It may seem as though the Kardashians invented the art of makeup contouring, but the face-slimming and cheek-sculpting contour blush makeup method has actually been around for decades. In fact, Old Hollywood beauty Grace Kelly used the trick to make her cheekbones shine long before anyone starting keeping up the reality stars. And while she may have died a princess, Grace Kelly will always be the reigning Queen of Contour.
Besides being known for having great skin, the Princess of Monaco was famous for her simple contour blush method which involved using just two shades of blush — and she reportedly never left home without her blush and blush brush stashed in her purse.
The down-to-earth Princess was also known to have continued doing her own hair and makeup well after she became a movie star and a royal, proving she was just like everyone else. And it paid off, as she was always effortlessly elegant and flawless. Read on to find out how you too can achieve her luxe look — for less!
How to get the exact color of Grace Kelly’s contour blush
While we do know that Kelly swore by Rouge Dior lipstick, the icon was coy about revealing what else she put on her face, and the products used in her “double blush” contouring technique remain a mystery. Luckily, the Oscar-winning actress’ technique has sparked thousands of YouTube tutorials (see below for a great one!) decades after she last graced the silver screen.
For blush shade #1
Recreating Grace Kelly’s makeup starts with choosing the right main blush color for you — which depends on your skin’s undertones and whether or not they are classified as warm, cool or neutral, explains celebrity makeup artist Genn Shaughnessy, who has worked with Carrie Underwood and Christina Hendricks. This will be the first one you use. The second blush will be a lighter shade (see steps below for product suggestions).
“Lighter or fair skin tones like Kelly’s tend to have more blue or cool undertones and should look for pastel, classic pinks, light mauves or even light plums. Medium skin tones are warmer with red undertones and pair perfectly with peach, darker corals and light reds. In contrast, darker skin tones absorb color faster and need deeper shades like berry, wine, brick red or terracotta to stand out,” Shaughnessy explains.
Keep in mind that whichever shade you prefer, the High Society actress always kept the look natural and not too dramatic or overdone.
For blush shade #2
Opt for a blush that is barely colored, or even lighter than that, like Almay’s Healthy Hue Blush (Buy from Almay, $11.99) which provides a lightweight flush of color to help the first blush pop even more.
How to replicate Grace Kelly’s contour blush technique
Get the look with blush
“The idea is to bring out a natural-looking flush, kind of like the ‘grandma-pinched’ your cheeks look you had when you were a kid,” states makeup artist and VOODOO MAKEUP founder Aimee Carr, who has worked on models at designer fashion shows in New York and Paris. Carr explains how we can achieve this “double-blush” technique ourselves.
- Find your starting point: Take your finger and feel along the side of your ear for what feels like an indention or hole, and when you locate this area, push on it, then release it. It will muffle your hearing if it’s the correct spot. That will be your starting point.
- Apply blush one: Dip a wide-angled brush into the first blush and from the beginning of that start spot stroke the brush back and up to the right before the back of the arch over the brow area. Then swoop back down onto the cheek area, in a “C” motion. Do this three times.
- Apply blush two: Dip a large blush brush into a lighter pink blush. Then tap it to the apple of the cheeks (if you have trouble finding the apples, try smiling, and apply color to the part that pops out the most). The cheeks should look natural with just a slight tint of color.
Watch this video to see just how easy it is!
Get the look with pencil
Another easy technique to replicate Grace Kelly’s contouring? With a pencil. Celebrity makeup artist Simone Otis, who has worked with Salma Hayek and Selena Gomez, recommends this high-pigment, blendable pencil from 19/99 Beauty (Buy from 19/99 Beauty, $26) that glides on with a creamy matte finish. Simply use it to draw on your face, along the underside of the cheekbones to create that definition, then blend it with a brush or your fingers.
Otis says to choose the deeper shade pencil for the shadow and a brighter shade for the pop of pretty color on the apples of the cheeks. Just be sure to blend well and keep layering the color until you get the look you love.
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