Smoke & Mirrors

Contouring and highlighting can be used to alter and enhance face shape and camouflage aspects of facial features we want to downplay. But many of us have attempted contouring with bizarre stripey results and decided not to venture into that realm again.


Let's demystify contouring with a few basics. First, materials: you need cream foundation two shades darker and two shades lighter than your foundation, a small blending brush and a large blending brush. Applications for different face shapes vary. For round faces, trace the temples, hairline, and under the cheekbones with the darker color. Use the highlighter under the brow bone and down the center of the nose. Heart shaped faces need added depth at the widest part of the forehead and under the cheekbones. Lightness needs to be added to the center of the forehead. Square faces need gentle depth through the forehead, deep contouring under the cheekbones and along the jawline. Highlighter needs to be applied to the tops of the cheekbones, under the eyes and along the nose.


The key to natural looking contouring is blending the different areas of lightness and depth without merging them completely. This takes practice and patience. A makeup lesson from a professional can be a huge confidence builder giving you faith in your own abilities.