Mastering the Art of Contouring with Concealer for a Sculpted Look

Mastering the Art of Contouring with Concealer for a Sculpted Look

The Power of Contouring

Contouring makeup techniques allow you to sculpt and define facial features for a striking look. When done well, contouring creates dimension and the appearance of higher cheekbones, a slimmer nose, and sharper jawline. It takes patience and practice, but the payoff for mastering these skills is the ability to transform your face.

Choosing Products for Contouring

The right makeup products are essential for natural-looking contours. Matte bronzers in cool, ashy tones mimic natural shadow for subtle definition. Cream or stick products blend easily for a smooth gradient. Opt for concealer a few shades lighter than your skin to highlight facial features you wish to pull forward, like the tops of cheekbones.

Find Your Face Shape

Determine your face shape before sculpting so you can accentuate your natural bone structure. Oval faces suit most contour styles, while round faces need angular lines lifted cheeks to elongate features. Contour the temples and jawline on square faces. Soften harsh lines on heart, long or diamond face shapes with soft, blended contouring.

Placement Guidelines by Feature

  • Cheekbones: Apply bronzer below the cheekbone in a “3” shape from temples to the corners of the mouth.
  • Jawline: Contour a slightly darker shade along the jawline under the edges of the face.
  • Nose: Use light application along both sides, careful not to extend color too low.
  • Hairline: Dust a light veil of bronzer along hairline for a naturally framed look.

Blending is Key

Seamless blending creates the illusion of shadow and dimension. Use a damp sponge or contour brush in sweeping motions until zero harsh lines appear. Slightly brighter concealer layered on top of cheekbones, nose bridge, and forehead highlights these focal points.

Set with Powder

Finish with a translucent setting powder to keep cream or liquid contour products from shifting. Lightly press powder over contoured and highlighted areas using a large fluffy brush. Setting your makeup ensures your sculpted dimensions hold all day.


What is the best contour shade for fair skin?

Those with fair skin should choose cool-toned taupe or ash brown shades. Bronzers with grey, brown or purple undertones mimic natural shadow on pale skin better than warm shades.

Where should you apply highlighter when contouring?

Light-reflecting highlighter belongs on the highest points of the face – tops of cheekbones, center of forehead, tip of nose and cupid’s bow. Apply sparingly to brow and chin bones too.

What brush is best for contouring?

Look for angled contour brushes with dense bristles, or small dense brushes for precision application. Buffing brushes blend seamlessly once contour is laid down. Dampened makeup sponges also work well.

Can you contour without using makeup?

Yes, shading the hollows of cheeks and temples with a darker colored powder eyeshadow can subtly sculpt features without heavy contour products.

What face shape works best for contouring?

Oval faces suit most contouring styles since the shape lends itself well to sculpting. Very angular narrow faces should avoid strong cheek and temple contours which can overly accentuate sharp angles.