A Quick Contour and Highlight

Apr 22, 2015

I am sure like many people, I have seen a makeup look or technique and thought....now how in the hell did they do that? Highlight and contouring used to be that enigma for me. We have all seen the pinterest pins, or the YouTube videos about this trick. I am pretty sure the Kardashians put this hidden makeup secret on the map. But I wasn't looking to completely alter my face when wearing makeup. I simply wanted to look awake, refreshed, basically lie to people with my makeup. I am non of those things. I am tired, borderline rundown on most days, but if you ask my makeup it says "well hello Susie Sunshine!!" 

One thing I am always short on is time, so I had to figure out a way to quickly HAC (highlight and contour). Now clearly I don't do this everyday. When I want to do a full face of makeup, and I have about 7-10 minutes to spare, I will do this. The easiest and fastest way I have found is to use cream contour sticks. These NYX ones are totally affordable and are great for beginners who want to test the waters. Shall we dive in to what Chris refers to as my "war paint"?
Highlighting and contouring is basically creating shadows on your face in order to manipulate certain areas. A few things I wanted to achieve were, to streamline my nose, contour my cheeks, and highlight under my eyes. 

Step 1: Moisturize! You really want to prep your skin with a good moisturizer, followed by a primer. That way the foundation sticks do not settle into your skin, giving your makeup a chance to last a little longer throughout the day. 

Step 2: Now go ahead and apply your regular foundation. I like to use a light weight coverage when I am contouring, since ultimately I am layering the contour sticks on top. For this I used Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer. Then I went in with my contour sticks. I chose the darkest and lightest colors in the NYX foundation sticks, fair and caramel. Here is a great guide to figuring out how to contour for your face shape. 
I start with the dark caramel color for the contour. Making a line right under my cheek bones, across my forehead, down the sides of my nose and coming to a point at the tip, and drawing out a small line from the corners of my eyes. 

Next grab the highlighting stick to bring light to the areas around the contour. Heavy under my eyes...that middle of the night nursing is getting to me. Highlight down the center of my nose, in between the contour lines. This will help to create the appearance of a straight line when blended. Highlight above the cheekbones, forehead, chin, and upper lip. 

Then you want to grab your beauty blender, or makeup sponge, and blend blend blend. I blend the contour first with one end of the beauty blender, then flip it around and blend my highlighter with the other end. You don't want to mix it all together or you defeat the purpose of all this war paint. Just blend the colors up and into your skin. 

Step 3: Once you have it all blended out, finish off your makeup. I finished up with a nice swipe of blush (mac warm soul), mascara (benefit roller lash), darkening my eyebrows (anastasia brow wiz), and a soft pink lip (mac lipstick in snob, and nars lip gloss in turkish delight). 


It seems like a lot...but I promise you it goes so quick once you get used to it. I had to experiment more than a few times before I was actually happy with a result. I just bought this contouring pallet, and plan on seeing just how adventurous I can be when adding brushes into the mix. Obviously this is not a necessary makeup ritual. I just happen to love experimenting with makeup, and finding ways to incorporate it into my uber chic stay at home mom to four life. 

Here are all the products I used:


  1. Holy what sorcery is this!? I wouldn't mind playing around with this and see what magic I can come up with!

  2. Love it. I love contouring even though I very rarely do it these days. And beauty blenders are dabombdotcom

  3. These are really great tips! Thanks for sharing. :)

    1. It is so fun to experiment, with makeup...you never know what you will end up loving!



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