How To Contour Your Cheek Bones

4th April 2015

How To Contour Your Cheek Bones

Contouring is an amazing tool to implement into your beauty routine, it can enhance your eyes and slim your face and really finish off any look. This skill is easy to learn and takes practice but once you have it you have it for life! Here are some tricks to the trade to jump start you to contouring perfection.


Using The Right Makeup Brush

Makeup brushes in some cases aren’t really needed to achieve a look but when it comes to contouring the brush is everything. An angled makeup brush is ideal for sculpting your face. In choosing a brush take into account how it feels in your hand and how easy it is to make long and precise strokes. My favorite brush is the one on the far left!

Contour Brush

Contouring Brush

Finding Your Cheek Bones

Some women are lucky and have very profound cheek bones (good for them) but many do not and finding them can be tricky. Thankfully one thing that can help is the ridiculous selfie trend “the duck face”. This facial expression actually causes the muscles in your face to tense up and reveal the plump tissue that is your cheeks. The area you’re wanting to contour is just underneath the plump part of your cheeks where the skin on the face lays flat again.


Yellow= Plump Parts
Burgundy= Contour Line


Contouring Powder

Finding a good contouring powder is very important, you could have all of the best makeup brushes money can buy but without a nice powder for contouring it won’t come out correctly. Picking a shade that’s right for you is key. I suggest that ethnic women use a mosaic palette that has several pigment shades including a dark brown tone. Most black women aren’t just brown but have several shades that make up their rich skin tone. If you’re having issues finding the right powder stay away from very deep tones a lighter contour is better than an overly bulky and bold one.

Contourin Powder

Milani Sunset Spice (actual powder I use)

How Much Is Too Much?

Sometimes when contouring it can be easy to make the line too thick and ruin that sleek and slim line that you really want. When applying the powder to your brush tap the brush lightly to shake off any extra powder. When dabbing brushes into powder one can apply too much pressure to the middle of the brush and cause a large gathering  of makeup at the center of the brush. Be sure to apply the same pressure in all areas or you could end up with a patchy line.



The direction at which you’re contouring should be towards your ears. When you’re making that first stroke I find going in a straight upward motion is best, especially for beginners. Sweeping the brush back and forth should be used only to deepen the tone of the line and to blend it in not for applying the first stroke.


Towards Your Ears

Don’t Make A ‘U’ Shape

Some may be tempted to contour and make the line hook around their cheek bone because our cheek bones are circularly shaped in a sense. However doing this will cause your contour to appear misshaped and in some instances make your lines appear different on either side.


U Shaped Contour (Incorrect)


Blending in your contour is the easiest part, however keep in mind how much pressure you’re using, being too forceful can cause you to erase areas and cause gaps in your contour. Using a medium sized fluffy blush brush for blending is ideal. Remember to use light up and down short strokes and long and light strokes.

How To Contour

The Shape Of Your Face

Standing in a mirror and looking at the shape of your face is surprisingly helpful. Our faces aren’t shapeless blobs there are so many natural contours and lines going on that we miss them. Find your cheek bones and then imagine your contour on your face, more than likely wherever you’ve mentally placed it is where it should be.

How To Contour

Helpful Brush Hack

If you’re using a fuller brush squeeze the base of the brush to make the hairs more horizontally aligned, this makes it easier to achieve a narrow line.

Contouring Brushes

Clean Up Those Lines For A Polished Look

When you’re done contouring use a lighter powder or what you’d normally use for your highlight and your regular powder base for cleaning up lines. Use the lighter powder or highlight to clean up the line on top of the plump part of your cheeks by placing your powder on a sponge and making a swooping motion towards your ears. The amount of powder you use for this should be half the size of the line of your contour. Then use your everyday wear powder to clean up the line below your cheek bones, another straight swoosh with a sponge should do the trick.

How To Contour

Yellow Line= Light Base (Highlight)
Burgundy= Contour
Orange= Your Normal Everyday Powder

These helpful hints can keep you going in the right direction as dar as achieving the perfect contour. Contouring is a skill and like all learned talents you must continue to practice them to become extremely skilled. Remember to keep trying and soon you’ll be a contouring master!


My Contour

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