Illustration showcasing the basic steps of contouring and highlighting makeup techniques.

What is Contouring and Highlighting Makeup?

Have you ever wondered how celebrities and influencers sculpt flawless faces and achieve picture-perfect bone structure? The secret lies in the art of expert shading and illumination with contouring and highlighting makeup.

🏆 Contouring sculpts and shapes the face
✨ Highlighting illuminates and brings forward features
🎨 Combined, they let you transform your features with makeup!

In this complete guide, we break down step-by-step how to contour and highlight your gorgeous face like a pro. Let’s master these magical makeup techniques together!

What is Highlighting and Why Do You Need it in Your Makeup Routine?

Have you ever looked at a photo of someone like Kim Kardashian and wondered how she gets that gorgeous glow that makes her cheekbones pop? Or do you follow beauty influencers on Instagram who seem to magically highlight all the best parts of their faces? Well, let me introduce you to the makeup technique that makes it all possible: highlighting!

Kim Kardashian’s makeup icon Mario Dedivanovic greatly impacted the highlighting and contouring movement.

Highlighting Defined in Simple Terms

Highlighting is a makeup technique that involves applying shimmery, light-reflecting products to key areas of your face. This draws light to those features and makes them stand out. It’s like a real-life Instagram filter! The result is a gorgeous, lit-from-within glow that amplifies your best assets.

Where Should You Apply Highlighter and Why?

The most common areas makeup artists and beauty fanatics highlight are:

  • Cheekbones – Sweeping highlighter along the upper cheekbones makes them appear higher and more defined.
  • Bridge of nose – Running highlighter down the nose makes it look more slender and elegant.
  • Cupid’s bow – Placing a highlighter above the upper lip draws attention to your pout.
  • Brow bones – Brightening the skin under the brows makes your eyes stand out more.

Targeting these zones strategically highlights your best facial features!

A visual guide to help you determine your face shape for personalized contouring makeup

Choosing the Best Highlighter Formula and Intensity

Highlighters come in liquid, powder, and cream formulas. What you choose depends both on your skin type and just how dramatic you want the highlighting effect to be. For example:

  • Creams offer intense color payoff for an ultra-glowy effect.
  • Liquids look more natural on textured skin.
  • Powders suit oily complexions best.

You also need to pick an intensity that pairs well with your skin tone. For example, deeper complexions look amazing with golden highlighters while lighter skin glows with pinky champagne shades. Applying too much highlighter can make it look unnatural so blend blend blend!

See the Magic Highlighting Does

Take a look at how subtly sweeping highlighter over the cheekbones, nose, and cupids bow makes the eyes and smile pop even more on this beautiful face:

[Before and after highlighting image]

It’s makeup magic! 🪄✨ So don’t be afraid to jump on the highlighting trend yourself! Just use light strokes when applying highlighter and always finish by diffusing it into the skin. Then get ready to glow like the queen that you are!

What is Contouring and Why Does it Sculpt Your Features?

You likely have a basic idea of what contouring makeup is. But let me break it down step-by-step so you really understand this transformative makeup technique.

The Definition of Contouring

Contouring uses strategic shading to slim and sculpt the face. You apply darker matte makeup products beneath cheekbones, along the sides of the nose, under the jaw, and perimeter of the face. This instantly creates the illusion of higher cheekbones, a slimmer nose and jawline, and an overall more chiseled bone structure! It’s all about using makeup to recreate the natural shadows on specific areas of the face. The result? Celeb-status bone structure made with makeup! 💄

The Key Contouring Tools You’ll Need

Here are the must-have products for seamless, defined contouring:

  • Cream or powder bronzer – For naturally sculpted dimension.
  • Contour kit or palette – With deeper matte shades to mimic bone shadows.
  • Contour makeup brushes – Angled brushes fit perfectly under cheekbones.

How to Figure Out The Best Places to Contour

The areas you focus on contouring depend partly on your face shape and features. But in general aim for:

  • Hollows beneath the cheekbones
  • Temples & perimeter of forehead
  • Sides of the nose bridge
  • Jawline under the chin

This helps create the illusion of Facetune bone structure in real life. Take a look at the impact strategic contouring makes on different face shapes:

Comparison images showing the transformative effect of contouring and highlighting on a face.

Stunning! Ready to finally learn these secret skills for yourself? Then let’s dive into contouring! 🎨✨

Contouring Makeup Tips for Your Specific Face Shape

Here’s an insider secret all celebrity makeup artists know: strategically contouring for your face shape is crucial for a natural, sculpted look. The placement techniques and products you use to enhance your gorgeous bone structure depend on whether you have a:

  • Oval face
  • Long face
  • Round face
  • Square face
  • Heart face
  • Diamond face

Let’s break down exactly how to contour these shapes for maximum radiance!

Contouring Makeup Tips for Your Specific Face Shape

Learn more tips for contouring round face shapes or check out this anti-aging contouring guide

Best Contouring Tips for Round Faces

The key for round faces is slimming down the fullness of the cheeks. Use angled contour strokes in an upward motion to lift and sculpt the cheekbones instead of widening them. Sweep bronze contour lightly underneath the jawline as well. This helps create the illusion of an oval face shape. See the precision placement on this gorgeous round face: [Round face contour before and after] Just astounding what clever shading can do!

How to Contour Square Faces

For square faces, apply angled contour lines along the hairline extending towards the temple to soften the boxiness of this shape. Brush circular motions of bronzer along the jawline to hide the square edges. Blend contour lightly on the temples as well to make them less prominent. Take a peek: [Square face contour before and after] Stunning! The angled contour lines help make the face look so oval and feminine! Now you know the magic formula for lifting cheekbones and transforming shapes. Time to get sculpting!

A Step-by-Step Guide to Contouring Your Face Like a Pro!

Want celeb-status, contoured cheekbones made with makeup? Let me walk you through how to precisely sculpt each area of your face for maximum dimension. Graduate from makeup beginner to pro contour artist in no time!

Products You Need

Start by prepping with skincare and a hydrating primer. Then grab:

  • Your perfect foundation match
  • A matte bronzing powder or creamy contour stick for shading
  • Small dense angled contour brush
  • Beautyblender or makeup sponge for blending

Optional but glorious: Highlighting makeup

Precision Contouring Placement for Each Facial Area:

Here’s exactly where to sweep contour makeup for a naturally sculpted, 3D effect:

Under Cheekbones:

Look upward to see the hollows. Trace the deep natural shadow with bronzer in upward motions. Remember, less is more! You can always build up intensity.

Along Jaw:

Apply contour powder or cream in a light downward motion to create depth under the jawline and chin. Helps define facial structure.

Side of Nose:

Run your contour makeup brush or cream stick straight down the sides of your nose to make it appear slimmer. Blend well towards the tip.

Mastering the Magical Art of Highlighting Your Best Features

Now that you know how to fake bone structure with contour let’s learn its BFF technique: highlighting!

Boldly illuminating key areas of your face transforms texture, brightens eyes, and sculpts an overall glowy, radiant complexion.

Let’s cover what you need to know to highlight like a dazzling diva!

Highlighting Products For Flawless Luminosity

On your highlight makeup shopping list should be:

  • Cream highlighter sticks for ultra-metallic radiance
  • Liquid highlighters for smooth, veil-like finishes
  • Highlighter palettes with multiple glow intensities
  • Large fluffy highlighting makeup brushes

Experiment to find your perfect shine!

How to Apply Highlighter for an Expert Strobe

Simply lightly sweep illuminating makeup onto:


Brush highlighter in a ‘c’ motion following your upper cheek structure – stunning!

Cupid’s Bow:

Gently pat shimmer right above your top lip to make your pout appear plumper.

Brow Bones:

Run your highlighter wand or brush under your brows to perk up your eyes.

When applied strategically, highlighter sculpts facial definition. Now beam bright, you brilliant diamond!✨ Here is the next section on common contouring and highlighting mistakes:

Avoid These Common Contouring & Highlighting Makeup Mistakes

Even Kim Kardashian’s makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic had to practice blending to become the celeb contour pro he is today. So don’t beat yourself up if your first few attempts at sculpting and strobing have some flaws!

Let’s troubleshoot what can go wrong and get your technique right.

1. Applying Too Much Bronzer or Highlighter

Remember – less is more with both contouring and highlighting! Applying too-dark bronzer or thick highlighter looks unnatural and overdone.

Sheer application with layers of buildable color is key for a seamless look.

Want to start simply as a beginner? Check out this easy contouring tutorial.

2. Forgetting to Blend!

Making an effort to seamlessly blend is a must! Harsh lines of demarcation between your natural skin color and makeup tones scream poor blending.

Spend time diffusing any edges and fading creams into the skin.

3. Choosing the Wrong Undertone

Contour and highlighter undertones should mimic natural shadow tones and light reflection. Cool bronzers suit fair skin while warm golden tones match deeper complexions best.

Consider undertones so products look cohesive.

Now you know how to perfect your next sculpted beat! Dazzle ‘em! ✨

Lock In Your Contoured & Highlighted Beauty Look

You spent all that time expertly shading, chiseling, and strobing your gorgeous face with makeup. Now let’s make the artistry last all day!

The techniques used to set contouring and highlighting include:

Step 1: Set with Translucent Powder

After cream or liquid contouring, sweep a light veil of translucent powder everywhere you apply those products.

This sets the makeup and prevents fading and transferring all over your phone!

Step 2: Mist with Setting Spray For 16 HR Wear

After setting powder, mist your beautifully sculpted face with a light covering of setting spray. This melds makeup layers together and keeps them budge-proof and transfer-proof!

Now go flaunt your flawless bone structure all day long!

The celebrity and influencer makeup secrets are all yours now too! Dazzle them! ✨ Here is a section on recommended contouring and highlighting makeup products:

Shop The Best Contouring & Highlighting Makeup Products

Now that you know all the insider tricks to sculpting and strobing, it’s time to shop! Here are my can’t-live-without-contouring and highlighting makeup recommendations:

Creamy Bronzer Contour Sticks

For blending like a pro, try these celeb makeup artist favorites:

  • Fenty Beauty Match Stix Matte Contour Skinsticks
  • Honest Beauty Contour Stick
  • Charlotte Tilbury Beautifully Defined Sculpt and Highlight Stick

Blinding Highlighter Palettes

My top palettes with intense illuminators for next-level strobing include:

  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kits
  • Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector
  • Fenty Beauty Killawatt Foil Duos

Setting Sprays For Staying Power

Lock in your contoured and highlighted lewk with:

  • Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray
  • NYX Professional Makeup Setting Spray
  • MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ Finishing Mist

Now beam bright with your fave contouring and highlighting products in your makeup game! ✨

Sculpt Your Best Features with Contouring & Highlighting

Congratulations – you now know all the pro makeup artist tricks to contouring and highlighting your beautiful face!

Once you have got the basics down, take your contouring to the next level for a more youthful appearance.

Here are the key techniques we covered to transform your features:

  • Contouring strategically sculpts and defines facial structure
  • Highlighting illuminates your best assets
  • Use makeup suited for your specific face shape
  • Apply products precisely and blend them seamlessly
  • Lock in the sculpted dimension all-day

It may take some practice to master the art of shading and strobing. But once you get the technique down you’ll be hooked on crafting a dimensional work of art with your makeup whenever you desire!

So grab your favorite contour bronzer, highlighter, and makeup tools and start enhancing your gorgeous self from every angle possible. Show off that jawline definition and cheekbone glow! ✨

How To Contour And Highlight For Your Face Shape | YourTango

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