Not too long ago, the first Youtube “how-to” popped up on social media, spilling a celebrity makeup artist’s best kept secret. That’s right: contouring. If you are anything like me; you would much rather sleep in than wake up early to put on foundation and mascara, let alone create a piece of art on your face. However most of us have special occasions to attend, such as a dinner, a wedding, or just going out with friends where we want to stray from our everyday makeup and look exceptionally well. Fortunately contouring gives us that little extra oomph, and believe it or not you don’t need to work at Sephora to get it right.

This is your basic how-to on contouring like Kim K, without her budget.



– Your existing foundation
– A foundation stick two shades darker than your skin tone
– A foundation stick two shades lighter than your skin tone
– A beauty blender (or something similar)
– Full makeup brush
– Thin/angled makeup brush

First, you need to apply a base layer of your regular foundation that match your skin tone. Using a foundation the same color as your skin evens your skin tone and provides a base you can build on when you contour using lighter and darker shades. This will ensure your finished product comes out smooth rather than patchy and uneven.

To apply the light foundation, use your finger or a clean foundation brush to apply a 1/2 inch to 1 inch stroke of foundation to the places on your face where the sun would naturally hit. These usually include:

– In the centre of your forehead
– Along the bridge of your nose
– Along the top of your brow lines
– On the apples of your cheeks (to find them, smile)
– On the section between the tip of your nose and the top of your lip (also known as the cupids bow)
– In the centre of your chin


The light makeup should look similar to this

Next, apply the dark foundation. To do so correctly, you add the dark foundation in the places where your face would naturally be shadowed from the sun. If you’re not sure where this would be, stand in the center of a well-lit room with overhead lighting to find the places that would be darker. Apply the dark foundation:

– Right below your hairline at the top of your forehead
– On the right and left sides of your forehead, near your hairline on either side
– Along the right and left sides of your nose
– In the hollows of your cheeks (to find them, suck your cheeks in)
– Along your jawline on both sides, from your ears to the tip of your chin



By now your face should look like this.

By this point, you are finished adding the under layer of your makeup. Add a thin “top coat” of your foundation, blending well.  Use your fingers or the foundation brush to blend the colors for a natural finish. Take care not to spread the colors around too much; you want them to stay in the general area where you placed them.

To further finish the look, you may consider adding a highlighter to make light areas to stand out even more. Apply it in the exact same places where you applied the lighter foundation.


To enhance your overall look, adding blush and a matte finishing powder can be blended with the other products on your face for a more natural look.



Additional tips:

– Always start by pulling your hair away from your face so you’ll be able to see what you’re doing without it getting in the way.
– If you’re a beginner, use contouring with powder to start with, then move on to liquid.
– When you contour your face, you want to start with a completely blank canvas. Remove all your makeup, wash your face, and pat it dry with a towel.
– Be careful to blend along the edges of your jaw, otherwise it’ll look like you’re wearing a mask.

If you tried this, comment your results below!

Author: isabella.A ~ Contributing editor