Con­tour­ing: the Art of trans­for­ma­tion nina ubhi

F a n c y a s l i m m e r n o s e ? s h a r p e r c h e e k b o n e s ? a m o r e s c u l p t e d j a w l i n e ? F o r g e t p l a s t i c s u r g e r y — a l l t h i s , a n d m o r e , i s p o s s i b l e w i t h t h e m a k e u p t r e n d t h a t h a

WKND - - Beauty Special -

f you’d ut­tered the word ‘ con­tour­ing’ just five years ago, chances are you would’ve been met with a blank stare of be­wil­der­ment. Back then, a woman’s makeup reg­i­men was much sim­pler — pops of colour, a bright lip­stick, a dash of blush and mas­cara. Then Kim Kar­dashian posted two self­ies of her­self ( but, of course), and the In­ter­net went wild. The first was a pic­ture of her face with a se­ries of light and dark strokes ( very much re­sem­bling war paint), while the sec­ond show­cased the fi­nal ef­fect — more prom­i­nent cheek­bones and a slim­mer nose — and the next makeup fad was born.

What few peo­ple know is that con­tour­ing ex­isted long be­fore Kim Kar­dashian came along. The process dates as far back as the 1500s, when threatre and stage ac­tors ap­plied shades onto their faces to high­light their fa­cial ex­pres­sions. Even old Hol­ly­wood sirens such as Au­drey Hepburn and Mar­i­lyn Mon­roe were no strangers to the makeup tech­nique that used to sub­tly sculpt their faces for the big screen.

So what ex­actly is con­tour­ing, and why the sud­den in­ter­est? To put it sim­ply, it is a makeup tech­nique that uses light and dark shades to sub­tly shape the face and make it more sym­met­ri­cal.

“When you ap­ply makeup, you are ba­si­cally ap­ply­ing colours to your face that are meant to com­ple­ment your skin, hair and eyes,” ex­plains Dubai- based celebrity makeup artist Nina Ubhi, who is cur­rently act­ing as the Res­i­dent Beauty Spe­cial­ist with Sis­ters Beauty Lounge. “But con­tour­ing is a form of sub­tly re­shap­ing a per­son’s face. Not ev­ery­one is happy with ev­ery part of their face. If they feel like their fore­head is too big, we can give it the il­lu­sion of be­ing smaller, through con­tour­ing. If they think their nose is bul­bous, we can ac­tu­ally slim it down. If they feel like they don’t have cheek­bones, we can cre­ate cheek­bones — be­cause ev­ery­one has those fea­tures, it’s just that some have them more hid­den than oth­ers. ”

Over the years, con­tour­ing has de­vel­oped into an art form in it­self. More and more women have taken to play­ing around with the shape- shift­ing beauty tech­nique, and it is all too com­mon to find pic­tures of the ‘ war paint’ up on In­sta­gram. That can be cred­ited to its ver­sa­til­ity — con­tour­ing can be done in hun­dreds of ways. But un­like putting on makeup, it is not just about ap­ply­ing colour to your face. One must un­der­stand their face shape and skin type, and know how to play around with light and shad­ows.

All this comes with ex­pe­ri­ence, says Nina Ubhi. “I first an­a­lyse a client when she doesn’t have any makeup on, and I can in­stantly tell what kind of look will suit her. As a makeup artist, I aim to cre­ate a type of sym­me­try and bal­ance to a per­son’s face. There are a lot of women, for whom, it doesn’t mat­ter what you do — makeup sim­ply does not look good and they are bet­ter off with a more nat­u­ral look. Yet, for some women, heav­ier makeup ac­tu­ally looks good.”

That is not to say one can go overboard with it. Ap­ply­ing the light or dark shades in­dis­crim­i­nately can go very wrong very quickly and come across as ‘ fake’ or pasty. Which is why the first rule is to know the fea­tures you want to high­light, and those you want to dis­guise. And re­mem­ber — it isn’t about hid­ing be­hind the lay­ers or makeup, but about let­ting your best fea­tures shine through. As Nina says, “There is no per­fect face shape. Ev­ery shape is dif­fer­ent and beau­ti­ful in its own way. It’s just my job to give it sym­me­try.”

Now, con­tour­ing can be a lit­tle mys­ti­fy­ing — es­pe­cially be­cause there are so many dif­fer­ent ways to do it. Here, Nina talks us through the process for three dif­fer­ent face shapes.

jan­ice@ khalee­j­times. com

Step Step

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.