How to Highlight and Contour

Tuesday, April 2, 2013
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While it may not be a trick you pull out every day, knowing how to properly highlight and contour is a great skill to have. A little strategic shading and brightening can really bring out your features and is especially valuable any time you might be in front of a camera. So whether your company is taking head shots or you are headed to a wedding, give this tutorial a try! All you need is a bronzer or brown eye shadow that is a shade or two darker than your skin tone, a highlighting shadow or wand, and a fan brush.

Get the tutorial after the jump.

How to Highlight and Contour Your Face

Ok, so this cheatsheet is a little scary-looking (sorry!) but it will help serve as a guide to show you where to highlight (empty) and where to contour (shaded).

1. Start with your face prepped with whatever makeup you normally wear. I have foundation and concealer on.

2. Contour the areas you see shaded in the cheatsheet above using a bronzer or matte brown eye shadow and fan brush. You don't need to stick to the sheet. Contour any area that you would like to recede or minimize. I'm using Smashbox Bronze Lights in Sunkissed Matte and their Fan Brush #22. Start light and build layers of color where you need it the most and be sure to blend the color out so there are no visible lines.

3. Highlight the unshaded circled areas from the cheatsheet next. Again, you want to highlight an areas you'd like to bring forward. I'm using Smashbox Halo Highlighting Wand but you can also use a brush and highlighting cream or powder.

Done! My hair is hot mess, I know. But my face is nicely defined, right? Hope you give highlighting and contouring a try. It's a pretty simple technique to master and the effect can be really stunning.

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6 Responses

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