Selfie school is in session...
Selfies. Love 'em or loathe 'em, they're everywhere and beauty brands are flooding the shelves with clever formulations to make sure we look our best in them.
The cult of contouring is in large part because of how slimming well placed shadows can make faces look in pictures, and equally strobing/highlighting for its ability to make skin look as though it's glowing while also accentuating the high-points of the face like cheekbones.
The use of light and shadow is the kind of clever tinkering that art directors on glossy magazines use photoshop for to make cover stars look something close to, if not total, perfection.
Matte contour colours and shimmer-rich highlighters are just the tip of the iceberg. Here's a rundown of some of the best selfie beauty buys and how to use them:
The powder looks very slightly blue in the compact because cool blue micro pigments have been added so that the powder not only sets but, also brightens your look. Rather than dewy shine or glow, think soft-focused light that comes to life in front of a flash blub. No ghastly glare or flare and skin will look brightened and healthy with a veil of powder that won't look cakey or dull. Pass me the selfie stick!
It's a bit crude to describe primers as the makeup equivalent to 'polyfilla' but there is an undeniable symmetry. It fills in, and therefore gives a smooth appearance, to fine lines and wrinkles, can diminish the look of pores and also acts as a 'bond' between your skincare and makeup for a look that'll last throughout the day. The main component of primers is silicone, which can sometimes feel a bit rubbery on the skin, but this primer has a creamier texture making it feel like another layer of skincare. This particular primer has made the cut because while it does mattify it also gives a fresh, healthy looking base. Paired with just a bit of a concealer it's my perfect version of no makeup makeup.
Let's keep it real: we've all seen contours that either look like a) dirt or b) applied with a set-square. These looks are not flattering and are usually a result of being a wee bit heavy-handed with a matte powder.
Makeup artists have been contouring for years on photoshoots and every one I've spoken to about the 'cult of contouring' agrees that a good contour should be barely noticeable. The eye should see a cut-glass cheekbone, not a streak of makeup. The same is true with strobing. If you look like Data from Star Trek: Next Generation then you've applied too much and your look is metallic, not ethereal.
Smashbox formulate all their makeup under the lights of professional photoshoots making them some of the best for achieving a perfect selfie. This trio of sticks gives you the control you'd have with a powder in a texture that's easily blendable so you don't get harsh lines.
Brows are transformative, but while they can be incredibly flattering they can appear somewhat comical if you employ a heavy hand, square them off or fill them in to the point that they look like solid black lines. The aim is to have brows that are compatible with your hair colour and look as though you could have grown them yourself. This pencil is a winner because the ultra-fine nib allows you to draw in amongst your natural brows so it beefs up, and doesn't overtake, what you've already got.
This almost looks like liquid metal straight out of the bottle, but when you work it into skin it adds luminosity, but also evens out skin tone in a way that looks skin-true. The 12% opacity means there's coverage in there, but it works with the skin as opposed to on top of it. It looks pretty under liquid foundation or mixed in if you're feeling creative, plus it also grips onto mineral and powder bases. It's light reflective and corrective, and the finish looks like you've just got great skin - and the name says it all, the camera loves it.
Makeup can do a lot, but a professional photo shoot relies on lighting too. Be in control of yours with this clever case that has in-built LED lights for your best selfie yet.