How To Contour and Highlight in 4 Easy Steps


Whether you love or hate her, Kim Kardashian always has flawless make up and it seems as though the Kardashians and Jenners are setting trends everywhere they go. Highlighting and contouring are no longer a makeup artists’ secret so to keep you in the know, we’ve broken down this essential technique in 4 quick and easy steps: Base, Highlight, Contour and Finish.

What You’ll Need

  • Foundation
  • Highlighter
  • Bronzer
  • Blusher

Step 1: Base

You don’t want to be too heavy on your base because you are going to be building up colour with your highlighter and bronzer, so a light coverage is your best bet. I blended my base in using my favourite brush – the Real Techniques Blending Brush.

Step 2: Highlight

highlighting areas for contouring tutorial Highlighting brings things forward, so you want to highlight any areas that may be darker (e.g. under eyes) or that you want to look more prominent on your face (e.g. brow bone). Take your highlighter and begin to fill in the areas that are pictured: under the eyes, brow bone, centre of the forehead, bridge of the nose, cupids bow (upper lip) chin and jawline. Then, using either your fingers, a sponge or a smaller foundation brush, begin to gently buff the colour into your skin and blend slightly outwards.

Step 3: Contour

contour front profileContouring pulls things back, so by creating shade you are essentiall making ares sink, or disappear altogether. Using your bronzer and a blush / contour brush mark out the places you want to sink, hollow or slim down. Areas to focus on are your hairline, the hollows of your cheeks (under your cheekbones) the edge of your jaw, down the sides of your nose and your eye sockets. As you can see in the picture, before I have even started blending, you see the light and shade of the face, where the definition will be.


With the nose, eye sockets and the hollows of the cheeks, start by gently drawing your lines in place with a small blending eyeshadow brush before using your contour brush to blend outwards and downwards.

Tip: Shine a torch directly at your face. The areas the light hits are where you want to highlight, and the areas where the shade hits are where you want to contour. The only exeption is your under eyes; the shade will hit here because it is a hollow of your face so you want to highlight the area to pull it forward.

Step 4: Finish Up

contouring before and afterFinish with your blusher by gently applying it to the apples of the cheeks. Using the excess colour left on your brush, blend the blush all the way along your cheekbones. Do not apply this heavily as it needs to be very subtle! Applying it all the way along the cheekbones lifts your face, as the apples of the cheeks are quite low down. If you are going for a more extreme contoured look, you don’t have to apply blusher, but it can make you look drawn or washed out. After blush, you can apply a shimmered powder highlighter to really lift the cheekbones and brow bone, but again keep it subtle.


Did you enjoy this tutorial? Comment below or drop us a tweet and let us know how you get on!

4 Comments on How To Contour and Highlight in 4 Easy Steps

  1. RavishingRoses // June 4, 2015 at 10:25 am // Reply

    This is so useful. Love the kardashians too.


  2. shadesofbeautyza // June 4, 2015 at 5:50 pm // Reply

    Enjoyed this!!


  3. The tutorial is great, so detailed and great pics!!! Congrats


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