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Beginners Guide: Highlighting and Contouring

Applying make up

Why Contour?


Have you ever felt like you might want a thinner nose? Or more defined cheekbones? Well, then contouring is for you. Most of you are probably already aware of what contouring is (and you probably associate it Kim Kardashian). However you might feel that it is too complex for you to do on your own. As I am writing this (it’s me Tamen, not Daniella) I can promise you that the only ‘professional’ make up experience that I have is that what I have seen on Pinterest or YouTube tutorials… and even I can contour.

This is why I have decided to write this piece today, as I feel that some of us need to learn from people that are basically on the same level of contouring education. In this blog post I will discuss cheaper contouring options that you can most likely find at any Clicks or Dischem or even maybe Pick `n Pay, because let’s face it, not all of us have the capital to visit the MAC store every time we want to experiment with something.

Which products should I use?


I started my contour experience with the Essence contouring palette, it’s cheap, you can get it anywhere and it’s so easy to work with. However there are other affordable brands that you can give a try such as Wet `n Wild, Maybelline and Rimmel. All thes products can be found at Dischem and Clicks, also some Pick`n Pays have started stocking make up as well. I have also recently started using the Kryolan 6 shade Highlight and Contouring circle, it’s a bit more pricey but I absolutely vouch for any of Kryolan’s products as they literally stay on your face the whole day!

So now that you know the products, let’s get started!

Step by Step.


Step 1: Apply a primer to your clean washed and moisturised face.

Step 2: Apply your foundation, if you have the options, try to use products of the same consistency (powder on powder or cream on cream) if you don’t have products of the same consistency it’s also fine, we’re not trying to be make-up artists.

Step 3: Now we get to the fun part! Start with the lightest colour (highlighter) in the Essence contouring palette or in the Kryolan circle choose the colour that is about two shades lighter than your foundation and apply it to the following places:

  • The centre of your forehead
  • On the bridge of your nose
  • Along the top of your brow line
  • The apples of your cheeks (if you can’t find them, just smile, the apples are the parts that make a bulge on your cheeks)
  • On your cupids bow, this is just a fancy name for the part between your nose and the top of your upper lip.
  • In the centre of your chin

Step 4: The Contouring. In the Essence Contouring Palette this will be the brown shaded powder, however the Kryolan Contouring Circle has more options, the colour that you use will all depend on the shade of your skin. So if you have light skin, don’t use the darkest shade of brown! Now apply the darker colour to the following places:

  • Directly below the hairline at the top of your forehead
  • On the right and left sides of your forehead also near the hairline
  • A thin stroke along the right and left sides of your nose
  • In the hollows of your cheeks, if you can’t find them, just suck you cheeks in, you’ll see it
  • Along the jawline on both sides, apply from your ears to the tip of your chin.

Now all that is left is to blend.

Step 5: Blend with a blender brush, or your fingers if you don’t have one of those.

Step 6: This one is optional, if you do have an illuminator (Essence also has one) you can apply it to the following places just for some extra glow:

  • Directly underneath the arch of your eyebrow
  • On the cheekbone
  • The tip of the nose
  • Cupids bow.

Step 7: Continue with your make up routine as usual.

And voila, now you can go all Kim Kardashian on a night out with the girls!

Here is a ‘map’ of contouring your face if you don’t completely understand the text.

Map of your Face

Highlight and Contouring


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