Step – by – step highlighting & contouring


We all know it now, contouring and highlighting (if done properly) has revolutionized the way people are now applying their makeup. For all you beauty lovers, it has become the in-thing to do, but for me it’s become part of my makeup routine, not at all drastic, but the subtlety does depend on the occasion.

Here are 6 steps on how to highlight and contour:

1* Colour corrector concealers

Makeup is an art, to cancel out those skin imperfections you’ll need to refer to the colour wheel! This is an important part before you conceal properly, as the results contribute to the ultimate flawlessness of your skin. Here are the secrets:

Redness = cover up with green concealer
Yellowness = cover up with purple concealer
Dark circles / greyness = cover up with peach/ salmon concealer
For deeper and darker circles = orange concealer
Purple / blueyness = yellow concealer

I’m using Max Factor’s CC crayon, a salmon / peach based concealer over dark spots / circles:


If you have dry skin, I would suggest using a creamier based highlight as this sits and blends better!


2* Conceal

Using a concealer brush or beauty blender, pat and blend your skin-toned concealer on top of the colour corrector.

I religiously use MAC’s Studio Finish Concealer. Greyness has vanished already!

concealer MAC

3* Foundation

Now that your flaws are covered, dot on some foundation starting from around the nose outwards. In circular motions with a wide stippling brush, I like to brush this on to give me a flawless and smooth base ready for highlighting and contouring.

4* Highlighting

highlighting illamasqua, body shop

With a highlighter pen (I’m using Body Shop’s Lightening Touch) or a concealer 2 or 3 shades lighter than your own shade, start to highlight the inner corner of your eyelids to make them pop. Now make an inverted triangle from underneath your eye and fill in, highlight down from the centre of your forehead to the tip of your nose, on the cupids bow, on the chin, underneath the arch of the brows for an instant lift, and around both corners of your lips highlighting upwards.

5* Contouring

contouring powders - bourjois, stila, maybelline, real techiques

It’s really important to have the right tools when contouring, I use the Real Techniques Sculpting Brush to give me the best precision and depth. For a heavier look cream foundations are the best, typically 2 shades darker than your own shade. For everyday wear, I use dark matte powder bronzers.

I’m using the Stila Custom Colour Self-Adjusting Bronzer, it’s the perfect warm colour for my skin.

contour and highlight

Starting from the top of your ear, sweep down towards the mouth, the more sweeps, the stronger the intensity. Repeat on the other cheek.

Now trace around the forehead and down the jaw lines.

As if you are drawing on eyeliner, start by sweeping upwards from the end of your eyelids to the temples of your forehead.

For the nose, a smaller brush such as a crease brush may be more useful, start from the inner corner of your eyebrows and draw down 2 lines either side, following down to the tip. If you add a bit more shade to the tip of your nose, you can actually create an illusion of a smaller nose.

Finally, draw a line underneath the bottom lip to create a shadow accentuating a little more fullness.


I like to use another stippling brush and a beauty blender to blend both the highlight and contour together. Begin by using a damp beauty blender and dab and blend out the highlights, now together with the contour shades, using circular motions again, blend, blend and blend some more.

highlight and contour

I hope this explains how highlighting and contouring is done! This is a finished result above, however bear in mind that I have on no blusher, mascara, eyeliner or any other add-ons to complete the entire look.


Simi X

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