How to Highlight and Contour Like a Pro

How to Highlight and Contour Your Face Like a Pro Makeup Artist | | best contouring tips, contoured makeup

Highlighting and contouring is no new subject to the blogosphere. If you’re on Instagram or Youtube, chances are you’ve seen more tutorials than one can count. I typically wouldn’t write about this kind of thing due to its popularity. However, after my Armani trip to The Hamptons, I felt so inspired by the new techniques I learned from the brilliant makeup artists in the Armani masterclasses. I have been using them since and love the final effect. I’m going to be sharing those tricks with you, so you can achieve better cheekbones. Here’s how to highlight and contour like a pro:

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The Technique

So we all know that the purpose of highlighting and contouring is to add dimension to the face by making your cheekbones pop and skin glow. It also helps create the illusion of a slimmer face. As a general rule of thumb, dark, contour colors make areas recede and highlight colors bring features forward.

How to Highlight and Contour Your Face Like a Pro Makeup Artist | | best contouring tips, contoured makeup

Step 1: Foundation

The first step before adding dimension to your face is to even out your complexion. You start that by applying a foundation of your choice. My go-to is the Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. The texture is weightless and easy to blend. You’ll end up with blurred imperfections. I learned in The Hamptons that you can get the most natural effect by applying it with your fingers and mixing two shades. At this time, I also like to apply my concealer – love this one by Laura Mercier!

Step 2: Highlight

One of my favorite tips that I picked up is to apply highlighter immediately after foundation. Most people like to apply their contour first, but reversing the steps will give you the most natural look. I personally feel that highlighter can sometimes be too strong during the day, but I can get away with it using this technique.

Highlighter should be placed on the high points of your cheeks, nose bridge, and cupid’s bow. I don’t apply highlighter all the way down my nose bridge because it can look too intense. I usually concentrate it on the tip of my nose and between my eyes where the bridge starts.

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How to Highlight and Contour Your Face Like a Pro Makeup Artist | | best contouring tips, contoured makeup

Step 3: Contour

After highlighter comes the contour. Some prefer powder while others prefer a cream texture. I like both – it just depends on the day, but some of my favorites are by Tom Ford, Armani, and Nars. You want to push and blend the product into the hollows of your cheeks, along the jawline and temples. Make sure that it’s well blended by using the right tools such as a beauty blender or fluffy brush.

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Step 4: Blush

The last step is blush because that’s how you tie the highlight and contour together. You want to apply blush to the apples of your cheeks and then blend up and out. The key is to take your time blending so that everything looks seamless. Then, step back and look in the mirror to make sure everything looks smooth. This will help you determine if you need more color or more blending.

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That’s basically how I highlight and contour. It’s super easy and fast to do. What are some of your tips for highlighting and contouring?

How to Highlight and Contour Your Face Like a Pro Makeup Artist | | best contouring tips, contoured makeup

How to Highlight and Contour Like a Pro
  • Such a sweet and chic makeup look … always a beautiful vision! 🌷👍🏼🌷

    🌸🍃ROSES FOR FRIDAYS 🌸🍃| by mia | A Creative Lifestyle Blog

    • Thank you Mia!! I love sharing makeup techniques.

  • Ivana Džidić

    great countouring guide dear!

    • Thanks Ivana! Would you like to see more on makeup? ;)

  • Darling you are so lovely in these photos! Even if this was taken in pitch blackness you would still shine through! Blush is personally my favorite one of the three for I feel it is very feminine and brings so much life back into you after applying foundation and concealer! I could work with any type of blush – my favorite is the Marc Jacobs Air Flush Blush in the shade Flush and Fantasy! Highlighter is probably my least favorite because I find with my more oily skin I start shining easily ;) but if I do wear it I love dampening a beauty blender and as you applying it right after my foundation and concealer! Looks the most natural and part of the skin! xx

    • Hi Isabella, yes sometimes oil production can intensify highlighter so it may not even be necessary. I do love blush and I forgot to mention Marc Jacobs! The line does carry some of my favorite colors!