Basic Contouring Tutorial

I loooooove contouring! Why? Because it can slim down the appearance of our face. What most people don’t teach you in contouring tutorials is that, where you place the shading and highlighting, varies from face to face. We all have different face shapes. So the first thing you need to do is find your face shape and take it from there. But for the sake of not driving you crazy, today we’ll go over the basics.

As good a contouring is, it could also be a double-edged sword: either you achieve a great look or you can deform your appearance if you don’t do it incorrectly. The key is to look as natural as possible, avoid obvious drastic color differences, lines, and streaks. And the number rule in contouring, blend-blend-blend. Blending is your best-friend.

To start you off, you’ll need:

  • Highlighter (light shade)
  • Contour (dark shade)
  • Blush
  • Blending brush or a beauty blender
  • Blush brush

Now a days, when it comes to contouring, there are endless choices: highlighters, foundations, concealers, and palettes. There’s also mineral powders, sticks, pencils, and the average person reading is may be developing a headache right about now. I could go on and on at what you could use, but that’ll overwhelm you and leave you confused. I’ll try my best to avoid that.

For this tutorial, I tried for the first time my NYX Concealer Wand in Porcelain as my highlighter. As my contour shade, I used one for the darker colors from my Morphe 10CON Concealer Palette. And finally, for my blush I am using NYX Blush in Spice. This blush is so natural and it gives you a really nice glow.

Let’s get started! I already have on my NYX Pore Filler. It works so well, it makes me look like I don’t have pores. Then I applied my primer from Bareminerals. Topped with my foundation: Mac Matchmaster in 5.0. I also have my eyes and brows ready.

Contouring - Products

Now on to the highlighter. The job of the highlighter is to draw attention into the face. So they are applied on areas of the face that we want to emphasize.

Contouring - Highligting

On to the contour shade. Make sure is matte substance (no shimmer) and that is a few shades darker than your skin tone. We use this to create shadow to de-emphasize areas of the face.

Contouring - Dark

Now that everything is in place, it’s time for you to blend, blend, blend! Start with your highlighting then move on to the shading using the same brush. I used my KIKO Milano FACE 107 brush. This brush was around $10USD at my local KIKO store.

Contouring - Kiko Brush

After you’re done blending, you want to set your contouring with powder. For this, I am going to use my NYX Highlight and Contour Powder. I have a love and hate relationship with this duo powder palette. I don’t particular like the white translucent part of it. I feel like it doesn’t do anything. But I do love the dark part. As you could see from the picture below, it’s a beautiful warm matte chocolate color. I lightly dusted a little over where I applied my contouring to set it.

Lastly, I applied my blush in between the highlighter and contouring on my cheek bones. I used my Spornette Marché Cheek Blusher. I paid $12USD for this brush at my local beauty supply store and it is fantastic.

Contouring - Blush

Here’s my take on both the NYX Concealer Wand in Porcelain and Morphe 10CON Concealer Palette. They were both so easy to blend and left my skin so fresh and flawless. I am in love with both, and I definitely recommend them to all.

And drum rolls please… here’s is my final look.


Hope this basic contouring tutorial helps you. If you do get out of your makeup comfort zone, and do try contouring, we’d love to see your finish look. Share your picture on social media using the hashtag #NLBeauty.

Don’t forget to enter our E.L.F. Beauty Journal giveaway.

And as always, and keep calm and wear make up!

Beauty Editor

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Glory Bourdier says:

    Reblogged this on Glory Bourdier.

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