Contouring and highlighting are one of the makeup techniques that every makeup addict should master. They can totally transform your face by playing up your features and downplaying your flaws and they usually go hand in hand.
RULE OF THUMB: Darker colors shade and make areas recede; Light colors highlight and make things come forward.
So are contouring and highlighting necessary for everyone? No but everyone can definitely benefit from a little contouring and highlighting. All you need is practice and make sure everything is well-blended (seriously, who would want lines on their faces?!)
Contouring and highlighting also look best under evening lighting so if you are going to be in an environment with really bright light, I would recommend keeping it to a minimum.
What You Will Need
• To contour, you will need a color that is one to two shades darker than your foundation. You can use a brown eyeshadow, bronzer or a darker foundation.
• To highlight, you will need a color that is one to two shades lighter than your foundation. You can use a shimmery white/beige eyeshadow, a lighter foundation or a highlighter.
• I highly recommend using pressed powders or cream formulas as they are the easiest to use. Remember to pick a color that is neutral, i.e. one that is not too yellow or too pink.
Areas to Contour
• Hollows of the cheek
• Along both sides of your nose
• Under the chin
• Creases of your eyes
Areas to Highlight
• Front of the forehead
• Along the bridge of your nose
• Right above your cheeks
• Inner corner of your eyes
• Center of your chin
• Cupid’s bow (lips)
To contour/highlight, follow the picture taken from makeup master Kevyn Aucoin above, and blend the lines by gently pressing the color onto your skin. You can use your fingers, a brush or a sponge but I would recommend a sponge for best results. Make sure there are no harsh edges and be careful not to blend the different colors together. Remember to start out a little at a time (it is ALWAYS easier to add more color) and experiment to find out what works best for you.