Beauty 101: Contour and Highlight

While contouring and highlighting your face is an often-skipped make up step, don’t worry it’s never too late to start! It only takes an extra minute to do both and it is well-worth the time. Contouring and highlighting add depth and color to an otherwise flat face. It’s a great way to accentuate your cheekbones, make your nose appear smaller – basically it’s a beauty essential that can highlight any feature or help hide any flaw.

The Beauty Department has a great step-by-step guide on how to complete the look. In the photo below, you can really see the difference between the before and after. The difference is surprising, isn’t it?

contour guide 1

Tools:
Bronzer
– try MAC Cosmetics Bronzing Powder, $24
Highlighting Powder – try the Balm Mary-Lou Manizer, $24 (it’s a highlighter, eye shadow and shimmer all-in-one!)
Contouring Brush – try Sephora Pro Angled Contour Brush #75, $30

Start the process after your foundation and concealer, but before powder and blush.

To contour:
Simply use bronzer and trace an ‘E’ on the side of your face. Start at the hairline, then swoop around underneath your cheeks (make a fish face by sucking in your cheeks to see where your cheekbones are). Retrace the middle prong of the ‘E’ back to your ear then go down the jawline. Finish by sweeping on and underneath your jawline. Repeat the same pattern on the other side.
If you want to make your nose appear smaller, apply bronzer to either side of your nose in a thin stripe using a small eyeshadow brush.

To highlight:
Wipe the brush off to remove any excess bronzer then dab your brush in the highlighting powder. Draw the letter ‘C’: start just above the middle of your brow, and swirl around and just underneath your eye (above your cheeks). Repeat on the other side.
Finish by dabbing a light application of highlighter on the middle of your forehead (between your brows) and a thin stripe in the middle of your nose.

Make sure you blend everything in really well – there shouldn’t be obvious lines. Use your fingers if necessary! I also dust my neck and décolletage with bronzer to really blend. Then set with your powder and put blush on as usual. For a final touch, add a dab of highlighter to the apples of your cheeks.

contour guide 2This photo from Kim Kardashian’s website is also a good guide on where to place the bronzer and highlighter.

Do you have any good contouring and highlighting tips? Leave comments below and let me know!

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7 thoughts on “Beauty 101: Contour and Highlight

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