The Ultimate Guide to Contouring and Highlighting

The Ultimate Guide to Contouring and Highlighting
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Contouring and highlighting are two makeup techniques that can help make your features look more defined. Contouring is a way to enhance and define your facial structure by applying shades of color around the areas you want to bring forward and downplay others. Highlighting, meanwhile, helps bring out the best in your skin tone by bringing light to your face in specific areas. Whether you’re just starting out with makeup or have been doing it for years, these tips for contouring and highlighting will help you achieve a gorgeous look when creating any face shape.

What is contouring?

Contouring is the art of using makeup to create shadows and highlights on the face. This can be used to create a more defined, chiseled look. It’s also great for highlighting certain features on your face–like cheekbones or eyes–that you want to draw attention to.

Contouring can be done with makeup, but it’s usually easiest (and most foolproof) when you have powder or bronzer on hand. You’ll want something that matches your skin tone and has some warmth in it; white powder will not work!

How to contour

To contour, you’ll need:

  • A contouring brush. You can use any brush that’s small enough to fit into the hollows of your cheeks, temples and jawline. I personally love this short dense stippling brush from Sigma Beauty because it gives me full control over where I apply my product and how much comes out of the tube at once (which is important when working with cream or powder products). If you’re looking for something more affordable, try the Real Techniques Contour Brush or the Morphing Foam Contour Brush by Eco Tools!
  • Your favorite cream or powder product in a shade that corresponds with your skintone (more on this below). We recommend using one shade lighter than your natural skin tone as a base color so that when you blend it out there won’t be any harsh lines left behind; if this sounds too light for you then just add another layer until it looks right!

How to highlight

Highlighting is a makeup technique used to make certain features stand out. Highlighting is typically applied to the cheekbones, nose and eyes. You can use it to create an instant lift or add light to your face–it’s also great for making your eye makeup pop!

To apply highlighting powder:

  • Use a large fluffy brush like the Morphe M439 Brush ($8) or Sigma F35 Tapered Highlighter Brush ($10). The brush should be large enough that it covers most of your face at once so you don’t have to go over areas more than once (which will lead to streaking).
  • Dip the tip of your highlighter into some water and then wipe off any excess liquid before applying it with a patting motion onto areas where you want more definition such as under cheekbones, along bridge of nose or above cupid’s bow on lips; repeat until desired effect is achieved!

Step 1: Prime, prime, prime.

The first step to contouring and highlighting is priming your skin. If you don’t prime, your foundation will look cakey and unnatural. Primer helps with all of the following:

  • Foundation application
  • Lasting power of your base products (foundation, concealer)
  • Blending ease of the product into your skin

Step 2: Apply a cream highlighter under cheekbones and other areas of the face you want to brighten.

Use a brush or your fingers to apply the highlighter under your cheekbones and other areas of the face you want to brighten.

Highlighters come in three forms: liquid, powder, and cream. If you choose a liquid one (like Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed), use a small brush for best results; otherwise, just dip your fingers into it and dot on where you want some extra glow!

Step 3: Apply powder contour shades that match your skin tone exactly on the areas you want to define.

Next, apply a matte contour shade that matches your skin tone exactly on the areas you want to define. Use a brush and apply with a light hand, building up slowly. You can also use a beauty blender or sponge to blend the product into your skin. Apply in small circles for optimal blendability.*

  • Note: If you’re using an actual sponge (like I like to do), make sure it’s clean!

Contouring and highlighting can help your features look more defined.

Contouring and highlighting can help you define your features. If you have a round face, contouring can make it appear thinner. And if you have a wide nose or forehead, highlighting will make them appear smaller.

Contouring and highlighting can also create a more dramatic look. If you want to look like an actress in Hollywood films, then this is the right technique for achieving that effect!

Contouring and highlighting can help make people look younger than they really are by making them look like they have been photoshopped on Instagram filters but without needing any editing tools at all!

Conclusion

We hope you’ve learned something new about contouring and highlighting. It’s a great way to enhance your features and make them look more defined. The most important thing is to practice!

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