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Contouring tutorial for beginners: with these tips you will master the art of contour make-up in no time at all

If you’re a fan of contouring, then you know it takes some skill to master the technique. It’s not just makeup professionals who can contour properly and take on Kim Kardashian’s glamour squad – you can too. To help you out, we’ve put together a useful contouring guide for beginners.

What is contour makeup

Contouring tutorial for beginners - How to sculpt your face in three minutes

It’s a technique that used to be reserved for runway models and theater artists, but now it’s part of many people’s daily makeup routine. It is the art of using makeup to enhance your facial structure and give shape to certain parts of your face.

The technique of contouring makeup has been used by Hollywood stars like Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe. On the other hand, it has also been used by drag queens to accentuate their facial features and enhance their style.

Contouring guide for beginners – How to sculpt your face in three minutes.

Contouring tutorial for beginners - What is contour make-up?

There are a number of steps that will help you sculpt your cheekbones, contour your n ase, and add subtle definition. Here’s what you need to know.

What you need:

  • Contouring palette
  • Brush
  1. Create your base: prep your face, apply foundation and concealer, and brush on a light layer of translucent powder to create a perfect base. This will allow you to apply the contour evenly.
  2. Choose your product and brushes: you have the choice between powder and cream. Powder will give you a more matte finish, while creams will leave you with a dewy finish. If you’re a beginner, it’s best to start with creamy products, as they’re easier to build up and blend. For your brushes, use smaller, fluffy brushes for more precision. You’ll need one brush for contouring and one for highlighting.
  3. Sketch your face: the key places to contour are the area under your jawline, the sides of your temples, the sides of your nose, and the hollows of your cheekbones. The trick is to go by your bone structure and pigment as you go.
  4. Build and buff: The more natural your contouring looks, the better it is! Always make sure that the color doesn’t leave any obvious sharp lines on your face. Use a makeup sponge or foundation brush to blend the product. You can apply a peachy blush to the apples of your cheeks for a hint of color.
  5. Highlight: Highlight only the areas where the light naturally falls, such as your cheekbones, brow bones, the bridge of your nose, the top of your cupid’s bow, and the center of your chin. This will enhance the effect of contouring.

Important. Contouring guide for beginners – The first step is to determine your face shape.

Contour makeup for a heart-shaped face.

Contour makeup for a heart-shaped face - Use a cream highlighter

Prepare your skin: First, prep your skin and apply a light foundation as a base.

Highlight: Use a cream highlighter and start highlighting the chin, bridge of the nose, eye area, upper part of the cheeks, corners of the mouth and the center of the forehead.

Contouring tutorial for beginners - After highlighting you can proceed with contouring


Contouring: After you have your highlighting set, you can move on to contouring in the next step. Make sure the color you use is suitable for a shadow and not too warm or orange. Use a brush and draw the contour along the hairline to the temple to highlight the forehead. For cheek contouring, follow your natural bone structure and contour from the earlobe to the corner of the mouth. Apply a little to the sides of the nose for a more angular look.

Blend: Once you’ve established the contours, you’ll need to blend them. And this is where it can get tricky. Use a small, fluffy contouring brush. Start with small strokes on your forehead to blend the highlighter, and repeat this step on other areas as well. Use a large contouring brush for the contoured areas. Start with your forehead and gently press the product down while blending it in well. As you blend your cheeks, move upward for a softer look. The idea is to make it look really soft and smooth, so make sure you blend everything in superbly.

Heart shaped face contouring- before & after

Set it: using a translucent powder and a brush, gently press the brush onto your skin and roll it. This will make your product last longer. You can still apply some blush or bronzer to add a little warmth to your look.

Contour round face

Round face contouring - Start with highlighting in the middle of your forehead


Highlight: prep your skin and use a primer before you begin. Start highlighting the center of your forehead, the bridge of your nose, and the center of your chin. Make long, inverted triangles under the eye area. Add a little highlighter to your cheekbones, too.

Contour round face - Use a taupe shade

Contour: Use a taupe shade with a cool undertone for your contour and avoid shimmer. Start contouring from the ear down, as this will instantly make your face look slimmer. Next, contour your temples by creating a C-shape. To slim your nose, go over the sides of your nose with your contour shade.

Blend: Use a small, fluffy brush and blend the highlighted area by gently pressing and rolling the brush over it. Blend the contour with a large contour brush until there are no hard lines left on your face.

Before - After Contouring Make Up

Fix: Use a setting powder or translucent powder and apply gently with a powder brush to set your makeup.

Lip contouring – how can you make your lips look fuller? You can find out here !

Contouring tutorial for beginners with angular face shape.

Contouring tutorial for beginners with angular face shape

Highlight: once you have prepped your face and applied your foundation, it’s time to apply your highlighter. Start in the center of your forehead and move to the center of your chin. To connect the two, draw a small line down the center of your nose. Starting right in the tear trough, highlight the eye area and make two V’s. Highlight the outer corners of your mouth as well.

For angular face shapes, choose a contouring color in dark taupe tones

Contour: When choosing your contour color, it’s best to choose cool grays and taupes to mimic natural shadows. Draw the product along the jawline, below the cheekbones and on the sides of the nose.

Blend: The trick is to blend your highlighter first and then blend the contour into the highlighter. Gently press your brush against the product and blend the dark with the light.

Before - After Contouring

Fix: Use a little powder to set your cream contour product so it lasts all day. Use a large brush to dab the powder on the affected areas. For more warmth, you can add some blush and bronzer.

Oval and oblong face

Contour an oval and elongated face

Highlight: prepare your skin with moisturizer and foundation. Highlight your forehead in an upward arc or semi-circle and let the eyeliner glide down over your nose. Also emphasize your chin, the outer corners of your mouth, your eye area, and your cheekbones.

For oval face, choose a neutral shade for your contouring

Contour: Choose a neutral shade for your contouring. Use the angled side or tip of the brush to contour below your cheekbones. Then contour the outside of your forehead, the sides of your nose, and your jawline.

Blend: Starting at the inner corner of your eye, blend the highlight from the center outward and the contour from the outside inward.

Before - After Contouring for Beginners

Set: Use a translucent powder to set the product. Starting in the center of your face, lightly press the powder onto the areas with a brush without disturbing the makeup underneath.

Did you know that hair contouring is also available? Learn more about the effective trend for face shaping here !