Beauty: Highlight & Contour How To

by Rosa Bazan

Chiseled cheeks and glowing under eyes have been a makeup artist secret for decades but in the past couple of years, with the help of celebrities like Kim Kardashian, the secret has been revealed. As an employee of the cosmetic industry, I am asked daily how to achieve the “Kim Kardashian Look.” A year ago I would have to walk my clients around a makeup store pulling 4-5 products but, now, companies have made it easy by producing all in one contour kits to make achieving this look simpler than ever.

The concept of the look is to brighten or highlight areas of the face where light would naturally hit, such as the center of the forehead, down the bridge of the nose, under the eyes, the Cupid’s bow, and the chin. Shadows create the illusion of a smaller forehead, a smaller forehead, higher cheeks, and a sharper jawline.

A new product that has been flying off retail shelves is Smashbox Cosmetics’ Step-By-Step Contour Kit which can be found at Sephora for $45. This product makes things simple by compacting three universal shades into one kit: a yellowish highlight shade, a true brown contour shade, and a lighter bronzing shade. To highlight and contour, I like to use just this kit and a concealer 1-3 shades lighter than my client’s skin tone (my personal favorite is Nars’ Radiant Creamy Concealer because it uses a light diffusing technology which really brightens up the face).

Follow the next three steps to achieve the Highlight & Contour look:

Step 1: Apply and blend your concealer to these 5 areas:

  • center of your forehead
  • down the bridge of your nose
  • under your eyes (in upside-down triangles)
  • cupid’s bow
  • center of the chin

Step 2: Set the concealer with the yellowish shade in the contour kit by applying the color on top of the highlighted areas with a small brush (my recommendation is Sephora’s Pro Airbrush Concealer Brush #57).

Step 3: Apply the brown contour shade using the angled brush, included in the kit, to these areas:

  • temples of the forehead
  • the hollows under your cheekbones (feel your face if you cannot see them)
  • jawline from behind one ear to the other

The key to this look is to BLEND, BLEND, BLEND! Remember, practice makes perfect so play around with the products, make it fun, and, in no time, you will be sculpting faces like a pro artist.