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Contouring and highlighting! Is it really worth it?

Updated on March 9, 2015

What is contouring and highlighting?

  • Contouring has gained a lot of attention over the past year or so, but it’s actually a trick that make-up artists have been using for a long time. Using two different hues of strategically applied, thoroughly blended face make-up, you can define your bone structure.
  • (Contour will make your nose appear smaller, cheekbones more pronounced, jaw more angular, forehead smaller, and eyes bigger.) With practice, you can change the shape of your face with make-up.
  • Contouring and highlighting has been seen on many celebrities, especially Kim Kardashian who make-up artists and individuals have been trying to copy.
  • Many beauty bloggers have tried many ways in trying this look, and through this Hub, you will be able to try it too!

So what will you need?

It is essential that you have all the right equipment and make-up ready to start highlighting and contouring! The first few times you try to contour may not go right, but with a little practice, I'm sure you will get the right structure to your face.

You will need:

  • Correct brushes - It's essential to have the right brushes as this will allow for a flawless finish as well as the right blending on the skin. It's better to get a two in one brush, as it's more efficient, however, the ELF make-up brush set is amazing for variety in the brushes that you will need!
  • Matte make-up - Use matte foundation, powder, concealer, bronzer and blushas it is meant to look airbrushed. Only when you are highlighting should you use a shimmery product.
    I personally recommend MAC, Rimmel and ELF make-up as it allows for a flawless finish in your contouring look!
  • The right colours -Contouring creates a shadow effect, so use the correct types of browns suitable for you skin tone, otherwise it may look too dark, or it may not be seen at all!
  • Natural daylight - Natural daylight will make it so much easier to see your make-up look! If the look is created in darkness then the colours may appear too light or too dark, which may or may not suit your skin tone. You may also not notice any blending that you've missed out, which would be embarrassing walking out the door with patches of brown!
  • Contour and highlight correctly - I will be showing you how to contour and highlight in a second, however, it's better to start of soft and gradually build up the product. A tip is to get two different shades of foundation to make the process easier, however that is up to you!

Before and after!

This photo clearly show the before and after process of contouring and highlighting and how it can have a massive impact on your appearance and confidence!
This photo clearly show the before and after process of contouring and highlighting and how it can have a massive impact on your appearance and confidence! | Source

So, let's crack on with how to contour and highlight!

  • Firstly, use a foundation 2 shades lighter than your skin tone to highlight! For the contouring use a low or non-shimmer bronzer. After that, set with powder as this will prevent the foundation from going anywhere!
  • Next, contour around the hairline to warm the face and shorten the forehead. The picture that I posted before can be used as a help guide to aid you in where to highlight and contour!
  • Then, contour one inch above the temple to add depth to the face.
  • You can then contour the underside of the cheekbone to strengthen your bone structure!
  • Next, contour under the jaw line to add definition and slim the face.
  • Contour the sides of the nose on both sides to make it appear slim and add definition!
  • Next, contour on each side of the nose to shape it and shorten it in length.
  • After the contouring is done, you can start to highlight the face!
  • Firstly, highlight between the brows where a furrow may appear.
  • Next, highlight under the eyebrow arch to lift the brow and brighten the eyes.
  • Then, highlight the high point of the cheekbone to define the cheek.
  • Then, highlight creases that create shadows such as in the nasal fold area.
  • Then, highlight the bridge of your nose to lighten the face, and avoid the tip.

This guide is just a basic guide to highlighting and contouring, which is short and sweet and does the job amazingly!

You can also add some blush. Blush should be added just above the contour on the cheek bones and just below the highlighting above it!

This is the guide I use to contour and highlight as it's simple to understand and works on almost anyone!

How can contouring and highlighting be made any easier?

There are already made kits available that are perfect for many different skin tones! This is an example which is made by Smash box! These are handy to carry around and have a good range of colours to use, however, they will not suit everyone!
There are already made kits available that are perfect for many different skin tones! This is an example which is made by Smash box! These are handy to carry around and have a good range of colours to use, however, they will not suit everyone! | Source

My opinion!

Personally, I believe that with the right process, right make-up and brushes, anyone is able to contour and highlight perfectly!

At first I wasn't sure what the whole hype was about, but when I tried it on myself, I was amazed at how my face looked, especially my nose! I hate my nose and it made it look slimmer and more defined which I loved!

I believe that with this process, anyone can look amazingly defined and like a celebrity rocking the dance floor!

The make-up you use doesn't even have to be expensive in order for you to achieve your goal!

Contouring and highlighting looks amazing on any skin tone, I just think that individuals need to know what skin tone they have an adapt to that by picking suitable make-up!

Personally, I'm happy that I was introduced to it because it can make your face look flawless and well defined! If the make up is over done, then it is very obvious and doesn't look as natural and amazing!

Influence on celebrities!

This shows how perfectly Kim Kardashian's skin is contoured and highlighted, making her face seem more defined and slimmer! It highlights her face in all the right areas and makes her look stunning!
This shows how perfectly Kim Kardashian's skin is contoured and highlighted, making her face seem more defined and slimmer! It highlights her face in all the right areas and makes her look stunning! | Source

Some pro's and con's!

Pro's:

  • Anyone can do it!
  • It's not too expensive
  • The look can easily highlight and define your face
  • It's on trend!
  • It's great for nights out and events!

Cons:

  • Some kits can be expensive to buy, if they are branded
  • It can take a lot of time sometimes
  • The colours within highlighting and contouring kits may not suit your skin perfectly due to individual differences
  • If not blended properly, the look is obvious and doesn't look right


An amazing video which shows you how to contour and highlight!

What colour products to use for your skin tone!

Fair
Medium
Dark
Use a white highlight powder
Use a white highlight powder
Use a white highlight powder
Use a honey coloured contour
Use a warm almond contour
Use a chestnut coloured contour
Use a pale pink blush
Use a rose blush
Use a plum blush
This table shows the colour highlight, contour and blush you should use to suit your skin tone! Obviously this table won't apply to everyone but it gives you a rough idea in order to achieve your flawless look! I hope this simple table makes it easy

What brushes should you use?

This picture shows the types of brushes you should use and the purpose of each of the brushes! This really helps with the process to create precision and a great flawless finish!
This picture shows the types of brushes you should use and the purpose of each of the brushes! This really helps with the process to create precision and a great flawless finish! | Source

Thank you!

Thank you for reading my hub and taking your own time to sit down and go though it! I hope that this helps you to learn how to highlight and contour your face perfectly! :D

Your opinion!

Do you think that highlighting and contouring is worth it?

See results

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    • punkmarkgirl profile image

      Ashley Bergin 2 years ago from san francisco

      Great article! I definitely agree that going through the contouring/highlighting process is worth it. I do it on a minimal scale for work every day, to slim the sides of my nose and help my round face look a bit more narrow. But when I go all out and take time with each step, the transformation is amazing! I suppose if you have perfect features, there wouldn't be much need for it. But I don't - so this makeup technique is something I will continue to use!

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