Contouring and Highlighting: Techniques for Every Face Shape


Contouring and highlighting are makeup techniques that can enhance your natural features, define your bone structure, and add dimension to your face. Whether you have a round, oval, square, or heart-shaped face, understanding how to contour and highlight according to your face shape can transform your look. This guide will cover the basics of contouring and highlighting, provide step-by-step instructions for different face shapes, and recommend the best products to achieve a flawless finish.

Understanding the Basics of Contouring and Highlighting

Contouring
Purpose: Contouring uses darker shades to create shadows, define features, and add depth to the face. It can slim down areas and accentuate your bone structure.

Common Areas to Contour:

  • Cheekbones: To define and lift.
  • Jawline: To create a more defined jawline.
  • Nose: To slim and straighten.
  • Forehead: To reduce the appearance of a larger forehead.
Highlighting
Purpose: Highlighting uses lighter shades to bring forward features, add brightness, and give the face a healthy glow.

Common Areas to Highlight:

  • Tops of the cheekbones: To accentuate the cheekbones.
  • Bridge of the nose: To highlight and straighten.
  • Brow bone: To lift the brow area.
  • Cupid’s bow: To define the lips.
  • Center of the forehead and chin: To brighten the face.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Different Face Shapes

ROUND FACE

Contour:

  • Apply contour along the temples and sides of the forehead.
  • Sweep contour under the cheekbones, starting from the ear towards the mouth.
  • Contour along the jawline to create a more defined shape.

Highlight:

  • Highlight the center of the forehead, bridge of the nose, and tops of the cheekbones.
  • Apply highlight on the brow bone and the center of the chin.
OVAL FACE

Contour:

  • Contour along the sides of the forehead and temples.
  • Apply contour under the cheekbones, starting from the ears and blending towards the middle of the cheeks.
Highlight:

  • Highlight the center of the forehead, tops of the cheekbones, and bridge of the nose.
  • Apply highlight on the brow bone and the center of the chin.
SQUARE FACE

Contour:

  • Contour along the sides of the forehead to soften the angles.
  • Apply contour under the cheekbones and blend towards the center of the face.
  • Contour along the jawline to minimize the square shape.
Highlight:

  • Highlight the center of the forehead, tops of the cheekbones, and bridge of the nose.
  • Apply highlight on the brow bone and the center of the chin.
HEART-SHAPED FACE

Contour:

  • Contour the sides of the forehead and temples to balance the wider forehead.
  • Apply contour under the cheekbones and along the jawline to soften the pointed chin.
Highlight:

  • Highlight the center of the forehead, tops of the cheekbones, and bridge of the nose.
  • Apply highlight on the brow bone and the center of the chin.
Product Recommendations for Contour and Highlight

CONTOURING PRODUCTS

  • Powder Contour:
Kat Von D Shade + Light Face Contour Palette: A versatile palette with a range of contour and highlight shades.

  • Cream Contour:

Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Cream Kit: Offers a blendable formula for a natural finish.

  • Contour Sticks:

Fenty Beauty Match Stix Matte Skinstick: Easy to apply and blend, perfect for contouring on the go.

HIGHLIGHTING PRODUCTS

  • Powder Highlighter:
BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter: Known for its luminous finish and buildable glow.

  • Cream Highlighter:
Glossier Haloscope Dew Effect Highlighter: Provides a dewy, natural-looking highlight.

  • Liquid Highlighter:
Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops: Highly pigmented drops that can be mixed with foundation or applied directly for an intense highlight.

Brushes and Tools

Contour Brushes:

Highlight Brushes:

Blending Sponges:

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Over-Contouring: Applying too much contour can make your makeup look harsh and unnatural. Start with a light hand and build up if necessary.
  • Using the Wrong Shade: Using a contour shade that is too dark or too warm can look unnatural. Choose a shade that is one to two shades darker than your skin tone with a cool undertone.
  • Improper Blending: Not blending your contour and highlight properly can result in visible lines. Use a blending brush or sponge to ensure seamless transitions.
  • Highlighting the Wrong Areas: Avoid highlighting areas with texture or blemishes, as it can accentuate them.
Pro Tips for Flawless Contouring and Highlighting

  • Know Your Face Shape: Tailor your contouring and highlighting techniques to your specific face shape for the most flattering results.
  • Layer Gradually: Apply products in thin layers and build up gradually to avoid a heavy, cakey look.
  • Use Natural Light: When possible, apply your makeup in natural light to ensure the most accurate application.
  • Set with Powder: Use a translucent setting powder to set your makeup and prolong its wear.
  • Product Recommendation: Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder

FAQs

How do I choose the right contour shade?
Choose a contour shade that is one to two shades darker than your skin tone with a cool undertone to mimic natural shadows.

Can I contour and highlight with just one product?

While possible, using specific contour and highlight products will give you more precise and flattering results.

What’s the best way to blend contour and highlight?
Use a blending brush or sponge to blend in circular motions for a seamless finish.

How can I make my contour and highlight last all day?
Set your makeup with a translucent powder and use a setting spray to lock it in place.

Is it necessary to contour and highlight every day?
No, contouring and highlighting are optional steps in your makeup routine and can be reserved for special occasions or when you want extra definition.

Can I use eyeshadow for contouring?
Yes, a matte eyeshadow in a suitable shade can be used for contouring in a pinch.

Conclusion
Contouring and highlighting are powerful techniques that can enhance your natural beauty and add dimension to your face. By understanding the basics, tailoring your approach to your face shape, and using the right products, you can achieve a flawless and professional look. Practice and experiment with different techniques to find what works best for you.



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