YouTube Video | How To – Contour & Highlight For Beginners

How To Contour & Highlight

Boy, does it feel good to load another video on my YouTube channel again.  It’s been more than a month since I last filmed a video and when I sat down to film this one, I wasn’t even sure if I knew how to film, talk and edit anymore.  It’s weird how much I missed filming / making videos, especially because I hate the editing part – listening to myself speak over, and over, and over again is not my favourite way to spend my day.  A 10 minute video (on YouTube) will usually have about 40 minutes’ worth of footage that I need to edit down (yes, that’s how much I waffle on in videos) and editing down those 40 minutes to 10 minutes can sometimes take me up to half a day (or more!) to edit.  I’m not even exaggerating…maybe I just work slow.

So, today I have a ‘How To’ video on how I like to contour & highlight my face in a subtle, everyday kind of way.  A simple swipe of bronzer, contouring powder and highlighter in the right areas can bring light to your best features and detract from others (#doublechinproblems and #fiveheadproblems).  So this video covers all the basics of bronzing, contouring & highlighting – I show you how I like to do it and which products & makeup brushes I use.

Contouring can be a tricky business but when done the right way, it can create cheekbones, make your face appear thinner, and help enhance your best features.  Contouring and highlighting basically means you are creating shades and highlights on certain areas of your face.  The secret to the perfect contour is to blend, blend, blend (and then blend some more).  You don’t want to have harsh lines on your face, and if you feel like you have gone overboard with the contouring or bronzing, then just go in with your powder brush and blend it out.

Remember:  Light (highlighting) accentuates the face, and shadowing (contouring) recedes it.

In this blog post, I’ll mention the products I used in the video, plus I will also list a couple of additional products that I currently have in my makeup collection.  I don’t think it will be fair if I list products that I haven’t used before, because bronzers and contouring powders can be tricky sometimes.  I personally don’t like the SUPER warm-toned bronzers, the ones that make you look like an Oompa Loompa.  The only way one can see if it’s too warm toned, would be to actually use it and that’s why I’m only recommending products to you that I have actually used before.

If you would like to see how I like to contour & highlight in an easy-peasy subtle way, then click on the photo below and it will take you straight through to my video on YouTube.  Also remember, the whole process takes me about 2 to 3 minutes to do – it just takes a bit longer in the video because I’m explaining things.

How To Contour & Highlight For Beginners


♥  MAC Extra Dimension Bronzer – Aphrodite’s Shell

♥  CALA Deluxe Powder Brush

♥  NYX Blush – Taupe

♥  CALA Angled Contour Brush

♥  MAC 286 Duo Fibre Tapered Blending Brush

♥  Smashbox Bronze Lights – Sunkissed Matte

♥  Bobbi Brown Blush – Apricot

♥  Real Techniques Blush Brush

♥  theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer Highlighter

♥  Sigma Tapered Highlighter F35 Brush

Remember, you don’t have to use the products that I used in the video – I just wanted to keep the video true to myself by using some of my favourite products.

You can buy CALA brushes at Dis-Chem, Sigma brushes online at Turquoise Studio (if you’re in South Africa), Real Techniques online at Real Techniques (they ship worldwide), MAC brushes in-store at a MAC counter or in the MAC online store aaaaand you can buy theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer online at Vivadream Cosmetics (they offer FREE worldwide shipping).


Round – You can achieve more definition in your cheek area by brushing a contouring shade just under the cheek bones (using either of the 2 techniques I show you in the video) and blending upwards.  Also apply that shade along the jawline to create a ‘faux’ jawline.  Make sure to blend upward with short brush strokes.

Square – If you have a very prominent jaw, you can soften this area by creating a shadow along the jawline.  Apply the contour shade along the jawline and then blend upwards.  Also apply the contour to your temples and blend up.

Long – Apply a darker shade around chin and hairline areas and then use light, sweeping motions toward the middle of the face to diffuse the shading.

Heart – If you want to minimize the look of a wider forehead, use an angled makeup brush to apply the contour shade along the hairline from the top of your forehead (usually where the hairline starts to recede first) down your temples toward the ears.

List of additional product ideas or dupes:


♥  The Body Shop Honey Bronzer (various shades available suitable for various skin tones)

♥  Almay Smart Shade Powder Blush in Nude

♥  Physician’s Formula Happy Booster Bronzer (various shades available suitable for various skin tones)


♥  The Body Shop Honey Bronzer (various shades available suitable for various skin tones)

♥  Inglot Matte Eyeshadow in 337 (or darker)


♥  Physician’s Formula Powder Palette Mineral Glow Pearls

♥  Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick (various shades available suitable for various skin tones)

♥  Inglot Eyeshadow in 395

♥  MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft & Gentle (medium skin tones)

♥  MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Lightscapade (fair & light skin tones)

♥  Topshop Glow Cream Highlighter in Gleam

♥  Stila Eyeshadow in Kitten

♥  MAC Pigment in Vanilla

I really hope you found this video to be helpful…and remember:  Blend, blend, blend!



  1. Carla B 27 November 2014 / 10:48

    Love, love LOVEd this video, Luzanne. You are a natural!

    • Luzanne 28 November 2014 / 17:28

      Thank you for watching, Carla. :) x

  2. zanelle roodt 27 November 2014 / 10:50

    You’re hilarious, L!!!!!! lol

    • Luzanne 28 November 2014 / 17:28

      Bwahaha! Thanks, Zanelle! 😉

  3. Hannah 27 November 2014 / 12:18

    Beautiful! You have such a way of describing things in terms we all can understand, well done Luzanne. ♥

    • Luzanne 28 November 2014 / 17:27

      It’s a pleasure, Hannah. :)

  4. Geraldine 27 November 2014 / 14:22

    Wow this is so helpful!

    • Luzanne 28 November 2014 / 17:25

      Thank you for taking the time to watch my video (and read this blog post), Geraldine. :)

  5. Yolandi Wilken 27 November 2014 / 14:50

    Really enjoyed this video, Luzanne. You have explained it perfectly and I am definitely going to start contouring and highlighting my face. Thank you for filming this. x

    • Luzanne 28 November 2014 / 17:24

      You are most welcome, Yolandi. :) Let me know how it goes, and if you have any questions…you can just pop me a mail – happy to help! :) x

  6. farzana 27 November 2014 / 14:57

    Just luv how u are confident enough to make fun of urself in the video, its something that is missing amongst some other bloggers I feel. Keep up the great work, Luzanne.

    • Luzanne 28 November 2014 / 17:23

      Aaaaah, this comment just brought a huge smile to my face. Thank you so much, Farzana. :)

  7. Lida Bruwer 27 November 2014 / 16:33

    THANK YOU FOR THIS! I have always wondered how to do shaping with makeup. This is brilliant!!!!!!!!!!

    • Luzanne 28 November 2014 / 17:19

      You are very welcome, Lida. And thank you so much for watching the video & supporting my blog. :)

  8. Melissa ❀ 27 November 2014 / 21:57

    Absolutely stunning, as always you not only look so pretty in the video but you also explain things in a way everyone can understand.

    Plus, you are hilarious! 😀

    • Luzanne 28 November 2014 / 17:18

      LOL! Thanks…I think! 😉

  9. Estee 27 November 2014 / 22:52

    Thank you for doing this video, L, it helps alot. And adding possible dupes and tips in the blog post just made it that much more awesome. x

    • Luzanne 28 November 2014 / 17:17

      You are welcome, Estee – so glad you liked the blog post too. :) x

  10. Christy-Lyn 16 April 2016 / 13:18

    Hi Luzanne. Thanks for your great blog! I know you love to contour with Nyx taupe blush, but you mentioned it’s not available here in South Africa. Do you have any other suggestions for a cool-toned affordable alternative? I have fair skin.

  11. Nausheen 22 May 2016 / 10:11

    Great video. The product list is especially helpful!
    Quick question .. I see that you don’t highlight , just use illuminator – I am battling to find a highlighter for my fair skin so I tend to contour only – is this a no no? I do apply illuminator after contouring like you have done.
    I am also older so powders tend to highlight fine lines
    Thanks in advance

    • Luzanne 22 May 2016 / 19:14

      Hi Nausheen! I find that it’s difficult to find a matte highlighter that is light enough to really make a difference on my skin. I also don’t like to layer too much makeup i.e. foundation, concealer, matte liquid / cream highlighter, contour, shimmery illuminator etc., so I’d rather just highlight using a shimmery illuminator. Only contouring is definitely not a no-no (well, at least I don’t think so), I believe that one should find what works best for your skin tone, skin type, preferences and stick with that. :)

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