Basics of Highlighting and Contouring

How to Contour

Learn how to contour your face to create the illusion of perfect symmetry! Contouring and highlighting are makeup techniques used by nearly every makeup artist designed to bring light to certain features on your face while creating a shadow effect on others. The goal is to create an illusion with makeup that draws attention to specific areas while diminishing the look of others. Depending on your skin or preference, you can contour and highlight using creams, liquids, or powders. For highlight, you will want to use a shade lighter then your skin tone. For contour, you will use a shade darker then your skin tone. I prefer to always use a highlight color that has a little bit of shimmer to give a glow to the face. For contour, use a matte color for the perfect shadowing.

  • Cheeks

    I like to start with my contour to map out my face. Start by applying a darker shade to the hollows of your cheekbones from the hairline down the cheek about halfway and blend. If you have trouble finding the hollows of your cheeks, suck in cheeks like a fishy face and you will find the hollows. You can add as much dark color as needed but always start out light and build up. You can also bring the contour up the sides of the forehead near the hairline to create a smaller forehead. Apply highlight right above the contour on the tops of your cheekbones where light naturally hits the skin. When applying blush, concentrate on applying it to the apples of the cheeks.

  • Nose

    The nose can be a little bit tricky, but with more practice it looks amazing! Apply your contour color on each side of the bridge of your nose. I like to start the contour from the tip of my nose and bring it upward to ensure a straight line. Apply the highlight color down the very center of your nose.

    Tip: The more you blend, the more natural your contour will look!

  • Eyes

    When it comes to highlighting the eyes, apply highlight underneath the brow. That will help arch the brow and make it look clean. Also you can apply highlight color into the inner corners of the eyes for a more awake look.