Cream Contour and Highlight Routine 

I wanted to share how I contour and highlight my face for special occasions! I am often asked how I achieve a full coverage, evenly blended, contoured look. On a day-to-day basis, I definitely do not use a cream contour because in my opinion, it’s not necessary. I opt for this routine whenever I have a special occasion, when I need my makeup to last and stand out in photos. 

    
With contouring, you really want to make sure you adapt the placement of lines to your face shape. My face shape is a mix between square and round (so annoying) so I draw lines based on where areas of my face need to appear more sculpted. The darker colors should be placed in the hollows of your cheeks, where you want to create a shadow. If you want to sculpt your chin, draw lines at your jawline and blend underneath. If you want to minimize your forehead, darken your temples and hairline. This is the basic rule of E and 3. Think of drawing an E shape on the right side of your face (temples, under the cheeks and jawline) and a 3 on the left side of your face. This will serve as a guideline on where to place the darker colors you use for contouring. I also like to contour the tip of my nose so it appears more slim. As far as highlighting, you can use a concealer or a light colored highlighting stick to place in the areas you want to bring out in your face. For me, this is underneath my eyes to brighten my dark circles. To even things out, I’ll place some concealer in between my eyebrows and into the center of my forehead and on the tip of my chin. If you want to get a super sculpted appearance, you can place the concealer underneath the contour on your cheekbones to chisel this area out more.

I like using the Smashbox Step-By-Step Contour Stick Trio for my cream contour because you can be very precise with your application. Since they’re in a stick form, you can place the product directly on your face without the need for a brush. The formula is dry enough to stick to your skin, but also creamy enough to blend out seamlessly.

My cream contour and highlight routine begins with the application of primer all over my face and a light layer of foundation. You want to choose a foundation that is light-medium coverage so that you can add the extra layers of cream products and not look cakey. Next I take my “Contour” colored stick and draw lines around my forehead, temples, underneath my cheekbones and jawline. I then place the “Bronzer” shade directly above the “Contour” lines to add warmth to my look. I find that when I blend these colors out together, they create my perfect contour shade. Next I add a concealer that’s 1-2 shades lighter than my foundation in the areas I want to highlight. For extra brightness I apply the “Highlight” shade on top of the concealer. 

     
Once I have the lines placed on my face, it’s time to begin blending! This process can be tricky if you rush through it. The worst mistake you can make is to use the same brush to blend out the dark areas as well as the highlighted places. You’ll end up with a muddy and non-sculpted look. So make sure you take your time and blend out the contour first with a brush and then the highlight with a different brush. I use a Real Techniques buffing brush for my contour and my beauty blender for my highlight. 

Before: With only a light layer of foundation. After: Blended out cream highlight and contour. Set with Kat Von D powder contour kit.

Now that everything is blended out, I set my entire face with a loose translucent powder. My favorite is by Laura Mercier because it’s lightweight and never looks overly powdery on my skin. Since I’m extra, I set the places I cream contoured with a powder contour and do the same with the highlighted sections. I use my Kat Von D contour palette to do so. I think this extends the longevity of my cream products and is especially useful in situations where my skin gets oily. If you haven’t tried using a brightening powder underneath your eyes, I highly recommend it even on a day-to-day basis!

Smashbox Step-By-Step Contour Stick Trio, $45. Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Palette, $46. These products can both be found at Sephora!

To finish the entire look, I spray a setting mist to lay all of my powder products flat and make sure my makeup lasts all day long. I really hope you enjoyed this post and have a good idea of contouring and highlighting after reading! It can be pretty tricky, but with a lot of practice, you’ll learn the best look for your personal facial structure! Again, I only do this full routine whenever I have a special occasion or an event where photos will be taken, but feel free to do this on a daily basis if you really enjoy the way it looks! Thanks for reading! 

Yay for the finished product!

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