Contouring and highlighting have gained some major popularity in the beauty industry and at this time, we are certain this trend is here to stay.
But as beautiful as this makeup trend is, it can be very difficult to achieve the look. So most people simply go for strobing, which is basically, highlighting without contouring.
Well, if you are one of such people and you want to learn how to contour and highlight, then this article is for you. We are going to take you through a step-by-step guide on how you can achieve a gorgeous makeup look by using contouring and highlighting technique.
Now to begin, let’s learn what contouring and highlighting is.
Contouring involves the application of darker makeup to certain areas of your face to add dimension and define the area. Whereas highlighting is the application of a lighter makeup to the areas on your face where natural sunlight would hit.
Contouring can be done with either a concealer or powder. And they both follow the same steps. So it is really about personal preference or what you have available.
Tips for contouring and highlighting
In the beginning, when contouring and highlighting first became a makeup trend, it was mostly about using this technique to make your face appear different than what it really is. But now, contouring and highlighting are about enhancing your natural face shape by giving it just a little depth and dimension.
So before you begin to contour, you have to identify the shape of your face. Contouring and highlighting technique differ with each face shape. So you have to know if your face is round, square, oval, diamond or heart-shaped.
Also, for contouring, you have to choose a makeup shade that is several shades darker than your natural skin tone. Most people choose a shade that is two times darker.
With highlighting, you have to choose a shade that is several shades lighter than your skin tone. You can also use a highlighter with a little shimmer in it on certain regions of your face like the cheeks to give them that glow.
The last tip to remember is that blending is key. So you have to make sure you blend right. Blend all the harsh lines and make it look as natural as you can. So be sure to use the right makeup brush or makeup sponge when blending, so your makeup will look flawless.
Contouring and highlighting tutorials
- Blending brush or makeup sponge
- 2 Concealers or powder (one that is two or three shades darker and another that is two or three shades lighter than your skin tone)
- Translucent powder
Which part of your face should you contour?
The purpose of contouring is to add dimension to your face. So once you are done with your foundation, take a concealer that is several shades darker than you and apply it to the sides of your nose and the area underneath your cheekbones to give it depth. Then apply some to your jawline and your hairline too, to define them.
Now take the concealer that is several shades lighter than your skin tone and apply it to the areas on your face where the sun would normally hit. So this includes your T zone (the area from your forehead to the bridge of your nose), your cheekbones, under eyes area and your brow bones.
Now, the next step is to take your blending brush and blend. Blend out all the harsh lines to give your makeup a natural look. Once done, you can set your makeup with a translucent powder. But if you used powder for contouring, you do not need to set it with powder again.
Which parts of your face should you highlight?
Highlighters can be liquid, powder or baked. They usually have shimmer and they are applied to the regions of your face to illuminate them. So you can highlight, your cheekbones, the tip and bridge of your nose, your cupid bow and your eyebrow bones.
Can you contour without highlighting?
Absolutely! If you prefer to contour and not highlight, you can totally do so. If you do not want to highlight but want a natural dewy glow after applying your makeup, you can add two drops of your facial oil to your foundation before applying it on your face. This will give you a beautiful natural glow.
Can you highlight without contouring?
Yes, you can. Highlighting without contouring is called strobing and it is also a very popular makeup trend.
Below are four contouring and highlighting videos based on different face shapes and skin tones. You can watch to help you better understand how to contour and highlight.