How to Contour


The glamorous rise of contouring over the last few years has upped the stakes for all beauty enthusiasts. Flawless foundation means very little if it makes your face appear flat and one dimensional. A little bit of bronzer and highlighter can elevate your look from cute to captivating, and with these easy steps it doesn’t require a whole makeup team to accomplish!

Find Your Shade

You need both a bronzer and a highlighter in order to properly contour your face. A light, pale highlighter looks good on every skin color, but if you’re afraid of its white base, consider going for something more creamy and pearlescent. The pearl-like quality blends effortlessly into any skin tone and reflects soft light.

Bronzers can be a little trickier. Pale skin toned girls will need to avoid darker bronzers, while girls with darker skin tones should make sure to stay away from anything that comes across as too orange because they will be difficult to blend. Try swiping a sample of a bronzer on the back of your hand to test how easily the color can be blended into your skin.

Applying Bronzer

Once you’ve found the right shade of bronzer for your skin tone, you must apply it to the right parts of your face for optimum glow. The most obvious place to apply is below your cheekbones. Suck in your cheeks lightly, then swipe bronzer up from the deepest dimple you’ve created and toward your ear. Make sure to blend well because that is the most important part!

After applying bronzer to enhance your cheekbones, swipe some along your jawbone to define and strengthen it, and then along your hairline to add an overall warmth to your face. The last place to apply bronzer is your nose. This can be a little tricky because of how small the space is. You should blend a small amount of bronzer along the sides of the bridge of your nose to narrow it, and also around the tip to make it appear smaller, too. Just remember to blend everything well!

Applying Highlighter

Bold highlights are a hot contour trend right now, and for good reason. Highlighting gives your face a fresh look. You’ll want to start by applying a highlighter above your cheekbones. You can find exactly the spot by gently pushing with your fingers on the area of your cheeks right beneath the outer half of your eyes; wherever the bone is, is where the highlights should go.

Apply highlighter to your cupid’s bow, which is below the arch of your eyebrows, on the center of your chin, on the inner corner of your eyes, down the middle of the bridge of your nose and on the tip, and lightly along your nasolabial crease–the lines that run alongside your nose toward your mouth. This hides any lines and dark areas, enhances the definition of your face, and gives your a light and glowing look.

Contouring is a trend that won’t be disappearing anytime soon, and for good reason. As with all beauty rituals it may take a little practice to perfect, but once you’ve got it down you’ll never want to go without it!

Our Writers

Sierra is a junior at Western Washington University studying creative writing, education, and social justice as part of her American Cultural Studies interdisciplinary degree. She loves to write, learn, go on walks, and hang out with her cat Athena as much as possible.

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