Makeup Ideas

Beauty How-To: Cheek Contouring

Contour your cheeks for a naturally sculpted look that's classy, not trashy

Photo by Anthea Simms

Photo by Anthea Simms

Photo by Anthea Simms

Say the word “contouring” and people start to get nervous: “It’s only for people like Kim Kardashian and Christina Aguilera.”

Wrong, wrong, wrong! 

Cheek contouring is one of the easiest ways to sculpt cheekbones and add dimension to the face. It’s true that poor blending or excessive product application can look cheap, but with a light touch and the right shades for your skin tone, contouring will make you look healthy and radiant. It will also revitalize a complexion that appears flat or dull after foundation application.

What You Need: An angled makeup brush, a fluffy blush brush, a bronzer to sculpt, a highlighter to illuminate, and a blush to brighten a tired complexion.

1.  After evening out your skin with foundation and/or concealer, suck in your cheeks. With an angled makeup brush or contour brush, lightly apply bronzer in a J-shaped motion along the sides of your hairline and into the hollows of your cheeks. Blend well, but don’t allow the bronzer to spread beyond the hollows.

2.  With your fingers, smooth an iridescent highlighter onto the high points of your face: under the eyebrows, the bridge of the nose, the tops of the cheekbones. Silvery or champagne luminizers work best with pale complexions, gold accentuates darker complexions and most women can pull off a rose gold hue. Again, blend well so that you cannot see where the highlighter begins and ends.

3.  With a fluffy blush brush (or your fingers if you’re using a gel), dust the apples of your cheeks with a pink or peach blush. The darker your skin, the more vibrant you can go.

Pro Advice: If your face ends up looking cakey or dry, try using gel blushes and bronzers instead of powder for a more dewy finish. Remember: Start out with a light application. You can always add more if the shade isn’t dark enough.

For Light Complexions: CoverGirl Cheekers Blush in Classic Pink, $4, Clinique Superbalanced Powder Bronzer in Bronzed 1, $42, Estée Lauder Signature 5-Tone Shimmer Powder for Eyes, Cheeks and Face in Pink Shimmer, $45,

For Medium Complexions: PürMinerals Pressed Mineral Blush in Polynesian Pink, $22, at Shoppers Drug Mart. Maybelline Fit Me Bronzer in Medium Bronze, $10, at mass market retailers. Benefit Watt’s Up! Soft Focus Highlighter for Face, $34,

For Dark Complexions: Guerlain Rose aux Joues in Peach Boy, $56, at Guerlain counters. Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Compact in Bronze, $49, Lorac Oil-Free Luminizer in Gold, $37,