes I do succeed. Everyone has talked about a highlight and a contour and I thought of adding a color to it. And this is how I have my own CCH. I feel a combination of three does not make a crowd but make a jamboree. The intermixing of three colors gives the face a gradation of color and an enhanced sophisticated depth.

Well CCH can be done with absolutely any color keeping just a few things in mind viz.
- Contouring color should be dark and natural enough to deepen the shadows of the face and give an uplifting appearance.
- The COLOR is a blush that adds not only a flush but also gives a dimension and should always be a color lighter than the contouring powder even though it’s a tint of the same color.
- HIGHLIGHT should always be lighter than blush and accentuate the areas wherever it is applied.
- There should be coordination amongst colors.
- You can mix warm, neutral and cool colors and have infinite combinations. The only rule is that they should look good and not neutralize each other and turn grey.
- It should be like a spectrum with visible but contiguous differences and not bold and true colors.
- These colors can be of any texture but there should be a demarcation between cream and powder products. This bridging can be done by a translucent loose powder.
- Its not compulsory to use only 3 colors. You could use even more.

After some of these Newtonian laws let me tell you about the colors I’m featuring in this article. These are Mineralize blushes from MAC cosmetics and unfortunately they were limited editions. These are shimmery in texture and add radiance to the face.
Well this photograph even shows the brushes that I use at times to contour. I have many more but these were the ones I selected for this moment.
CONTOUR: - MAC mineralize blush in Love joy
COLOR: - MAC mineralize blush in Gentle
HIGHLIGHT : - MAC mineralize blush in Nuance

The idea to include a gold flecked raspberry colored blush with a shimmery golden peachy highlighter was to get a SALMON colored blush which is very flattering on all skin types. This is one of the newest additions to all skin color blushes and unfortunately many companies don’t make them, so it is best to make one of yours. At least you’d have a control on the color application.
The brushes I have featured are a small dome, large dome brush, angled blush brush and a duo fibre brush. Each brush has some great contribution in the whole technique.

The technique is simple. You start apply a contour in the hollow of the cheeks starting from outside of an imaginary vertical line drawn from the outside of the eyeball and is perpendicular to the ground. This makes you look not like a drag and smoothly contours the cheeks. This also gives a lifting effect to the face and enhances the features. I apply this with a small dome brush from Lancôme.

Then I apply the color on the cheek bones starting from the temples and coming inwards and downwards. This is because I don’t want the color to be on the apples of the cheeks. If this is not done properly it might spoil the look and it would be easier to look like a clown then. I use an angled blush brush from Smashbox to dust on some color on the cheeks. Sometimes only this much suffices but this is not the motto of the look.

In the end I apply my highlighter with the duo fibre brush as it really helps subtle applications. This brush dispenses a buildable amount of product on the face and does not load the face with the product. Its so versatile and this makes me pledge that I’d buy another one from MAC i.e. no.187 in the coming new year. I apply highlighter on the apples of the cheeks starting in wards upto the temples. Sometimes I love to draw a crescent from the apples of the cheeks to the brow bone to give the face a flattering dimension. I use the same duo fiber brush to blend in the colors and get the salmon color I wanted.

You can keep three colors differently but remember not to look a like a tri color flag. The demarcation lines should merge and it should have continuity.

To eliminate any harsh lines at the sides of the product I use a large dome buffer brush to buff in the harsh lines and blend the color into the hair line. This brush also can be used to soften the look.
You can also use crème based products to do this look. They mix very well and appear dewy and chic. Its something I’d post as soon as I buy the Shiseido Accentuating Stick no.1 in Bronze flush.

I hope you find this article useful……..do try this in natural day light and see yourself metamorphosing.

Till then,

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