Points of Definition


Points of Definition

The glamour of Old Hollywood beauty is the inspiration behind this season\’s beautifully sculpted makeup.

The glamour of old Hollywood is the inspiration behind this season’s beautifully sculpted face and 1940s-inspired hair. Features are bold, defined, and pronounced, such as heart-shaped lips paired with sharply pencilled brows set against luminous, milky skin.

Eyes are emphasized with Blue Iris–the “it”colour for fall–and other elegant hues such as lavenders, greens, and cooler blues. Lips are rich with reds and burnt oranges, while skin is lightly accentuated with caramel, highlighting the bone structure with a gold shimmer.

Art of Illusion

In makeup application, contouring is the process of creating highlights and shadows to sculpt the features of the face. Makeup lends itself to the art of optical illusion. It’s about creating what you want the eye to perceive, what features you want to accentuate or diminish. The theory is simple: apply a darker tone to “push back” or diminish an area; apply a lighter tone to an area to expand and draw attention to it.

Jonathan Hennessey, respected Vancouver, BC makeup artist and co-founder of NOBASURA (nobasura.com) uses contouring to recreate classic makeup looks. “What takes these looks from classic to modern is the application process,” says Hennessey.

Retro Chic

This is a modern spin on a classic look: smoky shaded eyes, finished with a fabulous soft pink pout. Dark eyes and light lips conjure up 60s fashion icon Twiggy.

Tools of the Trade

To achieve these looks and to apply everyday makeup, Hennessey recommends throwing away the cheap applicators included with makeup products. Instead, he recommends investing in good quality brushes for even product application.

Foundation Brush

For the most subtle application, the key is to pick up a small amount of product with the brush and apply it in swirling motions over the target areas. This brush can also be used for applying moisturizer, creme blush, or powder.

Concealer Brush

Perfect for applying concealer, it provides great control and precision. Mix concealer with foundation for flawless coverage.

Powder Brush

This brush is full and soft for all-over coverage.

Eyebrow Brush

Use it to brush and shape brows.

Angled Brow Brush

Works well with cremes, powders or liquids. It is ideal for shaping brows or applying eyeliner.

Small Angled Brush

The angled side is for defining the crease; the flat side is used to apply a soft sweep of colour over the eyelid. With its small, soft shape, blending out eyeliner becomes effortless, while also creating strong eye definition.

Tapered Contouring Brush

This brush fits the natural contour of the eye, effectively softening the application of eyeshadow. It is also useful for setting concealer around the nose or under the eyes, and preventing product buildup in those areas.

Blush Brush

Aside from blush applications, this brush serves as a smaller powder brush for finer areas of the face. Use the flat of the brush to create a soft flush to the cheek, or the tip of the brush on the underside of the cheekbone for more structure and definition.

Contouring Techniques

Follow these steps to bring out your best features:

  1. Use a slightly darker foundation around the hairline and under the cheekbone.
  2. Use a non-orange bronzing powder to warm up the face and create shadows under the cheekbone and chin.
  3. Apply a highlight colour to the inner corner of the eye.
  4. Blend out any hard edges for a smooth transition from dark to light.
  5. Use a firm brush to create a harder line on the eyebrow. This creates “lift” and also lengthens the eye.
  6. Define the lips by highlighting the area above the “bow.”


This look is balanced, with features emphasized equally. Match the depth of the eyes to the intensity of the lips so that the overall look is soft, understated, and fun.

Vintage Glamour

This look is all about sculpting the eyes and darkening the lips. To create the smoky eyes, apply lighter lilac in the middle of the lid, right above the iris. Balance these arresting eyes with true red lips to complete this timeless look.

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