Introduction: Highlighting and Contouring for Beginners

Highlighting and contouring have been the biggest rave for beauty fanatics around the world. The makeup world has known this method for a long time, but it wasn't popular until celebs like Kim Kardashian began to share their beauty tips via social media. Today, you will learn how to highlight and contour to achieve the flawless look all your favorite celebrities have!

Tools needed:

Concealer/foundation/powder (1-2 shades lighter, 1-2 shades darker than skin tone)

Blending brush or sponge


*Optional: translucent powder, setting spray

Step 1: What Is Your Face Shape?

Determining your face shape is the first and most important step when highlighting and contouring. For each face shape, there is a slightly different placement of the highlight and contour.

There are six face shapes to consider when determining which one is yours: Oval, Long, Round, Square, Heart, and Diamond. Look at the picture provided to help determine what face shape you have.

Step 2: Start Contouring

When contouring, you can use foundation, cream based or powder products. You can even use a combination of the three, it is all up to you. You want to make sure you have a concealer one to two shades lighter than your skin tone and also another concealer (foundation, powder...) one to two shades darker than your skin tone.

With your lighter concealer, you want to place it in the areas where you will want to bring forward or to simply conceal. These areas for most people would be the bridge of your nose, chin, under eye area and the middle of your forehead.

Now, with your darker concealer, you want to place it in the areas where you want to add more depth. For most people, these areas would be the sides of your nose, the jawline, the hollows of your cheeks, your temples and the perimeter of your forehead.

You have the option to contour your eyes and neck as well. Reference the above picture for the correct idea of the right placements of each product.

Step 3: Blend!

This step is the easiest and the most important!

You want to blend out all the harsh lines you created in the step before. Contouring is meant to look as natural and effortless as possible. You can use a brush to blend or a sponge (try a beauty blender sponge).

When all the blending is done, make sure to "set" your makeup with a translucent powder (a powder that goes on "clear") so that your makeup won't easily wipe off. This is only if you use cream/foundation to contour. If you use powder to contour, you do not need to add another layer of translucent powder.

Step 4: Highlighting

Highlighting, also known as "strobing" is a beauty favorite in the makeup community.

Your highlighter can be any color or shade. Highlighters come in powders, creams, liquid or baked products. For reference, I would suggest you to watch the video above to understand what exactly a highlighter looks like and what kind of effects it has on your face.

The areas where you will be putting your highlighter is your cheek bones, bridge and tip of your nose, chin, cupids bow, and above your temples by your eyebrows. You can also take it a step further and highlight the inner corners of your eyes and your brow bone.

Highlighting can give a dewy effect to your makeup look, or simple add that little bit of sparkle you need to brighten up your face.

Step 5: Finito!

You're done!

Now you can finish the rest of your makeup! With practice, you will learn what is best for your own skin type and color over time. It is important to blend, blend, blend. Remember, blend is your friend!

You can use drug store products or high-end products, both work amazing. It is all about preference! Your makeup should make you feel confident, so whatever look you feel most comfortable with, make that your go-to.

One more tip: Invest in a setting spray. This step is optional, but it is highly recommended. A setting spray will help your makeup last all day and keep everything looking natural and not so "cakey". (Mac fix plus is a popular one)

We came, we highlighted, and we contoured!