Contouring and highlighting are two techniques that can totally change the game in your makeup routine. You can sculpt your cheekbones, elevate your jawline and even transform your nose and lips. As long as you’re equipped with the right tips and products, you’ll become a pro in no time! If you want to learn how to contour and highlight for beginners, you’re in the right place. Check our favourite contouring products and trending tutorials we love!
How to Contour and Highlight for Beginners: 5 Products to Invest In
1. LORAC Pro Contour Palette: This palette is fitted with six shades to contour and highlight in both matte and shimmer finishes. A must-have for beginners! It also comes with a brush, but we prefer the one below.
2. Keshima Angled Contour Brush: This brush offers precise and effortless application of contour, bronzer and blush. It picks up just the right amount of product to create your desired look. Use it to get the sculpt you want, while looking as natural as possible.
3. Fenty Beauty Match Stix in Mocha: This contour stick is super easy to use. The lightweight formula is buildable and blendable, leaving you with a flawlessly defined complexion.
4. Anastasia Beverly Hills Powder Contour Kit: This all-in-one powder contour kits includes three highlighter shades and three contour shades in both matte and shimmer finishes. The finely milled formula provides buildable coverage- perfect for getting your desired look!
5. Julep Beauty Highlighter Stick in ‘Sheer Glow’: This cream-to-powder formula glides smoothly onto your skin, providing a super easy way to highlight. There’s no brush required, just swipe it on for a healthy looking glow!
How to Contour and Highlight for Beginners: 6 Tips and Hacks
1. Consider baking your face before contouring. This creates a barrier on top of your foundation that you can add colours to and blend and buff out.
2. Apply your contour with an angled brush. This creates a symmetrical and precise contour and helps achieve a perfectly sculpted face without tugging.
3. Powder contour is the simplest contour to use for beginners, but liquid and cream products are excellent once you’ve gotten the hang of things.
4. Less is more when it comes to contour. While old contour techniques had you apply product all across your forehead, for instance, it’s now the norm to apply a few dots along your hairline and blend them in. The no-makeup look is still going strong, so no need to go overboard with contouring.
5. Lip contour is in for 2023. Create the look of bigger, more voluptuous lips by lining your lips with a pencil shade darker than your lipstick. Create a contrast between the pencil and the lipstick, but avoid choosing two colours that are super different from each other. They should look balanced, but still give the illusion of a bigger plump.
6. Iridescent highlighting is going to be another big trend this year, with the goal for the skin to look almost mirror-like. Bronzers are taking a step back so that highlighters can shine. Strategically place highlighter on your upper cheekbones, down the bridge of your nose and even along your jawline.
How to Contour and Highlight for Beginners: 7 Tutorials
1. New vs. Old Contour Techniques | Christen Dominique
In this video, she compares old contouring techniques to newer contour trends and how they can transform your face in an even more stunning way. New techniques seems to err on the side of less is more, but still work seamlessly to define your natural facial features. You’ll need products like a contour stick as well as a sculpting palette. She includes tips on how to contour your forehead, eyes, nose and cheeks.
2. Jennifer Lopez’s Guide to Glowing Skin and Face Contour | Vogue
If you’re a fan of JLo’s glow (who isn’t), this tutorial breaks down her entire beauty routine, including the secret behind her “lightbulb” contour technique. It may just be the best contour tutorial you can watch! She explains why she contours where she does for her naturally sculpted look, and uses products like the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, JLO Beauty That JLo Glow and JLo Beauty That Fresh Take.
3. How to Contour Your Face for Beginners | Nina Ubhi
Even if you don’t have any makeup skills, this contour tutorial will be easy for you to understand. You’ll learn the techniques to achieve cheekbones, and contour your forehead and your face overall. She shows you how to apply the products and how to blend them to create the desired look. She uses products like the Tarte Shape Tape Concealer, Ben Nye Powder and a Beauty Blender.
4. Fake a Nose Job with Nose Contour | Brittanybearmakeup
You can completely transform your nose with contour, and this tutorial shows you exactly how to do it. With these tips and tricks, your nose will look defined, blended and flawless, with some gorgeous highlight as well. She shows you how to bake your face before contouring your nose, which is a super important step. She uses products like the HUDA Beauty Setting Powder, Hoola Matte Bronzer and The Manizers Sister Highlight Palette.
5. How to Fake Big Lips in 3 Easy Steps | Sagonia Lazarof
Contoured lips are definitely going to be having their moment in 2023, and you can easily create the look of bigger, plumper lips with the techniques in this tutorial. She shows you how to prep your lips for application, then how to line and finish your lips to give you that lush pout you’re looking for. She uses the LA Girl Lip Liner, Lancôme Matte Shaker Lip Satin (choose the colours of your choice!) and the Jeffree Star Velour Lip Scrub.
6. Try This Jawline Contour Hack | Sagonia Lazarof
In this tutorial, she shows you how to get a gorgeous, sculpted jawline with products like a contour stick, setting powder and the Charlotte Tilbury Glogasm Wand. She shares her tips for baking your jawline and how this helps to make your contour more natural looking. She finishes it off with a stunning highlight and if you haven’t highlighted your jawline before, you’re definitely going to want to see this!
7. Common Contour Do’s and Don’ts | Alexandra Anele
This is another great video if you’re just getting into contouring as it talks about the biggest do’s and don’ts for this technique. She tells you why certain things work and why others don’t so you know the proper way to contour for your face. She uses products like the Fenty Match Stix, the e.l.f. Putty Bronzer Brush and the Revlon All Over Shadow Brush.
If you want to learn how to contour and highlight, we hope these tips and tutorials are just what you’re looking for!
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