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[BEAUTY]: Makeup Contouring for Beginners – Step by Step

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If you’ve ever seen Kim Kardashian or Karlie Kloss and thought “Wow, their makeup looks amazing” – it’s most likely due to their contour. See, the act of contouring can change your face shape, make your features stand out, and obviously make your makeup look amazing. So if you’ve wanted to know how to get those sculpted cheekbones like all the top celebrities, look no further than this article. Keep reading below for the how-to and the best products to use for contouring!

Kim Kardashian contouring

Image courtesy Google/Kim Kardashian West official website


Note: matte means shimmer-free – you want the contour to be matte to mimic the natural shadows of your face. Highlighters can have slight shimmer to give the skin a glowing effect.

  1. A cream or matte powder bronzer
  2. A makeup sponge or brush

  3. An ashy (cool toned) powder
  4. A light concealer or cream highlighter
  5. A matching setting powder or powder highlight

For bronzer try: Benefit Cosmetics Quickie Contour Stick or Benefit Hoola Bronzer.

For highlight try: NYX Bright Illuminating Stick or ELF Illuminating Palette.


Note: use cream products if you have drier skin; powder products if you have oilier skin.

  1. Make a “fishy face” (suck in your cheeks) and draw a line on either side of your cheeks where the hollows are
  2. Blend out with your brush or sponge.
  3. If you want additional shape to your face, draw a line underneath your jawline, on your temples and on the top of your forehead (around your hairline).

    Forehead Jaw Contour

    Image from Carli Bybel

  4. If you want to try contouring your nose, use a small amount of product to go along the sides of the nose and along the sides of the tip.

    Nose Contour

    Image from Carli Bybel

  5. Blend those out with your brush or sponge.
    Powder Bronzer

    Image from Carli Bybel


    Extra instructions –

  6. If you used the ashy toned powder, then go over it with a bit of bronzer to blend it in with your foundation for a bit more of a natural look.
  7. If you want to further define your face, you can use a highlighter (either the cream or powder). Using the brush or sponge, pat highlighter onto your cheek bones (you’ll feel them on the highest parts of your cheeks).

    Powder Highlight

    Image from Carli Bybel

  8. For additional “glow”, highlight the center of your forehead, down the middle of your nose, and the center of your chin. Blend all these areas out with the brush or sponge.

    Makeup Sponge

    Image from Carli Bybel

Hopefully these help you to see that it just takes a few products and some patience to create the chiseled cheeks you’ve wanted forever. Happy contouring!

If you want to see an in-depth on contouring, check out this one below!