How to contour your face | step by step guide

How to contour your face

I’m sharing my tips on how to contour your face.  Follow my simple step-by-step pictogram to apply blush, bronzer and highlighter to illuminate and contour your face.

How to contour your face 

First, let’s talk about why you might want to learn how to contour your face.

Dark colours recede, light colours advance and colour draws attention.  Using your cheekbone as an example, a pop of colour on the cheekbone using blush draws the eye to the area. Using bronzer under the cheekbone to create a shadow enhances the cheekbone.  Applying a highlighter above the cheekbone advances the area (and reflects light).  Et voila, instant cheekbones!

Blush – adds colour and enhances your cheekbones.  An instant prettifier.

Bronzer – creates shadows and definition, which creates a receding visual illusion.

Highlighter – creates reflective light and draws attention to an area.


How to contour your face

A simple day face utilising bronzer and highlighter


How to contour your face | blush tips

Step one in the how to contour your face lesson is blush.

Using blush is a great way to contour your face by adding a pretty flush of colour to the widest and highest part of your face – your cheekbones.

Stay away from the apples of the cheeks – the full fleshy part.  Adding colour here can make you look like a pink chipmunk.  Unless that’s the look you’re after, you want to go a little higher and more towards your ears.

Using a blush brush, pat a little blush on the top of your cheekbones, near your ears. Feel with your fingers to find the right spot.  You don’t want to bring the colour further towards the centre of your face than the centre of your eye.

A pretty peachy pink is beautiful for a natural day makeup look. You might be surprised to find that an orange blush – yes, really – is universally flattering and lifts your look.


How to contour your face | bronzer tips

Learning how to apply bronzer is step two in the how to contour your face lesson.

There is a common mistake many women make when applying bronzing products – and it’s a pretty scary one.  Bronzing powder isn’t a foundation powder – for the love of makeup, don’t apply it all over the face.  Bronzer is the perfect product to contour your face, not give you a fake tan.

Let’s talk about how to apply bronzer.  Add bronzer where the sun would naturally hit your face.  Apply a little to a powder brush, and give it a good tap or three to remove excess product.  Starting at the temple, swoop the brush in a 3 shape to under the cheekbone, back to the ear and then under the jawline.  Reverse on the opposite side of the face.

When applying under the cheekbone, first touch your face.  Feel where your cheekbone is and apply the bronzer just under the cheekbone back towards the ears.  It’s only a couple of centimetres, not the whole cheek.  This will create a shadow to visually pop your cheekbone.

Contouring brings out features of the face like the cheekbones,  and can work to visually slim the face by creating shadows.  A touch of bronzing powder under the jawline can help define an area that often needs a little bit of help.

Pinch the brush together to narrow it and add a tiny bit on either side of the bridge of your nose.  Again, this creates shadowing to narrow the nose.  I use this trick when I’ve got sinus!

How to contour your face | highlighter tips

The third and final step is highlighter, which concludes our how to contour your face lesson.

Highlighter, or luminiser, comes in liquid, cream or powder forms.  Personally, I prefer to use a pressed powder highlighter as I can get more control over placement.  However, I also love to play with liquid highlighter.

Like bronzer, it shouldn’t be applied all over the face.  Just where you want to add a little shine and make your skin look angelically dewy and glowing.

Again, like bronzer, add a little to a brush and tap off the excess.  If using a liquid or cream, you can use a brush or your fingers.  When using creams and liquids, tap, tap, tap the product gently onto your face.

When using powder highlighter on a brush, Apply in a C shape along the hairline from the centre of the forehead towards the top of the ear and then on top of the cheekbone.  Repeat on the other side.  A little highlighting powder under the eyebrow will show off your arches and open up the eyes.

I always tap a little down the bridge of my nose and on my chin.  Finally, a little highlighting powder applied to the cupid’s bow will make your lips appear plumper and more full.  A tiny bit in the corners of the eyes is a great way to open up the eyes and reflect light from dark circles.

I also use my highlighter to help disguise my pigmentation patches under my eyes.  After applying my foundation and undereye concealer, I bring my blush quite high up on my cheekbones – never on my actual cheeks – which helps to hide the pigmentation.  Patting a little highlighter over the top – the bottom half of the C shape – is like adding an Instagram filter to my face.  The highlighting powder adds a blurring light-diffusing effect.

The trick with highlighter is to choose one which gives you a subtle gleam, not make you glitter like a disco ball.  You want people to comment on your beautiful glowing skin, not think you’ve come off second best in a fight with a fairy princess.

With all of these products, the trick is to blend, blend, blend.  You want to look naturally gorgeous, not as though you’ve been painted by numbers!


How to contour your face | beauty product essentials

How to Contour Your Face Essential beauty products

Shop My Style | bargain beauty buys 

Priceline || Natio Mineral Face Illuminator $17.95 | Rimmel Sunshimmer Maxi Bronzing Powder $19.95 | Bourjois Blush $20 |Australis High Lights Mineral Face Highlighter creme $14.95

Shop My Style | luxury beauty buys

David Jones ||  Clinique Blushing Blush Powder Blush $49 | Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Powder Bronzer $58 | BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Compact $60 | BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector $66


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  • Lisa Mckenzie - 27 May 2014 - 3.02 pm

    I am going to give these tips a go , thanks for sharing Kimba xxReplyCancel

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