Step-by-step Picture Tutorial : Basic Contouring and Highlighting of the face

 

Hey everyone!

Many of you had requested a tutorial on basic face contouring so today I’m doing a simple tutorial on how you can add some definition and dimension to you face using highlighter and contouring powder.

 

Tutorial : Basic Contouring and Highlighting of the face using Makeup

Tutorial : Basic Contouring and Highlighting of the face using Makeup

 

[smartads]

 

I don’t consider myself an expert at contouring, there is a lot more you can do with a highlighter and a contouring product but I personally just use it to add some definition to my cheeks and jawline. The end result is quite subtle but nonetheless noticeable when you see the Before/After pictures. I use a sheer matte/satin bronzer (Bourjois Delice de Poudre Bronzing powder) for contouring generally and it gives warmth and glow to the face along with dimension.

For wearable contouring, its important to use a light-hand and small quantities of product, you dont want to end up with a muddy brown line across your cheeks. Using a sheer product makes it easier to keep the color intensity in control.

 

Products I have used in this Tutorial :

  • Bourjois Delice de Poudre Bronzing powder (for contouring)
  • MAC Cream Color Base : Improper Copper (highlighter)
  • MAC Blush : Melba
Tutorial : Basic Contouring and Highlighting of the face using Makeup

Tutorial : Basic Contouring and Highlighting of the face using Makeup

 

[note color=”#FFE4C4″] For those who are new to makeup and don’t know the concept behind contouring – here’s a little introduction : Contouring is basically a technique of bringing out the shape of the face or the bone structure using a slightly darker shade of powder/cream product. The contouring product is blended into the areas that are naturally hollow (in the skull) like the hollows of the cheekbones, underneath the jawline and sides of the nose. Adding a light reflecting highlighting product on the high points of the face (where there is bone underneath and where light hits first) like the cheekbones, bridge of the nose and the browbone complements contouring, bringing the shape and structure of the face into sharper focus. Contouring helps give shape and definition to the face, makes the face look a little slimmer and the bone structure more defined. [/note]

Now with the introduction in place, lets start with the tutorial.

 

Tutorial : Basic Contouring and Highlighting of the face using Makeup

Tutorial : Basic Contouring and Highlighting of the face using Makeup

 

Step 1 : Starting with the contouring of the cheeks, pull your cheeks in and start applying the contouring powder using an angled fluffy brush under your cheekbone. Imagine a line connecting the end of mouth to the top of the ear and apply the product along this line. This will add shadow and depth to the hollows of the cheekbones and give a lift to the cheek and cheekbone.

 

Tutorial : Basic Contouring and Highlighting of the face using Makeup

Tutorial : Basic Contouring and Highlighting of the face using Makeup

 

Step 2 : You can see the results of the first Step above, a faint shadow under the cheekbone. Next, with the same brush, sweep some of the product under the jawline starting from under the chin, tracing the jawbone and take it right upto where the jaw ends, under the ear. This will chisel your jawline and give a slimmer look to the face.

 

Tutorial : Basic Contouring and Highlighting of the face using Makeup

Tutorial : Basic Contouring and Highlighting of the face using Makeup

 

Step 3 & 4 : This step is optional but you can do it if you like. Using the same brush, just trace your hairline from the forehead to the top of the cheekbone. Just to ensure that the product is well blended, run the brush in the opposite direction (bottom-right) as well.

 

Tutorial : Basic Contouring and Highlighting of the face using Makeup

Tutorial : Basic Contouring and Highlighting of the face using Makeup

 

Tutorial : Basic Contouring and Highlighting of the face using Makeup

Tutorial : Basic Contouring and Highlighting of the face using Makeup

 

Step 5 : With the contouring in place, let now add some highlighter. I have applied MAC Cream Color base in Improper Copper on the cheekbone and along the bridge of the nose using my finger. Just pat it in till it blends.

 

Tutorial : Basic Contouring and Highlighting of the face using Makeup

Tutorial : Basic Contouring and Highlighting of the face using Makeup

 

Step 6 : Add some highlighter to the browbone as well. Next, add some blush to the apples of the cheeks and blend it towards the hair line. Without loading the brush with any more product, just sweep it across the cheeks a few times to ensure that the blush and contour blend seamlessly with no obvious demarcation.

 

The Finished look!

 

 

Tutorial : Basic Contouring and Highlighting of the face using Makeup

Tutorial : Basic Contouring and Highlighting of the face using Makeup

 

I’ve used a heavy hand with the products so that you can see it well in the pictures. From the Before and After pictures, you can see my face looks a little slimmer and more uplifted after the contouring and highlighting :

 

Tutorial : Basic Contouring and Highlighting of the face using Makeup

Tutorial : Basic Contouring and Highlighting of the face using Makeup

 

[note color=”#FFE4C4″] There are a lot of products you can use for contouring, a matte brown blush works well too. Just make sure the color is not more than 2 shades darker than your skin tone otherwise it will make your face look dull and muddy. You can also use a darker shade of foundation or concealer to contour. I am in the habit of using matte/low shimmerย bronzersย for contouring but am thinking of investing in a matte contouring powder soon. I would recommend the Bourjois Powder I’ve used here, its really sheer so its easy to build up and doesn’t look overdone – excellent for beginners! Make sure that your choice of contouring product does not have shimmer.

I hope you found this Tutorial useful! Do let me know in the comments if you still have any doubts.

Happy Weekend everyone ๐Ÿ™‚ [/note]

 

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26 Comments

  1. Surbhi
    September 14, 2012 / 9:25 pm

    Thanks for the tutorial Ankita ๐Ÿ™‚ i have always had problems with contouring an highlighting. i could give it a try now. yay.

  2. Shivika
    September 14, 2012 / 10:57 pm

    a really helpful tutorial!! thanks a lot ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Ish
    September 14, 2012 / 11:01 pm

    I have chubby face ๐Ÿ™ will try contouring sometime.. well which lipstick u r wearing here? very nice tut ankita

    • Corallista
      Author
      October 11, 2012 / 12:54 pm

      It is Revlon Colorburst Soft Rose ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Bidisha Sinha
    September 14, 2012 / 11:03 pm

    awesome !:)

  5. September 15, 2012 / 2:06 am

    Great tutorial! I wish Bourjois had not pulled out of the U.S. market. ๐Ÿ™

  6. Sophia
    September 15, 2012 / 4:05 am

    the difference although subtle is easily distinguishable ankita ๐Ÿ™‚ …..yeah contouring+highlighting really makes one look polished…i wish i had invested in a good bronzer-although my stila one n a brown matte blush from Jordana does help in imparting shape to my current chubby face…..can’t believe i gave up benefit hoola n got coralista instead ๐Ÿ™

  7. Deepti Aggarwal
    September 15, 2012 / 9:06 am

    Wow dear..very informative tutorial…u really explain in very simple way……thanks for sharing such a helpful tutorial..

  8. Deepti Aggarwal
    September 15, 2012 / 9:15 am

    Please tell one more thing that if we contour our face wid a dark foundation, then weill use it before applying base foundn or after that…i m confused..

    • Corallista
      Author
      September 15, 2012 / 11:48 am

      You will use the contour after your base foundation.

  9. September 15, 2012 / 10:10 am

    Very nicely done n the step -by-step images r super helpful. Really wanna know which lippie u have on here? It’s lovely! Plus, what brand of brushes do u use?

    • Corallista
      Author
      September 15, 2012 / 11:18 am

      Hi Nafisa, I’m wearing Revlon Colorburst Soft Rose here. The brush I have used here is from a brand called Powder Mary, it was a gift from abroad so not sure of its availability/price. For the face, I use a mix of brushes, I have an Inglot foundation brush (21T), MAC 188, The Body Shop face and body brush and for blush I use the Powder Mary brushes.

      • Nafisa
        September 15, 2012 / 2:01 pm

        TBS face n body brush is simply heavenly na? Have never heard of Powder Mary though. Thanks for replying Ankita ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. September 15, 2012 / 11:16 am

    Waow!! Very nice and easy tutorial!! ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ Well,,I already own Bourjois bronze powder..n it really does gice a subtle yet impressive contouring!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. nids
    September 15, 2012 / 11:47 am

    Before & After looks clears the diference.. very nice tutorial… ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. September 15, 2012 / 7:14 pm

    great post…but in such tutorials It would really help if you can put up pictures of the full face…esp in before and after pics to see the difference because of conturing…As I have never done contouring before I am unable to figure out what exactly ins the difference apart from the fact that the after pic looks a little orange

    • Corallista
      Author
      October 11, 2012 / 12:53 pm

      Hi Divya, the full face shots come overexposed, the side shot shows the effect better. If you notice the jawline, you can see that the contouring makes my face look chiseled and slimmer.

  13. September 15, 2012 / 8:25 pm

    Great tutorial as always Ankita:)

  14. reena
    September 15, 2012 / 8:55 pm

    thanks so much for doing this!!
    very helpful tips!

  15. jyoti
    September 15, 2012 / 11:43 pm

    woww ! very helpful ! just little offtrack, few months back my mum was watching this soap uttaran. lady named tapasya had a chiseled face, nose, lips, jaw line…cut to today, we were watching jhalak dikhla ja and the same lady is one of the contestants. i can clearly make out how contouring was done to her face a few minths back in the soap. she looked completely different…do check out on youtube! any thoughts?

  16. shivangi
    September 16, 2012 / 1:14 pm

    Luved the tute!!!

  17. reena
    September 17, 2012 / 9:13 am

    just wondering..have u ever tried an eyeshadow as a highlighter?

    • Corallista
      Author
      October 11, 2012 / 12:51 pm

      Yes I have! You’ll see in the tutorial I am posting right now ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. September 5, 2013 / 3:38 pm

    Hi I just started using makeup and invested in MAC studio fix foundation NC44 & studio fix powder NC43.5 and a concealer so far I am okay with makeup. However I am confused with using highligthers & contouring creams. I have an uneven skin tone. The upper part of my forehead has pigmentation & along the sides of my temples. also have uneven tone on the sides of my lower lips and I have dark circles under my eyes. Must I use a contouring cream on these areas? and can I use my concealer for contouring?
    Do you do the highlighting & contouring after you put on your liquid foundation or before? When done can I set it with a pressed powder.
    Last question my family says that my liquid foundation NC44 looks too dark on me. I am medium skin tone ( Indian ) What shade would you recommend in the MAC product range?

    • Corallista
      Author
      October 29, 2013 / 4:33 pm

      You can use a concealer definitely for contouring. But for under eyes, I won’t recommend using a contouring cream. Use a peach toned corrector for under eyes and areas around the lips etc. under foundation. You can also use 2 shades of foundation – a darker one for a periphery of your face and a lighter shade for the rest of your shade. Highlighting and contouring is done after foundation. And yes you can set it with pressed ot loose powder.

      You could check out MAC Matchmaster range. I’m not sure which shade would work for you since I’ve never seen you. I suggest you get a few sample shades from MAC and try them out at home before purchasing a full sized bottle.

  19. k
    April 16, 2014 / 10:27 pm

    thank you for this! btw, you’re really pretty ๐Ÿ™‚

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