I love hightlighting & contouring, I think it's makeup magic, to enhance & bring out features that may be a little hidden, to trick the eye into skimming over certain parts of the face that you don't want to point out - like I said makeup magic.
What I don't get is this sudden craze of everyone wanting to be contoured to within an inch of their lives! So this is what I hate, inexperienced 'Makeup Artist's' slapping on foundation 10 times too dark and 10 times too light and thinking "Ill just blend this all in and that's contouring" No, no love that's not contouring. You're gonna have your client looking like a big orange, cakey mess if you do that.
I have clients coming to me asking me to contour their face/nose (a few years ago they wouldn't even know what contouring meant let alone be asking for it!) But what really bothers me is everyone wants it, the thing is, not everyone needs it!
For example, look at the recent Oscars red carpet pics, do you see any of the actresses Kimmy K'd up? No, I'll tell you why, because its either done so well you can't see, the right shade products are used (not 10 times darker and lighter) or they simply didn't need it.
If you're contouring your face and you end up looking caked in makeup, you're doing something wrong. Contouring is supposed to be subtle, like I said earlier it's to trick the eye into either not looking or being drawn to certain features.
I'm talking about real life contouring here, not photo shoots or anything like that, in shoots you can get away with doing much heavier makeup - if fact your supposed to go heavier because of the strong lighting etc.
Kim Kardashian made heavy contouring well known to the average person, her makeup artist uses very heavy 'drag' style contouring on her because she can pull it off, most of the time. Obviously, Kim is gorgeous, so girls have seen ''THAT' famous photo of her mid transformation and thought "I want to look like that, and now I can!" Sorry girls, no you can't if it was that easy i'd be waltzing out of my house looking like a Kardashian every day, but unfortunately I have makeup brushes, not magic wands.
Now, I'm not saying don't try it, at the end of the day you should have fun and experiment with makeup - but take the photo's floating around of 'How to contour' with a pinch of salt. What someone else wants to highlight you may want to diminish. For example these photos show that you should highlight your chin, now if you have a prominent chin that's a bit pointy and on the large size why would you want to draw attention to that?! You wouldn't!
Look at your own face, really study it and decide - What are my best features, what do I want to highlight, what do I want to diminish, what needs a bit of help? Maybe your eyes are hooded and you want to cheat a great socket line, that's contouring too! It's not all cheekbones and slimmer noses. Everyone is different, that's the beauty of makeup, every face is different which makes every step you do on a client (or yourself) different. Play around with it, use the right shades/products for you and don't be sucked in to the hype of it all.