One of the most hotly-awaited products of the year is the {Anastasia Beverly Hills Pro Series Contour Kit}, launching on Cult Beauty at the beginning of May (sign up to the waitlist on the product details page to get first dibs). I find contouring rather a daunting task myself, but it's big news right now so I asked the great lady herself for some tips on how to avoid looking like you're just about to go paint-balling:

{Alexia Inge} For whom would you say this is kit works best?

{Anastasia Soare} Contouring and highlighting is really for any woman who is looking to enhance her best features. It really is the oldest trick in the book when it comes to celebrity makeup, and the reason that some celebrities look like they've undergone such a drastic transformation in so little time. Anyone can play with contouring to bring about more refined cheek bones, a more sculpted nose, or a defined jawline for instance.

{AI} What’s the best way to prep your skin ready for contouring?

{AS} Contouring should always be done as a last step in your face/complexion routine. If you usually wear moisturizer and foundation, apply this and let it set before starting your contour.

{AI} Which brushes create the best results?

{AS} I would use a smaller {fluffy brush} and a domed {contouring brush} with a small amount of tension in the bristles when contouring. The domed brush will help you apply the contour to your cheekbones and face uniformly, while still giving you the ability to blend. Use a small, fluffy brush for applying contour and highlighter in detailed areas like the nose and around the eyes. I always suggest blending with a good quality, {natural brush} to blur out lines and leave you with a natural finish.

{AI} In which order would you use the colours in the palette to create the perfect look?

{AS} There is no ready-made answer to create the perfect look! For contouring, you always want to start with a shade 2 to 3 shades darker than your skin tone and contour under your cheekbones and anywhere else you want to chisel your features. For highlighting, pick a shade that goes with your skin tone but is one to two shades brighter to add definition to the contour and bring focus to your best features.

{AI} What should people avoid doing?

{AS} Over-applying contour powder creates a look that is unnatural and can easily turn cakey! Start out with small amounts of this concentrated pigment, tap the brush on the side of your hand before touching your skin and make sure to blend, blend, blend for a naturally sculpted look.

{AI} You've also just launched a Pro Series Brow Kit, is this just for a certain skill level?

{AS} The kit really is for everyone. I find that clients who are new to shaping their brows love it because it ensures the proper application and shaping of powder each time. I also have many clients who swear by at is part of their daily routine because it delivers perfect results. There is no such thing as a “bad brow day” when you’re using the kit! The most marked differences you will see with the kit are on clients with very wild eyebrows or very over-tweezed.

{AI} What other tools does one need to create a pro look?

{AS} You always need a good {brow brush} with an attached spooley comb for blending and a good {liner brush}. My {Mini Duo Brush} can double for both. I always use a synthetic brush for applying any type of waterproof make up and a softer more {natural brush} for blending out eye shadows and pigments.

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