5 Simple Steps- Highlight and Contour your Face Shape

The first rule is to remember that highlight and contour an area emphasizes a feature. Shadowing an area minimizes it. Highlighting uses colors that are a shade or more light than a person’s natural skin tone, while shadowing uses darker shades. The second rule is that the ideal face should be oval shaped, approximately three-fourths wide as it is long.
Contouring is a makeup technique in which you use Colour darker than your skin tone to create natural shadows in the face, giving a more defined, sculpted appearance.

Highlighting is an exactly opposite where shade lighter to your skin tone is used to uplift features.
Proper highlight and contour can completely transform your bone structure.

Not everyone needs to contour- if you feel that you already have prominent features or that your face is thin, it is best to skip contouring as you may appear too “chiseled”.
While contouring, choose foundation 2 shades darker than your skin tone and 2 shades lighter for highlighting.

5 Steps to Highlight and Contour Application Technique: 

Use a light hand while contouring, especially around the nose area. Less is more!
Blend out any harsh edges so it really looks like a natural shadow and if you have beautiful dark skin, just stick to highlighting.

How to contour and highlight your face?

Step 1- Apply skin care and Foundation to face and neck
Step 2-Set Lightly with Powder through the T-zone of the face
Step 3- With your highlighting product applies the light color onto the high planes of the face.

  • Tops of the cheekbones
  • Brow bones
  • Down the bridge of the nose 
  • The Bow of the lip

 Step 4-Then with your contour color, apply the darker color to the shadows of your face » Under your cheekbones » Into the sockets of your eyes and out to your temples.

Step 5-Make sure the colors are blended well and into each other for the seamless skin!

Know your face shape and follow Highlighting & contouring application techniques 

For Highlighting & Contouring Face shape is always the first consideration. We have already studied face shapes in the Facial anatomy chapter. So we are aware of the basic face shapes like Oval, round, Squared, Heart-shaped (wide forehead, narrow jaw), Diamond-shaped (wide cheekbones) and Oblong (a long and narrow face).

The goal is to make the face as oval and as proportionate as possible. Corrective makeup takes the face shapes into consideration and uses highlighting and shadowing to add width where it is needed, or to conceal excess width.

Oval Face:

Highlight and contour your face like a makeup artist

  • An oval face shape is perfectly symmetrical. The eyes are separated by an eye’s length; the forehead is wider than the lower face. This bone structure works with just about any makeup look.
  • An oval face needs is a Bronzer in a “3” shape from the forehead to cheekbones and then to the chin in order to accentuate the ideal features that the face already has. This face shape can pull off the latest trends and colors very easily.
  • Next are eyebrows. Arched brows can give a more oval shape. So follow the natural shape of brow bones and tweeze that way.
  • While doing makeup for eyes or lips, concentrate on any one feature, either eyes or lips keeping the other simple.



Round face:

How to contour and highlight your face?

  • The round face is circular. It appears to be short and wide rather than long and narrow. Often called a full face, it is characterized by a rounded hairline and chin line as well.
  • The objective is to slenderize the face, which can be done by applying a darker foundation on the sides of the face, thus shadowing excess width and creating the illusion of extra length.
  • Highlight the forehead, area under the eyes and the chin to draw attention to the center of your face.
    A blush can be applied just beneath the cheekbones in order to give them definition or apply it directly to the apples of the cheeks to accentuate their perfect shape.
  • To apply the blush in upward strokes to give a slimming effect.
  • A little care needs to be taken regarding the colors as bright colors only accentuate the roundness of the face.


Rectangle shaped face:

How to contour and highlight your face?

  • It is usually characterized by a broad, straight forehead and hairline, with a broad, square jawline.
  • Contouring can be used to soften the angularity and reduce the width, shading the area directly below the cheekbones and blending toward the center of the jawline aids in reducing width.
  • Apply blush in a rounded shape on the apples of the cheeks, make sure that you sweep the makeup brush upward towards the temples to create a more symmetrical shape




Pear-shaped face:

  • It is characterized by a wide jaw and narrow forehead.
  • The goal is to create width at the forehead, using highlighting, and to slenderize the jaw by shadowing.
  • Contouring can be used to reduce the width at the bottom of the face. Because the forehead is smaller than the jaw area, it is necessary to add shading directly on the cheekbone and to deepen the natural fullness on the sides of the face.

Oblong face:

How to contour and highlight your face?

  • The oblong (rectangular) face shape tends to be long, narrow and angular.
  • This face, which is basically an elongated oval, can be visually shortened by applying deeper tones under the chin This face needs width the most, so lighter colors are used.
  • Make your eyelashes look bigger and more dramatic by using double curling (before and after use of mascara) or you may even experiment with darker false lashes.
  • So contouring across the lower section of the chin and horizontally at the hairline and temples help to shorten the face length.
  • Try to keep lips minimum and rosy pink, they look the best and wide, to make face appear fuller.
  • Coming to the nose, like for oval face you do a sideshadowing. Here do a top shadowing technique, do not use shadowing on sides of nose, let it remain covered in foundation. Sweep the top of nose bone with a bronzer.
  • Blush should be applied to the apples of the cheek to widen your face.

Heart-shaped Face:

How to contour and highlight your face?

  • A wider forehead with a narrow jawline and chin line characterize a heart-shaped face.
  • Width across the forehead can be minimized by contouring or shading while the jawline can be widened with highlighting.
  • Contouring is not required on the lower part of this face shape, because it naturally diminishes in size.

However, due to the wideness in the forehead, contouring along the temples will reduce the appearance of excessive width.




Diamond-shaped face:

How to contour and highlight your face?

  • It is identified by predominant width through the cheekbones that are contrasted by a narrow forehead and chin and jaw area.
  • Width through the cheekbones can be minimized with contouring and the jaw and forehead can be made to look wider with highlighting.
  • Contouring is necessary to reduce the high points of the forehead and the extended portion of the chin to create balance.






Products Used for Highlight and Contour

Contouring – A darker powder/cream/concealer/foundation or bronzer that is 2 shades darker than your skin tone:

I personally feel that bronzers and face powders are great to work with. You don’t want to use a shimmery, warm, orange-toned bronzer because you’re trying to create a shadow and a natural effect like your face is naturally sculpted & shimmery. Concealers and foundations have a very creamy consistency, hence require a bit more blending with a sponge as well as with a stippling brush to make the contour look most natural.

Highlighter: A powder or cream formula will look great as a highlighter. Highlighters are every makeup artist’s secret trick. You’ll love using it once you learn about its placement.

There are two types of product for Contouring:


1.Powdered-based contour 2.Cream-based contour
powered-based-contour Cream based contour

7 Tips and Tricks

There are some tips and tricks which you need to know while applying the highlighter and contour on your face. We love doing makeups and it has become an essential part for all women who are Instagram influencers or famous celebrities. 

Highlighting and contouring tips and tricks

  1.  Use a dabbing or stippling technique to cover any blemish or mark (concealing)
  2.  Blending is the best way to get a flawless finish to foundation
  3.  Light colors come forward, and Dark colors go back. You can bring forward you’re best featured by highlighting! And hide what you don’t like by Contouring
  4.  Using powder products will give you a more natural matte look.
  5.  Using creamy products to highlight and contour will give you a more fresh and dewy look.
  6.  Start by Highlighting FIRST. Sometimes when you do this, you won’t need as much contouring. It will stop it from being heavy.
  7.  Finishing off your makeup with a simple sparkly highlight onto the high planes of the face can add extra glamour

Thank you for Visiting www.Fashionindeed.com. I hope you liked our post on highlighting and contouring for beginners. Share your views down below in the comment section, share what is your face shape and also comment if you still have any doubt.



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