Until recently, it was advised that facial contouring be left to the pros. While using bronzer and highlighter to accentuate cheekbones can make you look great, failing to do so in the proper way can result in colossal failure. You can’t go into contouring blind. There are some contouring principles that apply to all faces and skin tones.
Step 1: Choose the right bronzer
There are hundreds of bronzers on the market, but the ones that work best for contouring are typically matte and free of shine. You can find matte bronzers everywhere, from the grocery store to elite department stores. Next, you need to decide which color works best for you. While you might want to look dark, you won’t fool anyone into thinking you’re tan by choosing the darkest shade possible — you’ll only end up looking orange. If you have light skin, choose a cool-toned, light-color bronzer. If you have darker skin, a warm, copper-toned bronzer will work best.
Step 2: Choose the right highlighter
Highlighters come in all different colors — and some aren’t even labeled “highlighters.” Essentially, highlighters are iridescent powders or liquids that are packed with shimmer to mimic a healthy glow. Light skin tones will work best with pink-toned highlighter, while darker skin tones will look best adorned with warm-toned highlighter.
Step 3: Find your cheekbones
Not every face is the same, so you can’t apply contouring the same way you see Kim Kardashian (contouring’s biggest fan!) do it. You must find the end of your own cheekbones. Feel your face with your fingertips. Start from the under eye and slowly work your way down until you feel your cheekbone disappear. Mark under this area lightly with an eyeshadow brush dusted with bronzer so you remember where to apply.
Step 4: Carve ’em out
Starting under the line you applied, lightly sweep bronzer from the middle of your cheek toward your hairline. You should slowly start to see your cheekbones emerge and become exaggerated. You’re essentially applying shadows where they don’t exist naturally on your face. Do the same with the opposite cheek. Then, it’s time to contour your forehead. Make it appear smaller by dusting bronzer along your hairline, leaving a gap about as wide as your eyebrows blank where you can later apply highlighter. Make your nose appear thinner by using a stiff eye shadow brush to apply bronzer to each side of your nose bridge. Make it appear shorter by applying just a bit of bronzer to the bottom of your nose, near the nostrils.
Step 5: Light it up
Once you’re done with bronzer, odds are you’re looking a little ridiculous. Don’t worry! The look isn’t complete. Using a blush brush or your finish, make your cheekbones pop by dusting highlighter above your contouring line, onto the apples of your cheeks. Add a touch of highlighter to the blank area near your hairline and the center of your forehead. Next, use an eyeshadow brush to apply it down the center of your nose and on the outside corners of your eyes. Voilà! You’re done!