Contouring + Highlighting: 3 Ways To Pull The Look Off Naturally (We Swear!)

Makeup trends come and go – and we’re not big fans of most of them (to be completely honest!) – at least not for day-to-day wear. We just want makeup to help us look like the best version of ourselves and to show off that clear complexion we’ve been behaving so well to obtain!

Face contouring and highlighting have become part of the standard beauty vernacular over the past couple of years and although some of those full-faced looks may make us cringe from time to time, we also get a little thrill at the idea of playing with all that face paint.

All makeup – from mascara to lipgloss – is designed to either accentuate or skim over our natural features, right? We love a nude face – let that skin care routine do all the work! – but when we’re in the mood for a little glamour, these makeup techniques can pulled off “naturally.” There’s nothing to be afraid of here – okay, maybe a little anxiety is appropriate–no one wants to be “that girl” at the grocery store in full war paint – but contouring and highlighting doesn’t have to leave you looking like a reality star. Here are the basic techniques and a few of our favorite products…

To contour, pay attention to where the shadows fall on your face: Using shades two tones darker than your own skin tone, accentuate the bone structure of your cheeks, temples, chin and nose. Contouring makeup should fall just like shadows do: just under the cheekbones, chin, and on either side of the nose. Here is a full tutorial

To highlight, pay attention to where the light naturally hits your face: Complement your face’s natural bone structure by using shades one tone lighter than your own skin tone or by using makeup with a subtle shimmer. Focus on the areas of your face where the light of the sun would naturally fall: above brow bones, cheekbones, the bow of lips and down the bridge of your nose. Here is a full tutorial

RMS Living Luminizer + Master Mixer | The Living Luminizer’s creamy, light consistency glides on skin and makes the ultimate highlighter. The effect is subtle and every pro we know is hooked. RMS’ brand new Master Mixer does the same but with a new rosy, golden glow we love. 


W3ll People Narcissist Stick Foundation | W3ll People are the natural makeup masters. Nothing compares to their light, creamy aloe-based foundation sticks that come in matte or shimmering textures and every shade. Make yourself a custom contour/highlight kit by selecting a few sticks that complement your skin tone perfectly! 


Tarte’s Tarteist Contour Palette | Highlight, contour, brighten and bronze, all with one makeup palette. Tarte’s modern new take on the makeup compact is gaining instant cult status and (bonus) their formulas are paraben, mineral oil, phthalates and sulfate free!


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