Makeup techniques

How To Do Contouring Makeup for Beginners

Mary Smith
By Mary Smith. Updated: January 16, 2017
How To Do Contouring Makeup for Beginners

You've certainly heard of contouring before, it's a makeup trend that famous celebrities use worldwide. It is a technique that involves combining dark and light colours in order to stylise and highlight the facial features, particularly those that enhance our beauty and conceal other areas to refine the face. If done correctly, the change is dramatic and you will look as radiant as if you used professional makeup. Want to try contouring? Check out the steps in this OneHowTo article and learn how to do contouring makeup for beginners.

You may also be interested in: How To Make Your Face Look Longer With Makeup

Steps to follow:


If you want to join the contouring trend and have your makeup look spectacular, you'll first need to know what products to use for contouring. These are:

  • A palette of cream concealers or pencils in different shades of dark and light. Use the darker shade (3 shades darker than your skin tone) to mark and give depth to facial features, and the light tone (3 shades lighter than your skin tone) to illuminate them and add volume.
  • Blush.
  • Translucent powder to affix the makeup.
  • Angled blush brush to apply concealer or a blending sponge.

With these products, your makeup will remain intact for hours, but now many brands have released cosmetic powders in two shades to practice contouring, so you can also test these out. If you want more detailed information, visit our article on what products to use for Contouring.

How To Do Contouring Makeup for Beginners - Step 1

Before you start to contour your face creating the illusion of light and shadow, apply a pre-base or base so that the skin is velvety and best for setting makeup. Then, apply your usual foundation (which is the colour of your skin) to unify the tone and create a perfect canvas.


Perfect! Now we will begin the contouring technique. Take the brush and look at what facial points you'll use to apply every shade of the concealer:

  • The dark concealer: under the cheekbones to the ears, the outline of the jaw, on the upper part of the forehead (where hair growth begins), at the temples, on the sides of the nose and the line of the eye socket.
  • The light concealer: in the centre of the forehead, on the bridge of the nose, above the cheekbones, the arch of the eyebrow, above the upper lip, chin, in the area that has no makeup between the cheekbone and jaw, below the tear duct, on the nasolabial furrow. If you have a big nose, take a look at how to make it smaller with contouring.
How To Do Contouring Makeup for Beginners - Step 3

Then, use some pink blush to give a little colour to the cheeks. To apply it correctly, smile with closed lips and with a blush brush, lightly mark the cheeks with small strokes toward the temple. It is important not to overdo the blush to not ruin the effect of contouring.


The most important step is the next one: blur both the dark concealer and the light one to mix them well into the skin. For this to look perfect, it is best to first blur the light concealer with the blending brush and then blend the dark one with the angle brush creating circular movements to avoid leaving unsightly and artificial lines or markings.


Done! Now you have spectacular contours! As a finishing touch, seal the makeup by applying some translucent powder and you can do your eye and lip make up however you want. In the following article you can find some tips for long lasting makeup.

How To Do Contouring Makeup for Beginners - Step 6

If you want to read similar articles to How To Do Contouring Makeup for Beginners, we recommend you visit our Beauty & Personal Care category.

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How To Do Contouring Makeup for Beginners