Contouring To Enhance the Features

by Sarah

Continuing on from the contouring series I started a few posts back where I covered Contouring For Different Face Shapes HERE, today’s post is all about enhancing and shaping facial features.

The most common areas we contour when it comes to facial features is the nose and the cheeks. When we apply our base products such as foundations, concealers and powder, we do it to give ourselves a smooth, even canvas to work with. The flip side of the coin is, we also lose the natural dimensions to our features: we end up with a smooth but flat surface. So we contour the features to bring dimension back to our face, as well as enhancing or correcting facial features if need be. Starting with…


Not everyone needs to slim or shape their nose. You may have a cute little nose, which is defined and slim on the sides, as well as having a small pointy tip. If this is the case, you can just dust a bit of bronzer over the bridge of your nose and you’re good to go. If, however, you have a wide nose, or your nose is longer or wider at the tip etc, the below techniques will help give your nose the illusion of being smaller, thinner, shorter…whatever your needs may be.


As you can see in the picture above, I applied a very subtle contour on the sides of the nose – starting from the beginning of the eyebrows, going straight down to the tip which gives the illusion of a straighter and slimmer nose. You can bring the lines closer together depending on how slim you prefer your nose to be. Closer the lines, the slimmer it’ll look – though a natural look is always preferable. If the tip of your nose is long, or more prominent, you can give the illusion of a shorter nose by applying the contouring product under the tip of the nose. These techniques will create shadows and therefore retreat back the parts of the nose which would otherwise be more obvious.


This is by far the most popular contouring technique as we all love model-worthy killer cheekbones. Having high and defined cheekbones gives a more youthful look as it helps lift the features up. The most common mistake I see with contouring the cheeks are: 1. applying it too close towards the mouth – which drags the cheeks down rather than lift them; 2. blending the contour line downwards instead of upwards, which again defeats the purpose of lifting the cheeks up.


The easiest way to determine where to apply that line of contour product is to suck your cheeks in and feel the natural hollow with your fingers. You will see, the hollows of your cheeks will start at halfway point of your ear, going down towards the corner of your mouth but stopping at the outer edge of the iris of your eyes at the most. It shouldn’t go any further down than that. Once you apply this line, the next important thing is the direction that you blend. Cheek contouring should be feathered and blended upwards…not downwards…unless, you’re trying to shape and slim your face (you can refer to the previous contouring post I did HERE)

*Blending is key to achieving a natural contour. Start with as little product as possible and build up the intensity as needed. I will include a favorite contouring products post to this series so stay tuned ;)


Celebrities are renowned for their makeup tips and tricks and along with Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez leads the pack when it comes to contouring. I picked the picture below as the color exposure perfectly shows the areas that have been contoured. With the picture on the right, I went over the areas with a dark shade to point them out further.

This picture of Jennifer Lopez is a great example of combining contouring techniques to shape the face, as well as enhance the features.

  • Starting from the forehead, you can see the hairline and the sides of the forehead have been contoured to create the illusion of a more narrow forehead – to balance with the jawline.
  • The cheeks have been enhanced by a line of contour, blended up to meet with a natural toned blush.
  • The nose has been contoured on the sides, bottom of the tip of the nose as well as a thin line going from left to right on top where the bridge meets the tip. This makes the tip of the nose look more round and button-like – if that makes sense :).
  • Lastly, her jawline, under the chin going up towards the ears have been contoured to enhance the jawline and the color brought down to slim the neck and to marry the contour with her glowing decollatage.

Next up in this series, we’ll be talking everything opposite of contouring…that is: Highligting!

If you have any questions regarding the contouring techniques discussed in this post (or the previous post), please leave a comment below ;) xx

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Jen S. March 5, 2014 - 9:11 am

Hi Sarah I really like the way you explain things and the photos and the set up! Heck I just love your blog period ❤️

Sarah March 5, 2014 - 5:52 pm

Awww thank you Jen, I really appreciate your feedback xx

Sienna March 4, 2014 - 11:55 am

I was waiting for this part 2 contouring. Worth the wait, love it!

Sarah March 5, 2014 - 5:53 pm

Thanks Sienna; more to come ;) xx


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