Define your features by highlighting/contouring!

Today I bring you a little makeup tutorial that will help you instantly bring dimension and light to your already glorious (or maybe tired) complexion!

Wouldn’t we all love to fake cheekbones like these?

We all use blush and bronzer, but learning the method behind how to maximize its uses will really help you bring out your features!

We’re going to do something called highlighting and contouring. Through my studies in makeup (this includes stage makeup classes in college), I’ve learned in that if you wanted to pull something in (i.e. define cheekbones) or create a shadow, you use a dark color, and if you want to add light (normally where light would naturally hit the face), you use a light color. Most importantly, you want to add shadows where they naturally would hit the face, and add highlights where light would naturally hit the face!

Here’s what you need:
– Contour Powder / Bronzer (I use MAC’s Matte Bronze)
– Highlighting Cream / Powder / Liquid (I use Benefit High Beam or MAC Pigment in Vanilla)
– Blush (whatever’s your favorite)

If you don’t have a highlighting powder/liquid, you can always use a light/pearly eyeshadow!

Now, let’s take a look at my face after foundation and concealer.
 Okay, looks good and my complexion has been evened out but it’s very flat. Faces have natural shadows and highlights, and we need to add those back in.
The first thing you want to do is add shadows back in. You will want to apply your bronzer around your temples, in the hollows of your cheekbones, on either sides of your nose, and underneath your jaw. Be very light-handed with your brush, otherwise it might turn a little freak show-ish. I like using a matte bronzer for this a lot of the time because I don’t want to overdo it with the sparkles (since my highlighter and blush are luminous).
 I know it looks very slight, but it already is looking less flat, right?
After that, you want to use your highlighting powder/liquid/cream. Basically, something that is light and has a little pearly-ness to it. I love Benefit High Beam because it blends really well and a little goes a long way. You’ll want to apply this above your brows, down the bridge of your nose, the tops of your cheekbones, your cupid’s bow (the little area above your lips), and your chin.
Here’s where I apply my highlighter, unblended. I figured this visual would help. Very war paint looking. Ha.
Finally, take your blush (today I’m wearing Nars Orgasm) and apply on the apples of your cheeks. Set it all with your finishing powder (I used Bobbi Brown Loose Powder). Okay, put some lip gloss on, too (I’m wearing a MAC lipglass… ah, forgot which one).
See, doesn’t this make a dramatic difference in my complexion???
I’m sorry the lighting isn’t the best it could be, but I was up at 6 a.m. taking photos for this tutorial and had to work with my bathroom lights. I tried as best as I could!

I feel this doesn’t take much time and it fits really well in my makeup routine. If I don’t have the time to do the whole shebang, I’ll at least apply bronzer and blush. If you want to do some more self-study before you jump in, HERE is a great video tutorial for contouring and HERE is a great video tutorial for highlighting!

Anyone else do this on a daily basis? What products would you recommend?

Y’all have a great Friday!


Leave a Comment