full face highlighter

Face sculpting, also known as contouring, is a technique that was once only used on photoshoots, but in recent years it has become part of most people’s daily makeup routine. It adds subtle definition to your face and can be done with bronzer or by using specialist contouring kits.

Which contour kit should I choose?

Most contouring kits come in light or dark shades, so choose the one that complements your skin tone. They’re available in cream or powder forms, so those with an oily skin should go for a powder formula, while the cream formula is best for those with dry skin. The key to successful contouring is to blend the product well – contouring shouldn’t be noticeable.

If your skin is fair, it’s best to opt for products that are fairly sheer but have warm beige undertones that’ll work to add warmth and naturally illuminate your complexion. Don’t use any products that are too dark as they will look unnatural and will be hard to blend.

full face highlighter

If you’ve got olive tones in your skin, use soft bronze shades to add natural-looking definition to your face, while darker skin tones should avoid using anything too dark as it can look too much. Instead, a bronze-coloured highlighter will sculpt while also adding a natural glow.


What’s included in a contour kit?

A specialist face contouring kit usually comes with one or two brown shades, designed to add shadow along the hairline, beneath the cheekbones, along the jawline and down your nose, which will give your face more definition.

Some kits also come with a pearlescent highlighter which should be applied to the places on your face where the light naturally hits: the tops of your cheekbones, the bridge on your nose, your brow bone and your cupid’s bow. If the highligher is a cream formula use your finger to gently dab it on top of your foundation. If it’s powder, use a soft, fluffy brush to apply in the desired places.


What type of bronzer should I use to contour?

If you’d rather use bronzer to contour that’s totally fine. It’s important to make sure you use a blendable, matte bronzer though. Avoid using anything with shimmer in, as it’ll reflect the light, therefore highlighting the area, creating the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve. Use a shade that’s suitable for your skin tone – if you’re pale don’t use anything too dark, but if your skin is medium-toned or olive, don’t use anything that’s too light.


How to contour your face

The same rules apply whether you’re using a kit of bronzer and you should use an angled contour or blusher brush to apply product – they will offer precise application, and tapered bristles make it easier to follow the natural shape of your face.

Step 1

Suck in your cheeks so you can clearly see the hollows of your cheeks.

Step 2

Lightly apply the brown contour shade or bronzer into those hollows, taking it up to the top of your cheekbones and as far as your temples.

Step 3

Next, work the bronzer into the temples and underneath the chin to create natural shadows.

Step 4

Throughout the application, use soft, circular motions to buff, and gradually build up intensity for a flawless, natural finish.

Once you’re happy with your look, apply highlighter on the tops of your cheekbones and along your brow bones, in the places where the light would naturally hit your face. This will add more definition to your face, too.