Contouring and Highlighting

So what is highlighting and contouring? It is all about adding shape and dimension to your face. The easiest way to explain it is to use the darker shades to push features back and to use the lighter shades to bring features forward. Like all make-up contouring and highlighting can be done many different ways. How you contour and highlight is all down to your personnel make-up style. I don’t contour everyday but when I know I am going to have my picture taken I like to contour and highlight. It is very easy to look washed out in photographs, but by adding even a little contour and highlight it can bring some shape to your face.

So let me show you how I like to contour and highlight my face. I’m not saying this is the right way to do it, this is just the way I do it.


First things first you need to decide the type of products you want to use. Cream or powder? Maybe both? I am going to show you how I contour and highlight using both cream and powder products.

When doing your own contour, it is best to apply it in natural light where possible. If like me, you don’t have prominent cheekbones here are a few ways to figure out where to apply your product.

  1. Roll your brush down your cheek, it will sit in under your jaw line.
  2. Suck in your cheeks making the fish face.
  3. Apply your product from the top of the ear down towards your mouth.
  4. Stand in front of s window in natural daylight and tilt your head a little to the side, you will see your natural shadows.

Tip: If you go over board with your contour shade use your foundation brush or sponge to gently pat over. Don’t add anymore product to your brush, the leftover foundation is plenty.


It’s important to have the right tools for contouring, I have a few I like to reach for.

Nars ITA brush

Charlotte Tilbury Sculpt brush

Real Techniques Bold Metals Contour brush

Real Techniques Setting Brush

Real Techniques Contour Brush

Real Techniques Complexion Sponge

Highlight and Contour Products

NYX Highlight and Contour Palette

Maybelline Master Sculpt Palette

Charlotte Tilbury Film Star Bronze and Glow Palette

Sleek Contour kit

NYX Taupe Blush

NYX Conceal, Correct and Contour Palette

Your concealer in darker and lighter shades (not light reflecting ones for contour shades)

White foundation to lighten your current concealer

Starting with a fresh face. I have cleansed and applied my Charlotte Tilbury face mask and Magic Cream. I also prepped my lips with lip balm for my lipstick later.


I applied MAC Pro Long wear foundation, Pro Long wear concealer under my eyes and on any blemishes.

This is where I start to look crazy.. Using my Pro Long wear concealer mixed with white foundation (Veil) to lighten down about two shades. I applied this using a small brush under my eyes, down the centre of my nose, on my smile lines and on my chin. I used the darkest shade from the NYX 3c palette in light, I used the darkest shade in the middle row. With a small brush I applied the contour shade under my check bones, under my bottom lip, around my hairline, down the sides of my nose and under my jawline.

I blended all the cream products using a Real Techniques sponge, starting with the highlight. A little patience is needed while doing this step.

I used a Charlotte Tilbury Sculpt brush and applied Sculpt from the NYX contour and highlight palette. Using the same brush I applied Cream and Soft Light. I like to finish by blending everything with a duo fibre brush. This will get rid of any unwanted harsh lines. I set my face with two shades of powder. I used the lighter one under my eyes and my matching powder to set the rest.

The finished look.

I really hope you all enjoyed this post.

AnnMarie xxx




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