Contouring is used to accentuate and strengthen your best features and define your face. If its done well it can easily make you look younger. It was used in Hollywood in the 1920s and since then has become a firm favourite of Makeup artists everywhere. The difference a bit of clever contouring can make can be incredible. In this blog feature Vic shares all her top tips for achieving contouring without looking like a zebra!


What your face shape is impact’s where you should focus your contouring. Further down in the blog is a summary of where to focus your efforts based on your shape face.

So lets get started!


You will need three shades to do your contouring, a bronze shade, a blush shade and a highlighter.⁠


Apply your primer, foundation and any concealer needed. Once done we are ready to begin! ⁠


First we start with shading. The easiest way to find where to shade is to suck in your cheeks and use an angled brush to buff into the hollow using your bronzer or darkest shade. Its better to start with too little and add more as you go. Blend in well. You should not look stripy!  This colour should not have any sparkle or shine to it and is ideally totally matt. ⁠


Finally move the line tool so that it goes straight over the edge of you eye on the furthest side. Where this meets your brow this should be the furthest point of your brows. This is shown as line 3 in the graphic above.


Next if you want your forehead to appear smaller dust some of this darker powder around your hairline and bring down towards your temples. Blend well! ⁠


Do you want to give yourself a more defined jaw line? Use this same darker shade along the length of your jay and around your chin. Blend towards your neck to create a shadow effect. Blend well. ⁠


Do you want to make your nose look thinner? If so apply a delicate amount of the bronzer either side of your nose, again creating a shadow effect. This should again be done in small strokes with small amounts of powder, blend well! ⁠


Next we move onto the blusher! Smile and notice which parts of your cheeks are much more prominent than the rest of your face. Apply blusher here and blend well. ⁠



Finally we move onto highlighter, this is to really accentuate your features. Where ever you apply this eyes will naturally be drawn. So for example if you have any lines around your eyes do not highlight here as it will just make these lines more visible! highlighter can be applied under the eyes, under your eyebrows (to open up your eyes), down the front of the nose, middle of your chin and over the cupids bow on your lips.


Oblong and Oval Face Shape
If you have an oval or oblong face the ideal contouring would work to make your face appear wider.

Apply contour along your hairline to bring the lower and give the illusion of a smaller forehead. Below your cheekbones starting at your ears and ending in the middle of your cheeks.

For highlight focus on the area under your eyes in an upside down triangle shape.

Heart Face Shape
A heart shape means that your chin is narrow and pointed and that your cheeks are narrower than your hairline. Often you will also have a widows peak on the middle of your hairline.

When contouring focus the bronzer on the sides of your forehead and temple to balance out the wider area of your face with your lower half. Add some contour to the lower point of your chin to make it appear rounder.

Apply highlighter under your eyes and in the middle of your forehead and chin to draw the eyes to these areas.

Round Face Shape

A round face shape means that your face is roughly the same length and width.

When applying contour brush around the sides of your forehead and temples to slim this area down. Also run some contour from below your cheekbones from your ear to the middle of your cheeks and then down to your jawline to add some length.

Apply the highlighter under your eyes in an upside down triangle and in the middle of both your chin and forehead.

Square & Rectangular Face Shape

A square face is approximately the same length and width and rectangular has one that is slightly longer. The aim of contouring with this face shape is to make your face appear softer.

Apply contour around the sides of your hairline and temples to slim this area down. Add contour to just below your cheekbones starting at your ears and finishing in the middle of your cheeks. Add some more contour under your jawbone to slim this area down.

With your highlighter focus on the middle of your forehead and chin and adding an upside down triangle under your eyes.

Diamond Face Shape

A diamond face shape means that you face is widest around your cheeks. You will want to contour to narrow this section and make your face appear more round.

Contour below your cheekbones starting at your ears and ending in the middle of your cheeks. With this face shape you will want to take this contour further than other face shapes. However you also want to make sure that you don’t bring this contour line too close to your mouth as this will have the opposite result. The key here is to blend this contour in well so that you don’t look like a zebra!

With highlighter under your eyes do an upside down triangle but bring this much further down your face to meet the contour line. Also highlight in the middle of your forehead and chin to help make these areas appear wider.

Everyone’s face is different and while I have provided a guide for each face shape the best thing you can do when it comes to contouring is just spend a bit of time working out what your best features are and have a play with these colours to see what works best for you and your face shape.

You want to focus on slimming and narrowing any larger or more obvious areas of your face while also defining cheekbones. At the same time adding highlighter to bring attention to the parts of your face you want to be most visible.

If you have any fine lines be cautious about applying highlighter on these areas as sometimes this will just highlight these lines! A tip for these lines is to dab some primer into them before you start applying your makeup and you should find that this will make them less visible.

My top tip when it comes to contouring is apply a little at a time and blend well. You can always add more but once you have added too much there isn’t a lot you can do without just removing it and starting again.

My other favourite tip is to use a good brush with a sharp angle and a flat top, this can honestly make all the difference when it comes to contouring.

Hope that helps! Feel free to tag us on Instagram with any looks you create using this blog!

To browse our range of bronzers click here.

To browse our range of contour click here.

To browse our range of highlighters click here.

To browse our range of makeup brushes click here. 


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