Highlighting & Contouring

Highlighting & Contouring according to your face shape.

Just a quick recap on highlighting and contouring as per my previous blog post.  Highlighting and contouring basically means bringing forward sunken areas or areas you want to stand out using a lighter colour than your natural skin tone (highlighting) and pushing back features you want to make appear smaller/further away using a darker colour than your skin tone (contouring).  For instance bags under your eyes:  contour the actual baggy/saggy part of the skin with a darker colour to push it back, while highlighting the sunken/dipped skin to bring it forward using a lighter colour.  You can use cream or powders to contour or highlight. Creams are easier to blend and tend to look more natural. Avoid using bronzer to contour. You are creating a “shadow” so think of a colour that’s similar to an actual shadow, which tends to be a cooler tone. Use Bronzer to warm up your skin and make it look sun-kissed!


(Image from: https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRro7_UoQQrK_V7FtQIfbBONPu6Z-awZ33jqXnqtsxm2xyw2R2a)



Oval Face Shape


Diamond Face Shape


Square Face Shape


Oblong Face Shape


Round Face Shape


Heart Shaped Face


(Face shapes from Robert Jones, Looking Younger)

Corrective contouring make-up to ‘fix’ flaws
Through contouring & highlighting ‘facial flaws’ can be minimised or hidden.
  • Thick neck: shade the sides of the neck.  This will make the neck appear thinner.  Highlight the middle of the neck with a vertical line.  This will bring the “verticalness” forward and make the neck appear thinner.
  • Long Neck: shade the middle of the neck.
  • Saggy skin around the jawline/double chin: shade the extra/excess skin around and under the jaw. This will push it back and make it less noticeable.  A highlighter can be put on the jaw bone to bring it forward.
  • Pointy chin:  shade the pointiness and highlight the area where the thin is ‘supposed’ to start.
  • Large forehead & high hair line: shade along the hairline, and fade it out towards the brow.
  • Wide forehead: shade the temple sides where it’s too wide.
  • Narrow forehead: highlight the temple edges to bring out and appear more oval.
  • Sunken in/too high cheekbones: only highlight where the face looks sunken in.  No shading underneath the check bone.  This will push the ‘sunkenness’ back even further.
  • Short nose:  highlight on top, especially the tip of the nose.
  • Long nose:  shade the tip of the nose to appear shorter.
  • Nose with bump:  shade the bump.
  • Skew nose: shade the area that stands out (the skew part).  Highlight a straight line down the middle of the nose.  It is important not to follow the skew curve of the nose with the highlighter, as this will bring it forward and accentuate the ‘skewness’.
  • Fat nose:  Shade the sides, highlight the top of the nose.