Inspired by Instagram! Must-Have Products To Achieve Highlighting & Contouring Technique

I love all things beauty but I’m not a self-proclaimed makeup artist so naturally I don’t like are applying makeup on others or having someone apply makeup on me, hence the reason I don’t go the YouTube tutorial route. However, I do love watching how-to videos and perusing Instagram photos of different makeup looks and then trying to replicate them on myself.

Inspired by @vivaglamtiffany on Instagram, I went on a mission to nail down the highlighting and contouring technique she (and Kim Kardashian’s makeup artist) does so well! She gave me some recommendations so I headed to the MAC store. When I walked in I saw that they were having a pro class the next day, I signed up. The class introduced three different celebrity looks coming off the red carpet at the Golden Globes – contouring was part of one of the looks. Below, I’ve summarized the class learnings to give you just the juicy tips!

#1 The Everyday Celebrity – Glowing skin and minimal makeup


Tips on how and where to apply the glow:
– Use skin brightening serum under or mix with foundation
– Apply highlighter on areas light would naturally hit your face
– Use Vanilla pigment to add shimmer in the inner rims of the eyes for an instant bright-eyed look
– Contour with bronzer in the shape of an inverted C starting at the hollow of your cheekbone
– Use  a setting spray

#2 The Grammy Look – Gypsy-inspired color combinations that make your eyes pop!
Tips on which colors to use according to your eye shade:
– Brown Eyes – Purple eyeshadow brings out the yellow/hazel in brown eyes
– Green Eyes – Smokey cranberry hues make green eyes pop
– Blue Eyes – Orange and rust hues in combination with browns bring out the blue

#3 The Academy Award – “Modern Day Marilyn” – modern, simple, red lips.

This look was worn by Salma Hayek, Zooey Deschanel and Julianne Moore on the red carpet at the Golden Globes.

Tip on how to apply red lipstick which doesn’t bleed:

– Use lip primer and go outside of lip line, it helps against the feathering of red lipstick.

My look incorporates a bit of all three looks but mostly I learned which products could help me achieve the contoured look I’m currently obsessed with!


Here are the MAC products I used to achieve the look above (as pictured).

  • To highlight under eyes, nose, chin – MAC Select Cover-Up (my shade: NC30) / MAC blending brush #224
  • To illuminate above cheekbone – MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle
  • To set the look – MAC Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder

My Interview with Kim K! (not Kardashian)

While I love to play with makeup, I rarely ever get mine done by a professional.  That’s why I’m excited to share my recent sit down with professional makeup artist, Kim Katunis.  With more than 15 years of experience, Kim has done makeup for weddings, editorial, advertising, TV and runway. Her clients include Vegas socialites to Hollywood celebrities like Michael Jackson,  Aubrey O’day, DJ Pauly D, and Carley Rae Jepsen. Read on makeup mavens!

Kim Katunis

When did your love of makeup begin?

I’ve actually been an artist my whole life. I’ve always loved to paint and draw from the time I was little. When I was in high school I first started to experiment.  I used to do my friends make-up before the school dances.  When I was in college I got my first make-up job at the mall.  Sure I was great at selling the product, but doing makeovers is what I loved. I was so excited to make women feel good about themselves.

What was your big break as a makeup artist?

By first big break as a make-up artist started by doing make-up for fashion shows.  After that, I teamed up with a couple of photographers, and our shoots landed in numerous magazines.  I never expected to see my name in print, and working with such amazing, talented people.

What brought you to Las Vegas?

I moved to Las Vegas when I was 12 years old.  My father had a job opportunity that brought my family out here from Georgia. I have now lived out here 22 years.

How does Vegas beauty compare to other cities?

Las Vegas beauty is definitely more glamorous then other cities. There are so many beautiful women here in Las Vegas, that the ladies here are willing to do a little more to make themselves “pop”.  I love that I have casino executives that need sophistication, and party girls that crave smoky eyes. It keeps my day interesting and never boring.   My entire family is New Yorkers.  When I am there, I see minimal make-up, defined eyebrows, and dewy skin. Then if you look next door at New Jersey it’s the opposite. The more make-up the better.  So…I think make-up varies from state to state not from East to West coast.

What’s a typical day like for you?

My day varies from day to day and it also changes by season. In the Spring and Fall I do a lot of weddings.  In the winter I do a lot of special events and red carpets.  On a typical day I am most likely getting someone ready for a photo shoot or tv appearance followed up by a couple of my loyal regulars in the salon I work at.

Name some of the celebrities you’ve worked with?

Some of the celebrities I’ve worked with include Linkin Park, the cast of Entourage, and Michael Jackson.  Just this year I’ve worked with Aubrey O’day, DJ Pauly D, and Carley Rae Jepsen.

Name someone famous you would want in your chair?

I am slightly obsessed with Kim Kardashian’s face, so she would be my first choice of a celebrity I would like to have in my chair.  Not because she is beautiful, but because she has great bone structure. My second choice would probably be the cast of Jersey Shore because they really need my help! No offense Snookie and J Woww…luv you, but let’s tone down the bronzer.

If I peeked inside your makeup kit what would I find?

You would find scary organization and cleanliness; enough brushes to makeover an army, palettes filled with intense colors, and a lot of Make Up For Ever, Nars, Christian Dior, and Kevyn Aucoin.

What’s your favorite makeup style to apply?

My favorite make-up style is high-fashion. I love to work with edgy photographers and create artistic images.. Unfortunately, I don’t get to experiment that much anymore.   Those jobs are fun, but they don’t always pay the bills.

What’s the one beauty item you can’t live without?

The one beauty item I can’t live without is concealer. Everyone has problem spots and no one has perfect skin.  With the right concealer I can make anyone’s skin look flawless especially my own.

What’s the last beauty item you purchased?

The last beauty item I purchased was all the eye shadows from Tom Ford beauty inside Neiman Marcus.  They’re pretty expensive, but my clients deserve the best!

What are your favorite summer beauty trends?

I like to pick a fun pop of color on the eyes, lips, or nails.  When our skin is tan, those bright, neon colors look amazing, but it’s important to only pick one feature, not all 3 at the same time. This spring and summer the hot bright color has been electric orange.

Can you share some your favorite beauty lines and why?

I love pro-artistry brands like Make Up For Ever and Nars because they have amazing pigment and blend so well. I also look for brands that wear well and stay on.  It’s not how your client looks when they leave your chair, it’s how they look when they come home at 2am.

Can you share your top three beauty tips?

1) Update your look a little every season, but always have your staples that never change such as: mascara, foundation, and concealer.

2) If you are doing a evening look pick one feature to be bold and soften the other two.. For example, a strong eye means the lips and cheeks stay soft, and a strong lip, means the eyes and cheeks stay soft.

3) Don’t be scared to experiment and try new things.  It’s only make-up…it washes right off if you feel like you look wacky. You can totally be a different person everyday if you want, so have fun.

What’s your beauty pet peeve?

My beauty pet peeve is to stop wearing makeup that’s not age appropriate. If your over 35 it might be time to retire the glitter, and if your 13 years old, you do not need fake eyelashes yet.  Working in Las Vegas I receive some crazy requests.

Any future plans?

My only plan is to maybe one day write a book.  I would love to write about the many things I’ve learned over the years.  There would be plenty of pictures as well. I love to shoot before and after photos.  Those are my favorite, and who doesn’t love to look at make-up pictures?

Here’s my smoky eye look and products Kim used:


Eye Primer: Urban Decay

Eyeshadow: Bobbi Brown Espresso

Eyeliner: Nars Larger Than Life Long Wear

Cheeks: Kevyn Aucoin

Lips: Bobbi Brown Nude Gloss, Kryolan Professional Lip Gloss

Foundation: Makeup Forever HD, Kryolan Professional Dermacolor Light

Make sure to find Kim on Facebook or at Square Salon in Las Vegas.