Young woman smiling with a full face of contour makeup

Ever since contouring landed on the beauty scene we have all become O.B.S.E.S.S.E.D. It’s been bye bye boring blush, hello highlighters! But, even if you’ve got a kit that could rival a Kardashian’s glam squad, it will be of no use unless you can master the basics. So, here it is – all the simple steps you need to make the most out of your crème contour tools.

What do you need to contour your face?

B. B. Flat Contour Brush £8.99 Buy Now
Revolution Revolution Ultra Cream Contour Palette £8.00 Buy Now
e.l.f. e.l.f. Highlighting & Blending Sponge £7.50 Buy Now
Real Techniques Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Makeup Sponge £5.99 Buy Now

Contour and Highlight Steps

Before you start shaping and sculpting, make sure you’re happy with your base coat. If you usually go for a tinted moisturiser – go for it. Like full coverage completed with concealed areas? This is where you should start.

Step 1 – Highlight with lighter cream contour

Woman applying light cream contour to face

Take your light cream contour and apply with precision (using a contour brush helps!) to the forehead, along the nose, Cupid’s bow, chin and under the eyes. This needs to be a shade that’s lighter than your natural skin tone (to highlight) and darker (to define the contours)

Step 2 – Define with darker cream contour

Woman applying dark cream contour to face

Next take a flat contour brush and apply the darker cream contour to the hollows of the cheeks, temples, nose and jawline.  Everyone has their favourite blending tools, so make sure to pick what works for you. If you’re a beginner then we recommend you start with a blending sponge

Step 3 – Blend  

Woman blending light and dark cream contour with blending sponge

With your artistic contour lines in place, here comes the fun part – blending! Dampen a sponge by running it under the tap and giving it a squeeze. Then use the larger end of the sponge for the bigger blending areas and the tip for more precision areas (eg. nose and Cupid’s bow).

Top tip: You can also blend using oval brushes if you prefer having more control.

Step 4 – Set with loose powder

Woman applying setting powder to face with brush

To keep your chiselled look in place for as long as possible (and shine-free!), set with translucent or banana powder.

Looking for more contouring tips? 

How to use a Contour Stick

Contour Kits to Try Now

Contouring for Pale Skin

How to Use Highlighter

With Vegan Makeup

Contour darker skintones