This makeup trend is all about a softer approach to contouring.
We all appreciated the moment when contouring took over in the beauty industry—it sculpted, lifted and defined the face by creating shadows and angles along the jawline, underneath the cheekbone, along the forehead and down the nose. Shading and contouring anchored the sculptural side of beauty so much so it will forever hold a moment in beauty history.
Fast forward to a pivotal shift in beauty and contouring has had a face lift—introducing ‘soft sculpting’, the modern take on a beauty classic. Softer, dewy and a natural flush of colour, makeup artist and founder of Sculpted by Aimee, Aimee Connolly shares with Gritty Pretty: “Soft sculpting is a more pared-back approach to contouring which is very much in line with current makeup trends and how we’re all going that little bit more natural with our look. It’s a brilliant way to get dimension onto the face without having any harsh lines, so it gives a lovely romantic feel to the skin that can be easily transitioned from day to night.”
As our makeup routines have evolved, we have not only sharpened our sculpting skills, we have also found a new appreciation for our skin. With more time, effort and attention put into our skincare routines, our newly found confidence means we are less likely to conceal our skin with layers and layers of base products. A softer, more confident approach to beauty is essentially more natural, less intimidating and instead relies on a lit-from-within-glow, natural flush and healthy glow to take prominence. That being said, as the beauty tides have turned, we share top tips on how to achieve a soft sculpt.
PLAY WITH YOUR FOUNDATIONS
Contouring was all about sculpting, whereas soft sculpting is focused on shading—putting your contour stick away, try playing with a foundation that is a shade or two darker than your own. Lightly with a beauty blender, feather it along the forehead, cheekbones, nose and jawline. The diffusion of colour will still hold a depth but will carry a more natural finish that looks like skin.
Try: Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation, $53 at Sephora
CREATE RADIANCE FROM WITHIN
One of the key tips to mastering the ‘soft sculpt’ is to create a healthy radiance from within. A highlighter should never appear staged, overly applied or like a sign on the skin but delicately sprinkled across the face, to offer the illusion of a lit-from-within glow. If powder highlighter seems frightening in terms of application, opt for a cream or liquid-textured highlighter instead. The creamy or liquid consistency can blend into the skin and makeup, appearing more natural and dewier—think incandescent rather than shiny and greasy.
Try: Guerlain Terracotta Highlighting Stick, $69 at Sephora
While traditional contouring played with exaggerating the ‘sculpt’, soft sculpting accentuates the curves and angles of the skin. Placing your contour or bronzer slightly above the hollows of the cheeks as opposed to underneath them and blend upwards instead of towards the hairline for a more blurred finish. Another key tip is to start lighter before building, this creates a soft subtlety to the skin that can never be overdone.
Try: Saie Sun Melt Natural Cream Bronzer, $40 at Cult Beauty
POP OF COLOUR
Blush really is a step that you no longer need to be afraid of. In fact, it can make your skin appear healthier and more natural. The fail-proof technique to applying blusher is to start with a smile, and apply to the apples of your cheeks, if you go too low it will pull the look down as opposed to appearing lifted. In addition to the cheeks, play with a light dusting of blush across the forehead, nose and chin—skin will automatically appear healthier.
Try: Hourglass Vanish Blush Stick, $65 at Mecca
For a flawless application, Aimee suggests “choosing a fluffier brush that disperses product in a lighter way, rather than a very tapered brush that gives a stronger look. Whenever you’re sculpting, opting for a slightly darker shade that will give warmth and structure—but not too dark—will also help curate a soft look” she explains.
Try: Huda Beauty Glowish Blush & Bronze Face Brush, $41 at Sephora
“Lymphatic massage is one of my favourite ways to help reduce puffiness, eliminate dark circles under my eyes, and lessen the frequency of breakouts. Using a gentle but firm pressure, mimicking a “J” motion across your face, you can focus pressure points on or around the eye or outward circles from the outside corner to the inside corner of the eye area. If your skin is dry, dull or lifeless, you can do a hand over hand upward massage to bring in fresh lymph and oxygenate the skin,” explains celebrity facialist Joanna Vargas.
Try: Mount Lai The Acupressure Gua Sha Spoon, $56 at Sephora