The Art of Face Contouring: An Ultimate Guide with Tips and Tricks

Makeup contouring is a type of makeup technique that uses light and dark shades to define the face and enhance its structure. It creates the illusion of a more symmetrical, defined and sculpted face using carefully applied makeup products such as highlighters using sensible strokes. Earlier, the use of contour in makeup was limited to models, actresses and celebrities, whereas now, everyone can make their face look more defined using easily available makeup products. It has become an increasingly popular technique for emphasising the best facial features and getting the look you want. Contouring involves various contour products such as bronzer and highlighter, contour shade is usually a shade darker than your own, for better results. These techniques for contouring may seem difficult at first, but they depend on your face shape, the occasion and personal preference. Here is a quick guide on learning how to apply contour.

What is Contour Makeup

Contour makeup can be used to create a more defined and structural look to make your face look longer, narrower or any way desired. It is a type of makeup technique used by various makeup artists to sculpt the face using light and dark shades. Rather than changing your complete face, it aims to enhance your best natural features by creating depth and dimension. The result can come out looking pretty natural if the contouring is done properly. It is usually done using a face contour that is one of two shades darker than your natural shade. You can prefer a cream contour or a powder contour. While a cream contour lasts longer and provides hydration to your skin, it may be tricky to blend if you are a beginner. Contouring involves creating an illusion of a shadow that only appears to deepen the angles of your face. 

4 Use of Contour in Makeup

The use of contour in makeup has only been increasing in recent years and can be attributed to the immense need for looking presentable and exploring your beauty through makeup. Here are some uses of contouring in makeup:

  1. Enhancing Face Structure: Contouring helps beautify the natural bone structure of the face by deepening the face angles and creating an illusion of a sculpted and defined face.
  2. Minimise Certain Features: Some people may want to conceal certain features such as those with a large forehead may prefer contouring on the forehead to make it look smaller. Those with round faces can contour the sides of their face to make them look narrower.
  3. Correct Imbalances: You may want to make sure certain asymmetrical elements of your face are not highlighted and are smoothened out with the help of contouring. An illusion of symmetry of the face can be created by contouring in the right places.
  4. Gives a Slimming Look: Contouring is also typically used to make the face look slimmer and more in shape. This can be done by contouring on the sides of the nose to make it look sharper or aim for a sharper jawline by contouring there.

How to Apply Contour Properly 

Here are the steps for how to apply contour, which you will find easy to follow and give impressive, natural-looking contour makeup.

  • Consider the right shade: Pick the right contour for you that is one or two shades darker than your skin tone. If you want to avoid a shimmery look, go for a matte formula, otherwise a bronzer or highlighter makeup can be used along with the contour. 
  • Prep your face: It is important to cleanse your face, moisturise it and apply primer to prepare your face for the makeup products. It allows them to last longer and work better. You can also use face concealer or foundation makeup for covering blemishes before moving on to the next step.
  • Decide the areas of contour: Identify which areas of your face you want to define and which to make less noticeable. 
  • Apply the contour: If you are thinking about where to apply contour, the most common areas are the cheek hollows, jawline, temples and on either side of the nose.  Now use a darker shade of your contour and create a shadow beneath your cheekbones and other areas. Use a small contour brush for precise application. 
  • Highlighter and Blush: If needed, you may apply a highlighter to the areas of your face that naturally reflect light, like your forehead, cheekbones and other higher points of the face.
  • Blend well: For a natural and effortless look, you must blend well with a fluffy brush or sponge. Docit in an upwards and outwards direction.
  • Set with powder: Set the makeup with a spray or setting powder for a long-lasting effect.

Tips & Tricks About Contour Makeup

You can also follow some face contouring tips to ensure your makeup is flawless. Here are some contour tips and tricks from the experts to give you a natural look:

  • Contour according to your face shape. First, think about your face shape and how you want to contour it to provide it with the best look. For example, for round faces, contouring needs to be done to elongate the face, while for oval faces, it is to enhance the bone structure. 
  • Pick the right shade of contour. This can make or break your contour makeup because the contour shade must be a few tones darker than your skin, otherwise, it won't give the same natural shadow effect.
  • Applying and blending the contour in natural lighting is ideal as this will allow you to look at the actual effect of the contouring and avoid overdoing it.
  • Never skip the highlighter after contouring as this will help enhance the high points of your face and give you a proper contrast between the light and shadow.


These contour makeup tips from the pros will surely come in handy for you the next time you pick up the makeup brush and get ready for a party. You need to choose the right shade of contour and the proper product which is long-lasting, non-cakey and made with high-quality ingredients. Revlon's collection of contour products, highlighters and bronzers will help you get the best and most natural-looking makeup ever.