Hi lovelies! Today I'm going to be sharing one of my favorite makeup tricks with you guys- highlighting and contouring! What is highlighting and contouring you may ask? It's a technique used by nearly every celebrity, model, and industry professional designed to bring light to certain features on your face while creating a shadow effect on others. Essentially, the goal is to create an illusion with makeup that draws attention to specific areas while diminishing the look of others.
Once you've mastered the basics of highlight and contour, you can make your nose smaller, your cheekbones more defined, your eyes brighter, and so much more. Basically, by the time we're done here you're going to look like you came straight off the runway! So without further adieu, let's get started!
Before you can start to highlight and contour, you'll need the proper makeup to do the job right. To highlight, you'll need a powder, cream, or liquid that is at least one shade lighter than your skin. Keep in mind, it should not be white no matter how fair you are, as that will come off looking too harsh. Contouring will require makeup that is at least one shade darker than your skin tone. I typically use a matte bronzer, as shimmery ones do not create a realistic shadowing on the face. Here are a few recommendations at various price points:
Benefit High Beam- $26
Hard Candy So Baked Bronzer in Tiki- $9 (I know it says bronzer, but this baked powder comes out so light and shimmery that it is definitely more of a highlighter!)
I've discovered a lot of my all-time favorite products for highlighting and contouring by subscribing to Birchbox. It's $10 for makeup box filled with a personalized mix of full-size and sample products from some seriously amazing brands! If you want to try out new products on the cheap, I highly recommend giving Birchbox a try! Click here to learn more!
Once you have the proper makeup, you're ready to start highlighting and contouring! Here's a breakdown of all the areas of the face I like to use this technique on, step-by-step:
|For more visual girls out there like me, here is a diagram I created to map out where to apply highlighter (cream), blush (pink), and contour (bronze).|
- Start by applying your favorite blush. Concentrate the majority of the product on the apples of your cheeks, but also work any leftover product back towards your jawline for a more natural effect.
- Apply highlighter right above the apples of your cheeks, following the natural line of your cheekbones.
- Create a more defined, angular look by applying contour color to the hollows of your cheekbones. If you're having trouble finding the hollow line, just suck in like you're making a fish face.
Extra Credit- Pull the contour color you just applied up into the sides of your forehead and down onto your jawline. This will create a "3" looking shape with the contour and works wonders to slim out your entire face.
- Apply highlight color down the very center of your nose. The slimmer the line, the more narrow your nose will look.
- Use contour color on each side of the bridge of your nose. I like to start from the tip of my nose and work my way up, as I find that makes it easier to ensure a straight line. If you have a bump in your nose or anything else you'd like to recede, be sure to go right over it with your contour product.
- Blend, blend, blend! I like to blend the contour color down the sides of my nose, just to make sure there are no obvious lines left.
- To look bright and wide awake, apply highlighter to the inner corners of your eyes and right below your brows.
And there you have it! I use this trick all the time, so I'm glad I finally got around to sharing it with you guys! Hope it helped! If you have any questions or highlight and contour tricks of your own you'd like to share, feel free to leave a comment down below! ♥