How To: Contour and Highlight like a PRO

"You want to recede the areas that naturally recede and highlight the areas that are at a higher point on the face".

Contour MakeupThere are many different ways to contour, many different products you could use and many many different people that show you how. So just to let you know right off the bat, this post is for everyday people and everyday life. The last thing I want to do is show you how to contour like Kim Kardashian. Why? Kim KardashianIts not realistic, and you seriously want to portray yourself everyday looking like a picture in a editorial magazine? That being said in no way do I disapprove of her or her makeup look, its just simply too time consuming for the everyday woman or man.

To start you need to decide wether you prefer working with powder or cream. Then the products you will need to get going are as follows;

CREAM: You can actually use a darker foundation shade (2-3 shades darker, or more) if you ever have one kicking around, and do the same with highlight (2-3 shades lighter). For an extreme contour/highlight you would use the ILIABEAUTY PolkaDotsAndMoonBeamsproducts just mentioned before applying any foundation, but a more natural look is applying it afterwards.

There are also great products out there to achieve this look naturally such as (my favourite) Ilia’s Polka Dots and Moonbeams and Mac’s Prep+Prime Highlighter. I do find the best cream contour to be stick foundation and for an even more natural cream contour I recommend Ilia’s Sway. It is a bronzer with a hint of shimmer but it does work for a subtle everyday contour.

POWDER: Hands down my favourite powder contour of the moment is Kevyn Aucoin’s Sculpting Powder Medium. Celestial PowderWorks so well with most, if seriously not, all skin tones. A Matte Bronzer is always a great choice too or a pressed powder in a shade thats 3 or more shades darker. Just be careful of the tone, not too orange etc. For highlight I must give absolute props to Kevyn Aucoin again for there Celestial Highlighting Powder Candlelight. Super fine milled for a subtle shimmer versus a sparkly mess.

OK, products done, now this is the fun part of application.


Contour- The same rule applies for both cream and powder so thats a relief, its not as complicated as it seems just remember that placement is KEY and practice always makes perfect. Contour/Highlight Side ViewFor cream contour begin before your foundation and  choose to use your finger or a brush then literally make a fish face so its easy to see where to apply the contour. You are going to start near the ear and follow underneath your cheekbone until you cannot feel the cheekbone any longer. The further in you go the scarier you will look so do not go close to your mouth. Bring the shade in your temples and up towards the upper hairline on your forehead. If you feel the need grab just your finger or a small brush and bring your contour colour on both sides of the nose starting at the bridge and follow a straight line toward the end of the nose. As for your jawline  keep the contour straight under your jaw blending slighting down your neck. Do not go above your jawline onto your face. For the more natural contour follow these same steps with your cream  and apply after foundation. Just make sure to powder you face after your finished your cream contour and highlight application.

For Powder contour the same exact rules apply. Choose an angled brush or a small contour brush and for the nose and smaller areas choose a small tapered blending brush.

Highlight- Its quite simple when you think about the bone structure on the face. You want to recede the areas that naturally recede and highlight the areas that are at a higher point on the face. Natural Contour/HighlightSo the idea behind highlighting the centre of the forehead, underneath the eye area, bridge of nose, top of cheekbone, cupid’s bow, brow bone and chin is that we want to look healthier and the appearance of these areas being lifted appear more plump and healthy. Cream highlight can begin at the bridge of the nose and follow with your finger or small brush down the centre to the tip of nose. Bring the highlight up into your forehead not going past the centre. Next start your highlight under the eye area and blend down towards your cheekbone. Touch the top of your cheekbone, the centre of your chin and cupid’s bow. Blend, blend, blend and follow with your foundation or for a more natural look apply highlight after foundation and (after you’ve done your contour also) seal the deal with powder.

Same again follows for powder, I use the same style brushes for my highlight as my contour, and after you have applied your foundation sweep your highlight in the same areas as you would with your cream. Finish with a dusting of power of your choice.

Blush– I love blush so I thought I would add this in as it is definitely still used with any highlighting andStila Cherry Lip&Cheek Stain contouring. I will touch slightly on cream/liquid/powder blush as again it applies the same way as i’ve previously mentioned. For cream or liquid apply after your foundation, if you have something like a stain that can be applied before foundation as it is great to add with no Kjaer Weis Cream Blush-Blossomingmakeup or with.


Simple rule here is blend. Look in the mirror and SMILE! Your cheeks lift and that is exactly where you want to apply your blush. Start right in the centre and blend in a circular motion, wether its with your finger or brush, and keep that moving outward toward your ear. keep the colour in that general area blending into your contour and highlight yet not disturbing it (aka recking all the work you just did).


Video to follow, as I understand this is easier to understand live so please stay tuned. Any questions? Don’t hesitate to write in the comment section below.