Hi everyone,

Recently, I posted a FOTD called "I'm not Me" and you guys seemed to like it very much. I actually posted a picture from that look on my Facebook account (which remains private, btw) and many, many of my friends asked me how I did it. I thought long and hard about it because of various reasons.

While it is somewhat of a transformative look, it requires a lot of skills that I have acquired throughout the years. As I thought of doing a tutorial for it, I realized I have done a couple of tutorials on techniques used in that FOTD already. Some of them I need to redo as I used a different camera then and the photos were not up for snub. I know I haven't done tutorials on magic line and cheek color technique yet but you guys should expect to see them here soon. Compared to cutting the crease and contouring, these two are quite painless, actually.

Therefore, this post is not a tutorial on how I did the "I'm not Me" FOTD but a review of some essential makeup techniques everybody should master. This year, surprisingly, makeup is not all about colors but more about skills. It's all about what you can do with the minimal amount of makeup to look exceptional and flawless.

So here we go, a review on cutting the crease, contouring, and highlighting.

1. Cut the Crease

I first did a FOTD on cut the crease back in 2010 and believe me, I had the hardest time with it! Of all the makeup techniques I've learned, this has to be one of the toughest for me since I don't have a defined crease line. The crease is the place where the concave part of your eye meets the flat part. If you are Caucasian, African, Hispanic, or Asian with big eyes, the crease is very easy to find. It is right there! All you need to do is to close and then slowly open your eyes: the line isn't there when you close or semi-close your eyes but once your eyes are wide open, you'll see it.

Source
The model in the above picture has defined crease line. For those with eye shapes similar to me, you have to feel around your eyes with your makeup brushes to find where the concave meets the flat part.

In 2010, my three favorite brushes for cutting the crease were MAC 217, 219, and 266. Now, I use EcoTools angle liner brush for cutting (it's similar to MAC 266 but thicker, which makes placing the line a lot easier), ELF defining eye brush for placing the color on the crease, and of course, MAC 217 for blending.

I found this tutorial on YouTube on cutting the crease. It is not what I do but for beginners, it's quite easy and doable. (And also, it makes me want to do a cut a crease tutorial again. Very, very much!)

2. Contouring and Highlighting

For contouring and highlighting, I would forever refer to this image from Kevyn Aucoin's book "Making Faces" (review here)


Robert Jones also wrote a book called "Looking Younger" with extensive contents on highlighting and contouring. I also learned so much about this topic from it as well.


If you want to see how I contour my face throughout the years, here are a few links:


Cutting the crease, contouring, and highlighting are advance makeup techniques. They are hard to do right. And why should we bother to do them anyway?

Because, boys and girls, makeup is essentially the game of lights and shadows. Once you apply foundation on your face, those lights and shadows are erased. By doing all of these techniques, not only do you bring back the lights and shadows on your face but you get a chance to enhance your features. Just think of them as the tools you use to chisel out your face.

These two techniques do take time to master but once you do, the payoff is fantastic. It's like you get to know your face all over again or getting the face that you want. Makeup is very deceiving and in order to get what you want, you need to practice, practice, practice!

That's all for today, folks! I do believe that once in a while, we should brush up our skill sets and I hope this post inspires you to delve more into cutting the crease as well as contouring and highlighting. If you have any tips on these two topics, I'd love to hear from you.

Love,
Dao xoxo

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