Contouring and highlighting your face shape is an important step to creating more definition and structure to your make-up look. It’s a great way to emphasise desired features and banish unflattering angles.

Highlighting and creating shadow can be an intimidating topic when it comes to applying make-up. Choosing the incorrect shade for contouring can be hazardous and going overboard with highlighter is an easy mistake to make.

Contouring your face creates more depth and shadow by drawing back your least favourable features. When using contour products it should always be done with a light touch and minimum amount of product. When choosing the correct contour shade for you it must be one shade darker than your usual skin tone. There a range of textures you can contour with, including; powders, matte bronzers, foundation and even concealer. Any texture of product you choose to use should be buffed into the skin to create a flawless and untraceable finish. This effect can be created by using an angled contour brush or a buffing brush.

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By highlighting your face you are accentuating desirable features and when used in the correct areas it can create the illusion of fantastic bone structure. Highlighters are normally found in the form of cream, liquid and powder and should be applied after contouring. I always recommend using highlighter very sparingly as it can appear very shimmery where you would rather create a subtle and natural glow.

To transform your face shape you have to know your face shape and what areas of the face to work with. My simple steps will help you understand the basics of contouring and highlighting for various face shapes and help you choose the suitable options.

Oval Shaped Face– (Characteristics – forehead and jawline are the same width, cheeks bones prominent and rounded hairline.) An oval shaped face is seen as ideal, so not a lot of highlight and shadow needs to be created. However, a suitable step would be to highlight your cheekbones and brow bone.

Round Shaped Face– (Characteristics – face shape is equal length and width with full shaped cheeks.) Rounder face shapes should contour the hollows of the cheek (underneath the cheek bone) and temples to create definition. Cheek bones and chin should be highlighted.

Oblong Shaped Face– (Characteristics – face shape is narrow and elongated.) Oblong face shapes should contour around the hair line and chin to create a softer appearance. Highlighter should be applied to cheekbones to create structure.

Square Shaped Face– (Characteristics – strong jawline and square hairline.) You should contour the temples and jawline and highlight the cheekbones and chin to create a more rounded appearance.

Heart Shaped Face– (Characteristics – wide forehead and narrow chin and jawline.)To even out the appearance of a heart shaped face you should only contour your temples and highlight your jawline and cheeks.

Diamond Shaped Face– (Characteristics – narrow forehead and wide cheekbones.) Diamond shaped faces should contour the hollows of the cheeks to balance out the shape of the face and highlight cheek bones and temples.

If you find your face shape is a mixture of the above you can combine different techniques to suit your shape!

Top Picks for Contouring and Highlighting:

Real Techniques Core Collection (£21.99)

M.A.C Large Angled Contour Brush (£26.00)

Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder (Available in different shades) (£27.00)

Laura Mercier Mineral Illuminating Powder (£26.00)