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Basic Contouring Steps for a Celebrity Look

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Before and after face make-up contouring
© lado2016 / Adobe Stock

You were scrolling through Instagram, and suddenly, you were entranced by the chiseled cheekbones and sharp jawline of a celebrity. You were in awe of how these celebrities manage to look so perfect all the time and wondered how you could get the same results? Does this sound familiar? Well, I have news for you! The secret to the defined features and picture-perfect looks is contouring. You can achieve the same jaw-dropping effect by following a few simple steps!

Before you can start contouring, you will need to collect some essential products. Find a good quality contour powder or cream that would ideally be two shades darker than your skin tone. Then you need a highlighter, and you can take your pick between liquid or powder, but it should be lighter than your skin. Finally, you need a blending brush or sponge (“beauty blender”). For powder, It is recommended to use a brush with flat and stiff bristles so that you can seamlessly blend out any harsh lines; however, if you are using a cream, a very soft blending sponge is preferred to create a seamless finish.

Now that we have our products ready let’s talk about the steps.

Apply Foundation

Start by applying a foundation that perfectly matches your skin tone, and blend it out using a slightly damp beauty blender for a natural finish. If you have some imperfections peeking through, put on some concealer (same shade as the foundation) on the problem areas and blend well. After this step, you should have a blank canvas to start contouring.

Applying Contour Power

Now for the exciting part, you will contour your face with a product that is two shades darker. Remember, you should contour the areas of your face you would like to add depth to. The contour acts to create artificial shadows that accentuate your features and make the area appear to recede. Put the contouring powder along your hairline, in the hollows of your cheeks, and along your jawline. You can also add some of it along the sides of your nose and your temple. After you finish applying it, take your stiff bristle brush or a soft dry beauty blender and blend it in until all the harsh lines disappear.


The contour has added depth and shadows, so you will highlight your features to make them pop. Use a powder or liquid highlighter and apply it on your cheekbones, the bridge of your nose, cupid’s bow (the natural dip in your upper lip), chin, and your brow bone. If you are feeling extra glamorous, you can also highlight the inner corner of your eyes. Highlighters contain light-reflecting particles, so the areas of your face that have been highlighted will be the first to catch the light and visually raise the area or bring them to the front. This is a great way to make your best features shine – literally!

Setting and Finishing Up

After you are satisfied by the highlights and contours on your face, you can proceed to continue putting on the rest of your makeup. After you have completed your look, add some translucent powder or setting spray so that you can keep looking gorgeous all day!

Contouring is a technique that may look intimidating at first, but once you get the hang of it, you can transform yourself into the best, more chiseled version of yourself. After you have mastered the basic contouring steps, read our guide on advanced contouring techniques!

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