The Ultimate Cheat Sheet to Contouring and Highlighting

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet to Contouring and Highlighting

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Contouring is the makeup technique that professionals love and DIY makeup mavens loathe. To help you contour your way to the perfect sculpted face, MAC senior artist Gina Bettelli helped us create a detailed contouring and highlighting map for three different skin types and face shapes. We break down how to contour facial features on different face shapes, including heart-shaped, oval-shaped, and square-shaped; we also teach you how to contour for different skin tones and how to contour your nose, cheeks, and forehead. All you have to do is print out the photo that best fits your face and follow the dotted guidelines in the mirror as a reference.

You can also save Bettelli’s product and shade recommendations for your next makeup-shopping trip. We’ve already outlined the lazy-girl way to contour, but this contouring tutorial breaks it down for newbies and pros alike. We’re talking Kim Kardashian-level sculpting, people!

What Is Contouring?

Conturing is a way to shade and highlight certain areas of your face or body using makeup in order to accentuate some features and hide others. Conturing and highlighting can be done subtly to enhance features; it can also completely change facial and body features. While contouring is most often used on the face, it can also be used on body parts, such as the stomach.

Bronzer vs. Contour

Although the products often look similar in color and come in similar formats, such as powder, stick, and liquid, bronzer and contour are extremely different. Bronzer is typically used to bring warmth to the face and accentuate areas that would be naturally darkened by the sun. Contour is applied strategically to define specific features and sculpt your face. Contour adds dimension, while bronzer typically makes the wearer look sun-kissed.

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