How to: Contour and Highlight

How to: Contour and Highlight

Let’s face it, If you’ve got cheeks that are more hamster ‘esque’ than Kate Moss, contouring is your friend. After all, contouring will sculpt your face, create cheekbones where there are none, slim down noses and chisel jaws – in a nut shell, it will make you look great, especially in pictures! You only have to look at Kim Kardashian, the Queen of contouring to prove that one.

So, what can you contour with, I hear you cry?!

Well, just about any product really that’s at least 3 shades darker than your own skin color.

Think – powders, foundation, concealer, but even eyeshadow and cream blush can be used to contour.

Contouring creates depth, but your eye is drawn to the lightest parts of your face, so that’s why it’s also important to highlight as well. Darker colors push back, light colors emphasize and draw out!

I love using this Bobbi Brown blush/bronzer from the beach palette to contour:DSC02641

How do I do this!?

First do your foundation and concealer then….

Contour – Cheeks/Jaw

  • Choose your product of choice – to contour cheekbones, carefully apply in a number ‘3’ motion on the temples, under the cheekbones and under the jawline.
  • Apply using an angled brush
  • Feel for where your cheekbones are, and apply the product directly underneath.
  • Go lightly, you can always add more
  • Make sure you blend well, so you don’t have any harsh lines, or a ‘muddy’ appearance to your make-up


  • Using a very light hand, apply your chosen product carefully down each side of the nose
  • Blend until there are no obvious lines
  • If you’re using a darker eyeshadow to contour use a small fluffy brush to apply.

To Highlight:

  • For your cheekbones use a light reflective highlighter – I like using the Nars Copacabana cream high lighter
  • For under the eyes, nose and chin, use your favorite light concealer
  • Remember to blend so it doesn’t look obvious!
  • Apply in a ‘C’ shape around the temple, down to the cheekbone.
  • If you want more of a subtle look, apply onto the top of the cheekbone at the highest point, above the contouring.

I like to contour in a very natural way, focusing normally on just creating cheekbones, but If I’m going for  more of a ‘made up’ look, I will also contour on the temples and jaw line, and apply more highlighter.contour&highlight

contour collage

Contouring can be an amazing way to create definition to your face, and the best part is you can change your entire look by only doing the tiniest bit of contouring. Don’t let the Kim K picture put you off! I mean… who wouldn’t love the thought of having instant cheekbones with no dieting required!? That’s pretty awesome!

* Kim Kardashian photo credit –  courtesy Pintrest

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