Sculpt Your Face with Contour Shadow and Highlighter

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Once your skin is covered up with foundation, concealer and powder, you can add some dimension to your face and make your skin glow. With Contour powder and Highlighter you can accentuate some features while diminishing others. For example, you can make a wide nose look narrower, create a more defined jaw line, and bring out your cheekbones and brow bones.

Basically, the darker contour shadow is used to create depth, while the light shimmery highlighter brings things forward.


Contour Shadow

You can buy contour shadow that is specifically made for contouring, or use a face powder that is a few shades darker than your skin, or non-shimmery bronzer – all will give the same effect. It takes some time practicing and experimenting with contouring techniques to find what works best for you. I recommend using it very lightly, so it doesn’t look obvious. And try to only wear it at nighttime or if you are on stage under bright lights. Don’t forget to blend it properly!

Here’s what you can do with contour shadow:

Narrow a wide nose – shade with a thin brush on either side of the nose and make it as wide or narrow as you desire.

Shorten a long nose – brush on contour powder right down the center of the nose along the bridge.

Sculpt your jaw line – apply contour powder with a large brush just under the chin and jaw line towards the ear lobes.

Define your cheekbones – suck in your cheeks and apply contour powder with a medium brush right where the hollows appear.


Highlighter is best when used in a shimmery formula. Don’t buy something that sparkles – that’s not a highlighter, and it looks tacky. The idea here is to give areas of your skin a brighter sheen to make it stand out a bit.

It comes in liquid form or powder form. If you are using liquid foundation, use liquid highlighter. If you are using powder foundation, you have to use powder highlighter. With a liquid kind, use the brush provided or your fingers to dab just a little bit on your brow bones and on top of your cheekbones.

With a powder kind, use a smaller powder brush to dust it on the same areas. You can also dust or dab some highlighter on your collarbones, décolleté and shoulders. Remember, don’t use too much or you’ll end up looking shiny and sweaty. “Less if more” when it comes to highlighter – if people notice you are wearing highlighter that means you’ve put on too much.

I use a liquid highlighter from Benefit called “High beam”.


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