Contouring and highlighting are trends that have become widely popular in the past few years, and we don’t see them going anywhere anytime soon. From soft definition to chiseled cheekbones, create a customized contour statement. Further personalize your look by learning how to contour and highlight for your face shape.
Contour & Highlight Trends
With new phrases popping up left and right (non-touring, anyone?) it’s important to speak the lingo. These are the top words in contouring vocabulary:
- Contour & Highlight: Contouring and highlighting use shade and light to add dimension to the face. Contour areas that you would like to appear more defined and highlight areas you would like to stand out. Traditionally, people contour the hairline, jawline and below the cheekbones and highlight the brow bone, bridge of the nose, chin and tops of the cheekbones.
- Strobing: Strobing is all about ultra-highlighted skin. You can achieve a shimmering, luminescent highlight using the Contour Kit or Shimmer Brick. Read Glo Senior International Makeup Artist & Educator, Janeena Billera’s, strobing tips to get the look.
- Non-touring: Non-touring is a soft, natural contour and highlight paired with dewy, glowing skin.
- Tan-touring: This risky practice is when you use self-tanner to contour the face. The tan develops and semipermanently contours the face. The challenge lies in the careful application and selecting the right shade that isn’t too warm. Plus, if you wear foundation daily, you’re likely to cover up your work.
- Matte powder highlight: Matte highlighters are great for a more subtle highlight and are often preferred by those with oily skin. Contour Kit has both a shimmer highlight and a matte highlight for ultimate versatility. Contour Kit comes in two shades: fair to light and medium to dark. Despite the color designations, both kits are multifunctional collections that can be used for neutral eye shadow quads as well as bronzing palettes.
- Cream highlight: Cream based highlighters seamlessly illuminate the complexion. Use a concealer a few shades lighter than your complexion. We love using Liquid Bright Concealer, something you’ll notice in a lot of our makeup tutorial videos.
- Natural powder contour: Powder is a great everyday contouring option, perfect for beginners. You can contour with both contouring powder and bronzer. Contouring powders tend to look slightly more natural depending on your skin tone. Bronzer also warms up the complexion.
- Natural cream contour: Similar to cream highlight, you can use a concealer a few shades deeper than your natural skin tone to contour. Test both cool and warm shades until you find the one that’s best for you. Try Cream Bronze in warmth.
Contour & Highlight by Face Shape
Face shapes, facial features and bone structures vary, and this will determine a customized contour for every person.
- Diamond: Diamond faces are widest at the temples. Contour the lower half of the cheeks to draw attention to the center of the face and create a slimmer appearance.
- Heart: Heart shaped faces have wide cheeks and forehead with a pointed chin. Deepen the outer edges of the forehead, focusing on the left and right sides instead of the center. Highlight the center of the face, but go light on the forehead.
- Oblong: Oblong faces are longer than they are wide. Instead of contouring the sides of the face, add contour to the top and bottom: the hairline and just below the chin.
- Oval: Oval faces are well balanced. Go light on the contour, focusing just below the cheekbones, and let the highlighter do most of the work. Highlight the center of the forehead, under the eyes and just below your contour.
- Round: Round faces are as long as they are wide, with the cheeks being the widest feature. The goal is to slim your features, so take your contour along the outermost sides of your face from hairline, to temples, to jawline.
- Square: Square faces are roughly as long as they are wide and are often angular. Contour like a round face shape, along the outermost sides of the face, but focus on the upper and lower corners of the face to round out a squared off hairline and jawline.
Contour & Highlight Tips for All Face Shapes
Contouring by face shape should only be a guide to creating a flattering look. Try a few different techniques until you find a look you love. Regardless of face shape, there are a few easy tips everyone should follow:
- Locate your cheekbones by sucking in your cheeks. Use the line as a guide for placement. Another option is to roll a brush handle along the side of your face until it dips in just below the cheekbone.
- When contouring the jawline, apply color high and tight, just under the curve of the skin to make the color look like a shadow.
- Apply contour and highlight in natural light. Different light temperatures can be deceiving, so use a lighted makeup mirror or do your makeup next to a window.
- Start light with your application and build the color up. While powder and creams can be forgiving, you will eventually hit a point of no return.