Contouring 101

You've probably heard of the makeup trend called highlighting and contouring, but have you ever tried it? Highlighting and contouring is actually not a new makeup technique, but with our fascination with celebrities and youtube tutorials suddenly everyone wants to know how to use this makeup trick on themselves.  This is our Contouring 101 guide to help you understand how to use highlighting and contouring to enhance your already beautiful features! 

Highlighting and contouring helps to highlight your natural features and make your face look more three-dimensional in photos.

Highlighting and contouring are used in conjunction with one another to enhance the three-dimensional look of your facial features in person, in photos and on video. Highlighting is the technique used to make features protrude and contouring is used to make features recede. It is different for everyone and there no "1 step guide"; however, this article will give you a little guidance and basic understanding for how this makeup trick can be done at home. 

Step 1 - Gather your tools and makeup.  You will need a highlighting color which can either be a few shades lighter than your skin, or some sort of illuminator/highlighter product, a contouring color which is a color a few shades darker than your skin and makeup brushes.

Step 2 - Identify your face shape: The first step is to identify which face shape you have: round, oval, square, heart, or oblong. Hold your hair back and look at your face in the mirror to determine which shape best represents your face. 

Apply the highlight and contour as described for each face shape below. The key is to blend the highlight and contour so that it looks somewhat natural, but not to blend it completely so that you can't see it.

  • Long shaped face (oval and oblong): Use highlighter on the center of the forehead, below the eyes, on the cheekbones, and on the chin,. Contour below cheekbones, and on the outter rim of the forehead just slightly.
  • Round shaped face: Use highlighter on the center of the forehead, center of the face and chin.  Contour the sides and top of the forehead, under the cheekbones and along the jawline. 
  • Square shaped face: Highlight the middle of the forehead, tops of the cheekbones, and chin.  Contour the temples, below the cheekbones and the outer lower jaw line. 
  • Heart shaped face: Highlight the middle of the forehead, cheekbones, chin and outer jaw line. Contour the near the temples, and under the cheekbones.

Remember, this is a basic guideline for highlighting and contouring your face.  For a more thorough analysis and to see how highlighting and contouring can truly enhance or even transform your look, book a makeup appointment with a StyleInGo professional makeup artist for your next big event!