When I began photography I didn’t understand the importance of lighting and the difference makeup has on an image. Looking back, if I would have first understood and attempted to master the techniques behind makeup, I would have understood the proper way to light my subjects when photographing them.
During my short experience as a retoucher, I had a lot of questions. Primarily, I always wondered where it was necessary to dodge and burn. I knew that there had to be some sort of guideline to follow. This question led to a lot of googling, culminating to the rabbit hole of makeup tutorials on Youtube. The most important thing I learned was the concept of contouring. Out simply, contouring is the art of expertly highlighting and shadowing the correct spots on the face in order to accentuate and bring out the subjects best look. Once I understood this concept, not only did I become a better retoucher but my lighting skills improved significantly.
The purpose of contouring the face using makeup is to enhance bone structure and giving the face a more dimensional look. The goal should be to define cheek bones, making the nose look as thin as possible and producing an overall 3D glow.
Highlighting and contouring go hand in hand - here are a few Youtube videos that explain contouring:
Here are a few before/after photos from my Facebook Page worth studying. Take note of the areas I dodged and burned.