How You Can Master the Art of Contouring


To know how to shape and contour the face is a vital aspect of makeup as all cosmetics applications include basic contouring and shaping on some level. Anyways, to a lot of people, the possibility of doing it at home appears distant and verges on excessively unreliable. People simply do not trust their own selves when it comes to contouring their own or anybody else’s face at home while applying makeup.  What they don’t know is that contouring is quite easy. In fact, it’s easier than they can actually imagine. “Fundamentally, all makeup is shaping and contouring,” says Los Angeles-based makeup artist Brande Bytheway. “You accentuate your natural features when you contour. That is it! It’s no rocket science!” Below mentioned are some amazing tips and tricks which will help you master the art of contouring and forming a perfect visage the next time you go somewhere out with your makeup on.

Although the tricks might be similar, the result will be different depending on the shape of the face and features of every individual. The only thing which will help you master the art of contouring is practice, practice and some more practice. Try the basics, act on your intuition, play around and see what will work best on your face. It’s nothing complicated. Just needs a bit of practice and that’s all.

There are two main techniques to contouring; lowlighting and highlighting. The lowlighting technique refers to the use of a darker color on the area of the face or the feature that one wants to deemphasize or recede. It’s essential that you use a tone/hue which is at least three shades darker than your own actual skin tone. Also you need to use a product which is matte, not shimmery or frosty. Highlighting is the exact opposite of lowlighting. You highlight areas which you want to make prominent or bring forward. When it comes to highlighting, you can use matte, shimmery or even frosted colors, depending on whatever you like or prefer.

Here’s a quick guide to contouring your cheeks, nose, eyes and the jaw. For this contouring tutorial, powder shadows and sculpting kits from a reputable brand were used.

Contouring Your Face


The first thing that you need to contour is your cheekbones. You should start by receding or de-emphasizing the hollow of your cheeks – the place right underneath your cheekbone. Here, you need to apply the darker shades to lowlight the area. Always use an angled medium or a large brush for lowlighting the cheekbone hollows.

Remember every area that will be lowlighted will need to be highlighted to balance out the effect. After you recede the hollow of your cheekbones, you will need to counter that area by making your cheekbones stand out. For this, you can use a frosted gloss or a light toned shadow powder and blush it along your cheekbones. You will need to blend the shadow up towards your temple to achieve the full effect.


Here is a basic strategy that you can use to slim down the nose just a bit. But remember this will not work on every face. You should use the same tone of the shade you used to lowlight your cheeks. For this, you will start at the inner corners of your brows and apply downwards on either sides of your nose.

The highlight will then be applied downwards on the bridge of the nose. You should always use a matte product to highlight the nose. Nobody wants the T-zone to look shiny, so stay away from shimmers. Then, blend the two tones together using a brush.


If you want to contour your eyes, start with lowlighting the crease of your eyelid and blend well. Then, use a highlighting tone to counter the lowlight and apply that along the brow bone with a brush.


To contour your jaw, apply the darker shadow along the jawline, just below your jaw. This is the place where your jaw meets your neck. You will have to blend the shadow well with a clean brush towards the neck so that you don’t get a line here.

After lowlighting, you will need to highlight the top of your jawline and then blend well. Do not go all the way to the chin. Highlight along the mandible, on the sides. If you go all the way to your chin, it will make the chin look bigger as if it’s jutting forwards in a way you’ll never want it to be.

This basic guide to master the art of contouring will help you slim down and shape your own face in a better way. Now you can prep up for that amazing party all by yourself and look your best without having to spend hundreds of dollars on makeup artists who doesn’t know what to do with your face.


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