I'm actually referring to myself
Ok, don't be alarmed by the title. I'm not calling any of you pretty girls dummies, I am actually referring to myself. Now that we have that out of the way, it's confession time (I sure am needy today), I didn't even own a contouring product 18 months ago, and 2 years ago I thought bronzer could be applied all over the face as a shimmering setting powder (Fix It Jesus). Needless to say all I really started with in the professional makeup world was creativity and ambition. And not having the benefit of practice when given the task of making up a face for the first time, I created a couple of tricks for myself that I affectionately named Highlight & Contour for Dummies. See, I told you I was talking about myself.
Anyway, since it's Saturday and I was too lazy to do more than skin care, sunscreen, mascara, and my favorite NYX Lip Lingerie (it's Teddy by the way, with Embellishment coming in at a very, very, very close second) I decided to share some of these little pearls of wisdom in the hopes that they can help you on a bad day or at the very least let you know that no one is perfect and there is no shame or judgement here.
One (my favorite by the way): Stand in natural sunlight with a mirror, or have your client stand in natural sunlight, and tilt your (their) head back and forth to see where the natural highlights and shadows are on the face. Then use that as a guideline for applying product, going as natural or dramatic as desired while staying within that guideline to avoid harsh lines and angles.
Two (refer to above image): In low light situations, stand directly in front of, or place your client directly in front of, a bright light (think Lumee Case or ring light) and tilt the face back and forth to see where the natural highlights are. If you can see shadows as well then make note of that, but if not, imagine where the shadows would fall based on the highlights. Then use that as a guideline for applying product.
For example, in my photos you can see exactly where to highlight my forehead and nose from the front facing picture and in the left and right facing pictures you can follow the line of light almost like an arrow showing where to highlight on the cheeks. In my case you may have to use a bit of imagination for the shadows because my lighting is truly horrible, but the highlight gives you a very good guideline.
These two things have saved me in situations where I had very little practice and couldn't identify where to apply product off the bat and when I have been in situations with less than adequate lighting. It truly is dummy proof highlighting and contouring, and believe me, being a newbie in the makeup world makes you feel like a dummy sometimes. But in true Capricorn fashion, I found a way to even the playing field just a bit, so I felt a little more in control.
Hope this helps!