Models wear sculpted makeup looks on the Fall 2010 runways of Marc Jacobs, Chloé, and Michael Kors. Photos: ImaxTree


This fall, there's a new way to do bare.

Dark lips, bold brows, and grunge eyes have become synonymous with cool, moody days, but this season there's a refreshing revival of sculpted, neutral makeup that's all about perfected skin with highlights and contours that seem to come from within.

Sculpted makeup shined on the Fall 2010 runways of Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Chloé, Balmain, and Thakoon. And red carpet stunners like Julia Roberts, Ashley Greene, and Sandra Bullock have all been recently spotted rocking warm, fresh faces.

"In a season where the makeup is about luxury with a touch of reality, the sculpted neutral look came naturally," says M.A.C. Cosmetics Senior Artist Luc Bouchard tells StyleList. "It's a look that is luxurious in the sense that it is very rich in textures and in soft nuances."

And while this fall makeup trend may appear to be simple, there's an art to sculpting the face and enhancing it to its best proportions, according to Bouchard.

One easy way to figure out where you need to put the contours is to touch your face and feel the cheekbone and brow bones, the makeup artist suggests. "All you have to do is apply the contour right under the bone and blend it as to hug the bone. Think of it as a "corset for the face" -- to use an image that I love from makeup artist Terry Barber from London -- and push everything back where it belongs."

A face chart from Chloé's Fall 2010 runway show. Courtesy Photo



To achieve soft and luxurious contours, Bouchard recommends smoothing on a creamy product as a opposed to a powder, applying a little at a time and blending until you get the intensity you desire. "Creamy foundations that are a bit darker than your skin tone will make great contours. To apply warm browns to your eyes, remember that the blending and shape will be very important since you can't rely on color. You need to work in the crease and the lash line to enhance everything."

If you are fair skinned, the pro suggests smoothing on mink, toffee, or soft taupe shades like MAC Pro Sculpting Powder in Sculpt. If you are medium skinned, consider caramel or ochre tones. And if you have dark skin, dark brown or rusty colors like MAC Pro Paint Stick in Deep Brown work best. Pro makeup tip: you can always add a coral or soft pink to your cheeks and eyes if your complexion needs it. The key is to keep it to a minimum so that it remains as neutral as possible.

Highlighting goes hand in hand with contouring, Bouchard adds. Blending a color lighter than your complexion on top of the cheek bone, in the center of the eyelid, or the inner corner of the eyes will soften and add to the luxurious texture of your look. If you are light to medium skinned, try MAC Cream Color Base in Pearl, Hush or Luna. If you are medium to dark skinned, opt for a richer highlighter like Improper Copper. "You can also use iridescent loose powders like Silver Dusk (lighter skin tones) and Golden Bronze (darker skin tones)."

Having the right tools will also help to nail the sculpted makeup look. To contour the cheekbones, try brush #188 and #116. And for the brow bone, brush #224 and #222.

And if you're in search of an edgy hairstyle to wear with this soft and pretty makeup look, learn how to wear the fishtail braid!