Beauty 101: Contouring Your Face


I’ve only been contouring my face for the past few months, and mainly only do it when I’m filming or taking photos for the blog (which is often. . .so I guess I contour my face quite often!). It’s a great way to add color and depth to an otherwise “flat” one-color face.

This is my guide to a quick contour. There are so many other great resources for more detailed and in depth contouring guides, so I recommend your search ” face contouring” in the pinterest search function. or click here

However, for the very basics and about a 30 second quick contour, follow the steps below!

*I’m a little heavy-handed with my products just to ensure you can see the placement on my face. Don’t feel like you need to add more product to contour, simply the right amount in the right location.

*lip color is Revlon “Pink in the Afternoon”, earrings: Elisabeth Ashlie, nail polish: Essie’s Midnight Cami, top: The Loft

See what a difference the highlighter makes? And in person–it definitely brightens up your face! It’s a great way to transfer the summer glow into a season appropriate glow. 

My guess is you already have blush and bronzer, so if you want to test out this method right away, use  some light eye shadow in place of the Bare Minerals highlighter. If you like the look, definitely invest in the highlighter!

Leave a Comment

Comments (96)

  1. Posted September 7, 2012

    LOVE this tutorial, kate. i have been on the hunt for a great highlighter. I had one i was using for a while that just wasn’t cutting it anymore – I’ll have to check out that bare minerals one!

  2. Kimberly says
    Posted September 7, 2012

    Thank you for sharing the lip color you’re wearing…so pretty! What navy polish are you wearing? It’s so helpful when you list the color products you’re wearing 🙂

    • Kate says
      Posted September 7, 2012

      nail polish: Essie’s Midnight Cami.

  3. Carly says
    Posted September 7, 2012

    I love Coralista, it’s my favorite!!!


  4. Sarah says
    Posted September 7, 2012

    Great guide! Thanks so much! I also LOVE that lip color on you! 🙂

  5. Posted September 7, 2012

    I’ve never used highlighter before, this might be a good thing to invest in for a brighter look–especially in the dead of winter when my skin needs a little pick-me-up!

    Something Ivory

  6. Rebecca says
    Posted September 7, 2012

    Thank you for this tutorial! I haven’t tried contouring yet because I haven’t quite figured out the right bronzer for my skin tone. It’s so tricky when you’re super pale!

    Do you have a lipgloss over your Pink in the Afternoon? Mine looks so matte on my lips.

    • Kate says
      Posted September 7, 2012


  7. Posted September 7, 2012

    I love Bare Minerals Well Rested (in the powder form). I used it for my dark circles, so I will have to try out the highlighter. Thanks for all this info! Love it!

  8. Posted September 7, 2012

    I’ve never used a highlighter either! DEF going to have to look into that one! xoxo

  9. Kristal says
    Posted September 7, 2012

    Kate I love love love this tutorial. What is the name of those earrings?

  10. lar1203 says
    Posted September 7, 2012

    as a hair stylist. how do you keep your nail polish from chipping??

    • Kate says
      Posted September 7, 2012

      unfortunately it chips all the time!

    • Sam says
      Posted September 7, 2012

      Try a product called Mega Shine by Sally Hansen over the top of your polish – it acts like an acrylic top coat, prevents chipping and keeps your mani SUPER shiny!

    • lar1203 says
      Posted September 8, 2012

      thanks, sam! i’ll look for it.

  11. Posted September 7, 2012

    i’ve tried the eyeshadow before, but never found a highlighter that i loved. thanks for the recommendation!

  12. amanda says
    Posted September 7, 2012

    Can you do a tutorial on how to apply eye shadow? Love the way it always looks

    • Kate says
      Posted September 7, 2012

      please check my beauty page!

  13. Bitts says
    Posted September 7, 2012

    Hi Kate! Which eye shadow combo are you wearing here? Is it your usual one with MAC Brun, or the lighter one your sister uses?

    • Kate says
      Posted September 7, 2012

      my usual one 🙂

  14. Posted September 7, 2012

    Thanks for the tutorial, this is great! I’ve never used a highlighter before but always hear great things about them. I LOVE Bare Minerals and actually just ran out of Mineral Veil so I might have to pick up this highlighter when I go. Happy Friday!

  15. Posted September 7, 2012

    Looks very soft and pretty. Question – are you still using your beauty blender? How did it last for you?

  16. Posted September 7, 2012

    I think I may need to invest in some lipstick, it makes your whole face just pop! Love this quick contour guide too because it’s not too in-depth for everyday use.

  17. Anonymous says
    Posted September 7, 2012

    This may seem silly but I’d like to see a post of all your nail polishes. You pull off trendy colors and keep it classy!

    • Kate says
      Posted September 7, 2012

      planning on showing my fav’s soon!

  18. Posted September 7, 2012

    YAY! So glad you posted this! I’ve loved it on Kim Kardashian, but this is actually easy to understand! Can’t wait to try it!

  19. Posted September 7, 2012

    Sold on the Well Rested. I was thinking about buying!

  20. Kristen says
    Posted September 7, 2012

    Love this! Thank you for sharing!! I’m going out today to get the products 🙂

  21. Posted September 7, 2012

    Thanks for the tutorial, I am always looking for help with my makeup. Can you buy the Coralista blush in stores or do you order it online?

    • Kate says
      Posted September 7, 2012

      You can find it at Sephora!

  22. Posted September 7, 2012

    Very pretty. Great tips!

  23. Anonymous says
    Posted September 7, 2012

    Great tutorial! I can’t get the link to the top you are wearing to work. Does it have different stripes on the sleeves?

    • Kate says
      Posted September 7, 2012

      It does, search for it in! Sorry the link isn’t working

  24. Posted September 8, 2012

    Love this! I’ve never used a highlighter so I’ll definitely try it! Can you tell me what color eyeshadows you are wearing? I saw you responded above that they are your usual ones but I’m not sure what those are! Thank you!!

  25. Brooke says
    Posted September 8, 2012

    Great post! Your so pretty !

  26. Posted September 8, 2012

    Awesome tutorial! I’ve always wondered how to use highlighter correctly, so thank you for sharing x

  27. Lynn says
    Posted September 8, 2012

    I’m going to try the highlighting and also the blush from Benefit you recommended. I loved the color of your lipstick but I also wanted to ask (weird question) – do you use any tooth whitening products? I am looking into strips and noticed how white your teeth looked when I was oohing and ahhing your lipstick. Thanks in advance! 🙂

  28. Tiffany says
    Posted September 8, 2012

    Your make up looks so pretty. I’ve always been afraid of contouring. It seems like most tutorials say to bronze the sides of your nose, something that may work for photos, but not so much real life. This I can work with. Thanks Kate, for another great tip.

  29. Sarah says
    Posted September 8, 2012

    I’m dying over the font you used on the pictures! Can you please share what it is and from where it came?

    • Posted September 9, 2012

      I’ve been wondering this as well – I’ve searched other posts for an answer 🙂 It’s so sweet and sophisticated!

    • Posted September 14, 2012

      Oh I am dying to know as well. I am a teacher and type many letters to parents that I would like to look more personal. Will you please pleas please post this on your blog?

  30. Anonymous says
    Posted September 9, 2012

    Great look! Went out and got that lipstick today.

  31. Heather says
    Posted September 9, 2012

    Honestly…no lie. I did this yesterday and today and it seriously and truly made a difference. I wish I paid more attention to this like for the past 16 years!

  32. Alana Kay says
    Posted September 9, 2012

    LOVE this post! I currently contour using only blush and bronzer, and am excited to try a highlighter – thanks for recommending a great product. 🙂
    Do you use a contour brush to apply the bronzer? If so, what brush?

  33. Sara says
    Posted September 9, 2012

    Is that lip color a dupe for the J. Crew Poppy King that was discontinued?

  34. Taylor says
    Posted September 9, 2012

    This was so helpful! I’ve been looking for a great highlighter that isn’t too sparkly…I may have to make a trip to sephora and pick this up today!

  35. Posted September 9, 2012

    Is Coralista similar to NARS Orgasm blush? I have a lot of the other Benefit blushes, bronzers, highlighters…but not Coralista. Also, thanks for the highlighter tip! I’ve been wanting a new one to try.

    Love your site!
    Brittany of @suburbchicblog

  36. Posted September 10, 2012

    I love your blog!! And I love this post – it’s nice to find new things to freshen up my boring day-to-day makeup routine. I’m excited to try this. Oh, have you ever heard of Ruche? It’s an online clothing boutique. I just think some of the clothes/jewelry reminds me of your style (plus they’re really affordable). Thanks!

    Hilary, UT

  37. Posted September 11, 2012

    I love your lipstick. I don’t wear lipstick … ever. But I might just try it! Thanks for the inspiration!

  38. Erin says
    Posted September 16, 2012

    When using the highlighter, do you put it on before or after powder? I find that when I put it on before my powder, the effect is not that same, but if I put it on after the powder you can see obvious lines of where I put it on?

  39. Paige says
    Posted September 17, 2012

    I’ve been looking for a highlighter for quite some time. Just bought the $22 BareMinerals brightener because of your post. Now that’s power. 😉

  40. Posted September 20, 2012

    Just picked up the Well Rested highlighter. Can’t wait to try it in the morning. Thank you for the info!

  41. Anonymous says
    Posted September 21, 2012

    thanks for sharing.

  42. Kelly says
    Posted September 21, 2012

    Hi Kate,
    What type of brush do you use to apply your bronzer?

  43. Anonymous says
    Posted September 23, 2012

    If you have very dark circles under your eyes, how do you hide them?

  44. Anonymous says
    Posted September 23, 2012

    If you have very dark circles under your eyes, how do you hide them?

  45. Anonymous says
    Posted September 23, 2012

    If you have very dark circles under your eyes, how do you hide them?

  46. Posted September 24, 2012

    Kate, I love everything about your blog! Great post! Any tips on disguising rosey undertones?

    On a side note, what is the font used on your pictures in this post? I love it! Sorry if this has been asked before. Thanks!

  47. Anonymous says
    Posted September 25, 2012

    Another awesome kit I found for highlighting the face is the “Tropicoral” kit by benefit for sephora. It has coralista, high beam, cha cha tint, and a great gloss. I am obsessed with coralista it is so awesome! Thanks for showing it here!

  48. Posted January 11, 2013

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  49. Posted April 18, 2013

    Beautiful makeup, but you need to hide a spot on the bridge of the nose.

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    I absolutely LOVE this!! I only wish I could find a list like this of information. Do you happen to know of any lists like that?

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