Contouring and highlighting is a makeup technique that allows you to sculpt your face shape by giving the illusion of light and shade.
But seeing as everyone's face shape is different, it can be tricky to know how to contour and how to highlight, in the correct spots. To help, we've put together an easy contour tutorial to turn you into a pro in no time.
Where to apply bronzer
Contouring is most commonly done using a bronzer, one or two shades darker than your skin tone. Whether you're using a powder or a cream formula, here's how to apply bronzer for a chiseled effect.
To create more prominent cheekbones, sweep your bronzer through the hollows of your cheeks, using a soft, tapered brush like our Vegan Contouring Angle Brush. This will create an instant face-slimming effect - particularly handy if you're looking for tips on how to contour a round face.
If you've been dying to know how to make your nose look smaller, this one's for you. Apply your bronzer down the sides of your nose, starting from the bridge, all the way down to the nostrils. A smaller brush will allow you to target the area better; try something like our Vegan Defining Angle Brush.
Jawline contouring can help create a more defined chin and slender-looking neck. Simply trace your jawline from the bottom of your ear, to the centre of your chin.
For round and heart-shaped faces wishing to look more oval, apply a sweep of bronzer on both sides of the forehead, leaving the centre free.
Top tip: Remember the idea is to create depth and shadow on the skin, so opt for a satin or matte finish bronzer rather than shimmer, which would draw attention. Our Baked Mineral Bronzer in Sunbeam blends seamlessly with the skin and is buildable, allowing for either a subtle, or strong contour.
Where to apply highlighter
Once you know how to use highlighter, you'll never look back. Adding a pop of light and shimmer in the right spots will draw attention to your best features (and who doesn't want that?). Here's how:
Top of the cheeks
Find the highest point of your cheekbones and apply your highlighter in an upwards direction, towards the outer corner of your eyes. If you're using a powder, our Vegan Fan Brush will help you build from a natural dusting to a blinding glow.
Eyes and brow bone
A lot of people focus on how to highlight the face, when really, the eyes are where it's at. Apply some highlighter to the arch of your brow and inner corner of the eyes for an instant awakening effect. Pair this with our guide to a sunset smokey eye and your peepers will really pop.
Tip of the nose
Take what you learnt about how to contour your nose and elevate it by adding a touch of highlighter to the tip. This will draw attention to the slender centre you created by shading the sides.
Another tiny highlighting trick? Add a strategic stroke of light to the centre of your top lip, aka the cupid's bow. It will make your lips look fuller and draw attention to any lip colour you're wearing.
Top tip: If you're wondering how to choose a highlighter, take into account whether you're warm or cool-toned. Cool skin tones will suit a pink-based highlighter such as our Certified Organic Cream Illuminisor in Rose whereas warm tones will suit a gold or yellow-based highlighter such as our Certified Organic Cream Illuminisor in Spice.
Or if you're a beginner, and would like to take all the guesswork out of both contouring and highlighting, try our Baked Contour Duo. Kitted out with a champagne highlighter and a natural bronzer in one, it's ideal for those starting out.
Learn more makeup techniques