Monday, January 5, 2015


How to highlight contour
Kim Kardashian has graced the beauty world with the technique of stark highlighting and contouring.  So thanks to her this is a thing we as girls do now.  (I would not follow her in her other escapades such as releasing a sex tape, posing nude on magazine covers, or naming your child after a compass direction.)  But there is a method to the madness and if done right and not too intensely some light contouring and highlighting can do wonders for your face shape.  You can create the illusion of a thinner nose, accentuate your cheekbones, highlight your brow bone to give a more awake appearance; the list goes on and on.  At the core of this method is the idea that contouring creates shadows on the face, and highlighting brings parts of our face forward.  Now there a bunch of photos going around Pinterest about how to contour for your face shape, and all these different products and powders, you are going to drive yourself nuts.  This is my super basic, any girl can do, will work for any face shape, guide to highlighting and contouring. 

Becca shimmering skin perfecter rose gold

Yes I used creme products in this look, but powders can work just as well.  When picking your contouring shade you want it to be a couple shades darker than your skin tone and the opposite with your highlighting product choosing one two to three shade lighter.  To start off apply a thin layer of your favorite liquid foundation.  
(Quick Tip:  Crème products will not work well with a powder foundation, such as bare minerals, etc.  Powder can go over liquids, but liquids can’t go over powders, your makeup will break up like crazy throughout the day.  Make sure to always apply powders as your very last step.)

Now using your hand, the concealer applicator, or a contouring brush apply the cream products in the areas mentioned below and you can also look at my picture as a guide.

Places you want to highlight:
  • Under the eyes drawing the concealer in an upside down triangle
  • Between your eyebrows
  • Center of your chin
  • Down the nose
  • Under the nose, covering up any broken capillaries or redness

Places you want to contour:
  • Hollows of your cheekbones (if you’re not sure where this is suck in your cheeks like a fish and fill in this hollow, stopping when the contour aligns with the outer corner of your eye) Start at the top of your ear and follow the line down
  • Along the jaw bone
  • At the hair line, framing each side of your forehead (this will make your face appear slimmer) 

(Quick Tip: I was not interested in slimming the appearance of my nose, but if your are you can blend two lines of the shading cream or powder from the start of your brows down the sides of the bridge of your nose with a small shadow brush.  Once this I blended out it will give the appearance of slimmer nose.)

Places you want to use Highlighting powder:
  • Underneath the brow bone
  • Top of your cheekbones (being careful not to highlight the under eye area)
  • Cupid’s Bow
  • A smidge above the outer third arch of your eyebrows
  • Inner Tear Duct

highlight contour

Now blend baby blend!  Seriously, a huge key to pulling off this look is melting the products into the skin.  If not blended properly contouring and highlighting products will look obvious and odd with a line of bronzer coming down your cheeks.  Do you see me in the first picture above, I look like Bambi.  Seriously blend, blend, and then blend some more. 
Now once you are done with your blending you can move on to setting your face with a pressed powder, I love the Rimmel London Stay MattePressed Powder in Translucent.  Next you can apply your blush, highlighting powder (I used BECCA Shimmering SkinPerfector Pressed in Rose Gold.)

Products Used:
  • Sephora Collection Smoothing & Brightening Concealer in 02 Radiant Vanilla
  • Real Techniques Core Collection Set (Mainly the Contour and Buffing Brushes
  • Sonia Kashuk Undetectable Crème Bronzer in Warm Tan (Can be found at Target)
  • NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla

Other highlighting and contouring products I love:
  • TheBalm Mary-Lou Manizer
  • Benefit Hoola Bronzer
  • NARS Contour Blush
  • Maybelline Fit Me Concealer
  • Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips

Oh no!  Everyone’s worst fear.  You’re finishing up your makeup and get a big mascara smudge on your eyelid.  The worst.  Don’t fear, I have an easy solution.  Let the mascara assaulted area dry completely and then using a q-tip roll, slightly rubbing the spot and it will come right off.  Because seriously if you try to go at that bad boy with your finger or an eye makeup remover pad you will have a hot mess.

And were done!  This is the finished look.  I know this technique may appear arduous, but I promise once you do it a couple times it will be a breeze.  Also, I don’t do all these steps on a daily basis.  This technique looks great for going out or an event, but If I’m in a rush I usually just bronze up my face, contour a bit under my cheekbones and focus on the under eye area.  I hope you enjoyed this post and learned some new tips & tricks!  Leave me a comment below letting me know if you highlight and contour?  And what are your favorite products for this technique?


  1. Great post! Thanks for the tips!

  2. I love the final look:) and i am a big fan of nars make up too:)

    1. Thanks Jola! And I know, isn't NARS the best?! I have been loving their products lately.

  3. this is some next level stuff Nicole! You look amazing -I'm honestly so impressed because contouring intimidates me more than any other beauty thing.

  4. SUCH great tips on contouring! I have wanted to try this out but have been too afraid I would screw it up! Now that I know how to do it I can't wait to try it!


    1. Thanks so much Jessica! I know highlighting and contouring seems intimidating at first, but once you try it a couple times it gets so much easier. You will be a pro in no time!