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Joseph Harwood – the Facts on Face

Heard of Joseph Harwood (@JosephHarwood)? You should have – they’re the celeb makeup illusionist and makeup artist with all the details on facial sculpting and feminisation, along with our collaborator on the Sculpt & Soften palette. We caught them for a few minutes last week to talk about their sculpting routine – now we’ve pinned them down to answer your sculpting FAQs. We’ve got you, babe.


Why should people contour?

J: Makeup is a universal tool to create an identity you can hold in your arsenal. It’s by no means a necessity, but an optional armour that can greatly enhance your confidence. Bringing the proportions of the face into a sense of balance can completely change your look and it is such an easy, undetectable thing to do when applied correctly, that works for everyone.


What products really flatter a good contour?

J: Remember that the more makeup you wear the more uniformity you are giving the face, our beauty definitely comes from imperfections and sometimes cheating this can work really well. If you have a set, perfectly contoured and concealed base, the texture can look very flat, so use a soft iridescence to add some of that natural shine to the cheek bones that the powder has minimised. I love to combine textures, if you want to go full disco glam and add glitter then definitely consider the lighting, highlighters are not all the same, some are intensely metallic and some are ethereal, so try out all the options and have fun with it.


What kind of foundation do you recommend using with a cream contour kit? What about powder?

J: You can use pretty much anything you like but I would err with caution with products that have a dry-down, such as those marketed as long wearing. The reason for this is because of the part of the formula that keeps the product in place is the same as is in a Liquid Lipstick. You don’t necessarily want to apply something with the texture of a cream, over the top of a dried foundation because it can create a build-up or can work in the same principle as if you’ve applied permanent marker over itself, it will actually remove the product. If you are not sure, use the cream product before the foundation or mix the two on the back of your hand. Powders are fantastic for setting – always use less and build up when applying loose powders. Anything that is marketed as a powder foundation will add coverage, so check that you are using set powder to set, powder foundation to build and touch up throughout the day.


What brushes should I be using?

J: You can go as high end as Hakohodo or you can pop into a craft store and grab a synthetic watercolour set and you can definitely create a beautiful finish. I think having a range of different size synthetic brushes is a must, just for fine tuning the areas of the face that require a little bit more detail or line. A great sponge like a Beauty Blender is awesome to finish. Synthetic bristles tend to be easier to blend out creams, as they do not absorb the product and each individual fibre is tapered into a uniform tip. Natural brushes are extremely varied, a lot of cheaper end brushes use Capra fibres which is when the goat hair is cut and reassembled, creating some tips that are naturally tapered and some that are blunt. Squirrel hair brushes are used in paintbrushes and are too fine for applying creams. There is a menagerie of options, but if you want to play it safe then go with synthetic. There is a huge amount of options today.


What’s the difference between using sculpting products and bronzer?

J: If you are confident with your undertones and the style you like to wear, you could use a sculpting powder as a way of deepening the areas of the face the sun may hit and it will give you the right effect if it’s the right tone. But the major difference is the placement. Use contour to bring depth and an artificial sense of shadow. You bronze to give the appearance that the sun has deepened your skin tone. I always think the best contours resemble shadow, have less saturation of colour. Bronzers are beautiful if they have some texture to them, enhance the warmth of your face. You can definitely combine the two.


For even more tips and techniques, the Jecca Makeup Sculpt & Soften palette is accompanied by an instructional booklet written by Joseph and Jecca Makeup founder Jessica Blackler. Purchase here: JeccaBlac.co.uk/store.