Contouring is, in my opinion, the most vital part of facial makeup for day to day. Since typical eye and lip colors are simple, it’s up to the face to really bring shape and poise to the face. Good contouring can be used to thin the nose, accent the cheekbones, and lessen the jaw. It can soften the edges of a square face and add shape to a round one. The first step to this is defining the shadows of the face, or adding the illusion of depth.
On the left is where I have bronzer applied, and on the right I’ve marked where it should go. You want to apply to the side of your nose, in the hollow of your cheek and eye, on the base of your chin, edge of the jawline, and the top edge of the hairline. This will all slim and soften the edges of your face.
The blush should primarily be applied on the cheekbone itself, right above the bronzer in the hollow of the cheek. It should be swept through to the bottom of the apple of the cheek. For a more youthful, fresh look, a brighter blush can be applied on the center of apple of the cheek. The color should begin to
fade at the point below the end of the eyebrow.
This is my highlighter from Benefit. I actually like the included brush because the thin size is perfect for sweeping along the cheekbone and bridge of the nose.
The crests of the face should be highlighted to help the slimming effect. The highlighter should go at least on the bridge of the nose and top of the cheekbones, and may also be added above the outer edge of the brow and on the chin. Some people say to add it to the middle of the forehead but I think it just makes such a large, flat area look shiny, and I would prefer a light, matte powder instead. That same powder may also be added around the lips to help accentuate them, though I prefer a concealer for that.
You can see how the contouring helps emphasize the lip color and really add to the full effect of the makeup. Typically, I would recommend doing eye makeup (without mascara) before adding contouring in case of eyeshadow fallout. I save the mascara until after all the powder makeup has been applied to keep the integrity of the color of the mascara. Contouring is something that can absolutely transform your face, and is perfect to spice up everything from a dramatic eye or lip to a natural “no makeup” look. Figure out how to tweak the shape of your face for different effects- while more subtle, it’s just as impactful as vibrant color when done well.