Subtle Highlight and Countour Tips

If you follow any MUAs or beauty gurus on Social Media, you know that contouring is a BIIIG thing right now. For every post on a new shadow palette or brow tutorial, you have countless requests for contouring videos and tutorials. Knowing how to play with the planes of your face is an art, however, some tutorials are a biiiiit much for the everyday girl.

If you’re not a professional MUA or being photographed or filmed, having such a heavy hand with your contouring doesn’t really make sense “in real life”. Because here’s the thing: in order to show how well a product works, sometimes it has to be applied heavier (otherwise it can look washed out). In a photograph, it looks pretty, but seen in “real life” it can be a little jarring. That’s NOT what you want to show when you’re headed to your 9-5.

Now some women will always love a good cake face, but if you’re someone that only wants a little more definition to your mug, here are a few tips on how to contour subtly.

What you need:

  • Moisturizer
  • Primer
  • Foundation that matches skin
  • Concealer: 1-2 shades lighter than skin tone
  • Concealer or Foundation Stick 1-2 shades darker than skin tone
  • Cream Blush
  • Setting Powder
  1. First things first: make sure skin is clean, exfoliated, and moisturized so that you don’t have any dry patches. Add a primer (right now I’m loving Rimmel’s Stay Matte Primer) and let it set for 1-3 minutes.
  2. Apply a light swatch of foundation to even skin (medium coverage is fine).
  3. Apply your highlighting concealer to places you want to bring light to: under eye, bridge of nose, center of forehead, chin and Cupid’s bow. The more swipes you apply, the heavier it will be so the choice is yours.
  4. Apply your darker concealer/foundation to the places you want to recede/define: hollows of cheeks, side of nose, and perimeter of forehead. Bc it’s darker, you only need 1-2 swipes MAX.
  5. Add a swipe of cream blush (I go with a bright pink or peach; once you blend it out it’s just a sheer wash of color on the cheeks).
  6. Using a damp beauty blender or a wet/dry brush, blend, blend, blend in a light circular motion. I start under the eye bc I always need more coverage there, but once you blend it out, you will have a slightly more defined based.
  7. Set with a light dusting of powder.

If you follow me on IG, you know I tried these tips a few weeks ago:




Easy peasy, and takes all of 10 minutes tops, and my makeup isn’t heavy looking at all. Once you finish and set your base, add your bronzer, mascara, and lippie and you’re ready to go!


Do you ever highlight and contour your face? do you have a special technique? Comment below? 

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