Makeup Tips, Tricks, & Trends: Contouring in Five Minutes or Less

The makeup contouring trend has exploded this past year, and most major labels have fully embraced it. At first glance, contouring seems to be too complicated and take too much time. Realistically, you can contour your face on a daily basis in just a few minutes. In fact, you’re probably already contouring and didn’t even realize it.

So what exactly is contouring? Essentially, it is the practice of using makeup to accentuate the features of your face. This is done by using blush, bronzer, concealers, or highlighters to create depth or add light. Lighter colors are added where you want to bring attention to your face; darker colors are used where you want to sculpt. You don’t need a special palette to contour; you probably have what you need in your makeup kit already.

makeup contouring


A bronzer should be at least one shade darker than your skin tone. To contour your cheeks, start at the tragus of your ear and brush at a 45 degree angle halfway across your cheek towards your upper lip. Blend well. Try using bronzer anywhere the sun would naturally hit, such as around your hairline, on your temples, and on your jawbone. You may also use a little bit of bronzer along the sides of your nose to make it appear slimmer.


A highlighter will be lighter than your skin tone and either have some shimmer or a matte finish. Use the highlighter on features you want to bring out, such as your cheekbones. You can also use a thin strip of highlighter down the center of your nose to make it appear slimmer, use a small amount on top of your cupid’s bow to make your lips look fuller, and use just a dab on your brow bone to create the appearance of a higher brow. You can also use a concealer under your eyes to make you appear more awake.


By using a highlighter and a bronzer, you could actually forego blush if you like. But, just a slight bit of pink on the apples of your cheek can really make you look awake and fresh. Smiling, use a fluffy makeup brush to quickly dab blush on your cheeks and then blend upward. Too much blush can make you appear older, so use a light hand when applying it.

It doesn’t matter which order you apply these products, although highlighter tends to look best when applied last. Make sure you blend everything thoroughly to create the most natural look.

Learn contouring and other popular makeup application techniques from our dedicated makeup instructors. Call us today at (847) 329-9174 to find out more about becoming an esthetician!

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