Contouring: The Everyday Girls Guide

Hello hello!

Hands up if you’ve dabbled in the world of contouring and absolutely destroyed the look you were going for!

*raises hand*

Ok, now that I’ve admitted my problem, it’s time I remedy my mistake.

When done correctly, contouring and highlighting can add dimension, accentuate your best features, and completely alter any look. Done incorrectly, it can make anyone look like they rolled around in the dirt fighting a squirrel for its last acorn. #guilty


Step one: gather your materials.



I like to use a good bronzer, highlighter and a quality brush. When choosing your bronzer color make sure to test out the samples in store. Is it too red? Too orange? Since I have more of a fair skin tone I like to choose a buildable shade with bronze/gold undertones. In this tutorial, I used the middle bronze shade from the Anastasia contour kit.

For highlight, I like a slight shimmer with a bit of yellow or peach in it. The yellow color acts as a brightener while the peach can divert attention from any blue circles underneath your eyes (college anyone)? Again, I used the top row, middle color in the Anastasia kit.

And finally, your brush. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on a quality brush. Heck, I’ve purchased some of my favorites for less than $10! Look for something that’s a bit more dense and has angled bristles. Real Techniques make great affordable options.

Step Two: What look do you want to achieve?

Before diving headfirst into the contouring cavern, decide what features you want to make more pronounced. Do you want more intense cheekbones? A slimmer nose? A good bronzer can do wonders.

Step Three: Application

I like to apply my contour over my foundation, but underneath my translucent setting powder. And always remember; apply with a light hand. Suck in your cheekbones, and lightly apply your bronzer in a sweeping motion. I use a clean brush (or my foundation brush) to blend the harsh edges of any contour. I always like to take a bit of bronzer and apply it in a “3” shape around the edge of my face:



For highlight the basic rule of thumb is to apply it wherever light would naturally hit your face first. For me, I love using it across the top of my cheek, my brow bone, down the bridge of my nose, and a dab on my chin.

Step Four: Check your light

This might be the most important step in the contouring/makeup application process. Your mirror might look one way, but go outside, take a snapshot on your phone and see how it looks in natural light. The best kind of contouring looks effortless and natural. If you ever apply it too harsh, use your foundation brush and the remaining base color to blend it out!

Well, I hope this little how-to helped some of you. I know I’m no professional, but I have definitely had a bit of trial and error 😉



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